The drama began when Lynden Players had taken their final bow at the close of Robin Hood. The Dame asked the principal boy to marry her - and there was not a dry eye in the house.
The emotional proposal on December 12 took everyone by surprise after the final curtain call of the Middleton Cheney theatre company’s Christmas panto, Robin Hood, when Jason Tustain went down on bended knee and asked for girlfriend Lisa Nicholls’ hand in marriage.
“There was a gasp from everyone on stage and the audience and a roar from all Jason’s Deddington Town football team players,” said Ms Nicholls, 24, who lives with her now fiance in Greatworth.
“The people on stage were crying their eyes out. No one had a clue he was going to propose and he presented me with a beautiful diamond ring.
“It was our fourth and final show. We got to the end, there was a final song and the director was presented with a bouquet and a card.
“Then Jason - who was performing Widow Twankey in his first ever play - stepped forward and said there was a twist in the plot.
“He’d shared the secret only with the director and one backstage helper who was holding the ring. Even my mum in the audience didn’t know.
“He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was shocked and just nodded. The place went crazy. I didn’t really hear what he said because of the noise. I was in shock.”
Ms Nicholls said she thought he might have popped the question on a romantic holiday in Paris in March but it did not happen.
“I thought I would have been able to predict when he might propose but it wasn’t then. He thought the panto was a brilliant opportunity because we were on stage together and it was in front of my best friend and Mum,” she said.
The couple have been together for eight years and recently bought their first home. Mr Tustain, 28, is originally from Aynho and Ms Nicholls from Banbury.
Desperate to keep his plan a big surprise, Mr Tustian went to choose the ring in Birmingham with his father who kept the secret even from Jason’s mother.
The couple expects to get married in 2018.
“We’re going to have to wait because I want to save and have a really big, glamorous wedding,” said the bride to be.