Six the Musical actress 'gobsmacked' at on-stage proposal

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Natalie Pilkington in SixImage source, Johan Persson
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Natalie Pilkington in hit musical Six

As theatre shows rejoice at reopening, one actress has had extra cause for celebration - after receiving a surprise onstage marriage proposal.

Natalie Pilkington from the musical Six said she was "absolutely gobsmacked" when boyfriend Andy McGuire got down on one knee after the show's finale.

After she said "yes", the audience at Leeds Grand went wild and the rest of the cast threw confetti.

Pilkington adds she "literally had absolutely no idea" of McGuire's plan.

Pilkington is what is known as a "swing" performer, who understudies several roles, on the UK touring production of Six - an uproarious romp which turns Henry VIII's wives into Beyoncé and Ariana-style divas.

Image source, Hannah Koopman
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Andy McGuire popped the question to Natalie Pilkington on Saturday night

On Saturday, she was starring as Anne Boleyn, a part she played for the first time on the tour last month.

"I'm what you call a super-swing. I cover all six of the parts, so it's a rarity that I go on very often," 31-year-old Pilkington, from Chorley, Lancashire, told BBC News.

"But I believe that Andy had organised it all. Andy had been arranging with the office at Six and with my agent to make sure that I was going to be on stage, but I literally had absolutely no idea," she added.

She said she was told there was going to be a charity announcement at the end of Saturday night's finale.

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One of the other cast members then welcomed a man called Andy onto the stage.

"And then when my Andy walked out, I was just like, 'Oh my God, what's he doing here?'," said the actress.

"I think I just knew straight away what was going to happen when I saw him in his suit and everything, but I was gobsmacked. Absolutely gobsmacked."

McGuire, 34, from Leeds, and Pilkington have been together for four-and-a-half years.

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The actress recently returned to the stage after working as a teaching assistant in a special needs school when theatres shut at the start of the pandemic.

She said she thinks McGuire had been planning various ways to pop the question all through lockdown but kept being thwarted as anything he'd booked was later cancelled.

"I think he just thought in the end, you know what, we're going to do it the safest way and probably the best way," said Pilkington.

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We went behind the scenes with the Six cast in April 2019

Six started life at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 and went on to become a West End smash.

It received five Olivier Award nominations and was later performed to sell out shows in Chicago and on Broadway.

The current UK tour is continuing until September 2022. The West End production is currently at the Lyric Theatre until 29 August 2021.

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