Tuesday 12 December 2017

Audience engaged as new romance upstages Bard

Grainne Cunningham

A performance of Shakespeare's 'Romeo et Juliette' got a real-life twist last night when one brave man proposed to his girlfriend in front of the audience.

Allan Clarke from Co Kildare staged his very own 'balcony scene' for Roisin McDonagh by asking her to marry him just before the curtain rose on last night's performance of the opera at the Gaiety.

As the oblivious Roisin settled herself into her seat, the words "I hope today is the right day! Roisin, I love you more than anything in the world. Will you marry me? All my love, forever & ever. Allan" flashed across the subtitles machine.

Fortunately, for star-crossed lover Allan, Roisin said yes!

Afterwards, the newly-betrothed bride-to-be wiped tears from her eyes and sipped a glass of champagne as she described how fantastic the dramatic gesture from her man Allan had been.

The pair met just five months ago when both of them took up part-time work as extras on the set of 'The Tudors'. "The date was 07/08/09," Roisin said.

They are both romantics, watching 'Romeo et Juliette' together on Valentine's Day when Allan presented Roisin with the tickets for last night's performance.

"I was fishing around and I asked her if she would marry me some day. She said she couldn't say yes but she probably would if the day was right and she was in the right mood," a delighted Allan said last night.

Hence the reason for the wording of Allan's proposal. Luckily for him, Roisin had yesterday landed her dream job when her former boss offered her full-time work as a graphic web designer.

The couple, who already live together in Kildare town, were too overcome last night to speak about plans for their big day, but will share their good news with relatives and friends at Roisin's brother's wedding this Saturday.

But why Romeo and Juliette? After all, their union is short-lived, abruptly cut short by his death from drinking hemlock, followed by her suicide with his dagger.

"It's the ultimate love story," said Allan, before adding "we'll die together". Not any time soon, we hope.

Opera Ireland's 2010 Spring production of 'Romeo et Juliette' runs at The Gaiety Theatre until March 7, with all performances at 8pm except for the final one which is at 2.30pm.

Bookings & further information: 1890 67 37 27 or www.operaireland.com

Irish Independent

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