The ending to Shakespeare’s comedy Love’s Labours Lost was rewritten in an unexpected fashion Saturday.
The Bard in the Valley production on the Spirit Square stage at Douglas Park concluded with one of the actors down on one knee, asking the show’s director for her hand in marriage.
Big cheers could be heard echoing from the park as the Mandy Dyck said “yes.” She was shocked by the romantic gesture by Darcy Knopp.
“Darcy got the idea to do it during the run of Julius Caesar last year, so he had been keeping it secret a long while,” Dyck told the Langley Advance.
Knopp, who grew up and worked in Langley, went to some lengths to make his proposal memorable, and to keep it a secret – apparently even from his own father who just happened to be in the audience.
Before Saturday’s show, Knopp asked the cast and crew to sign a card for Dyck, to publicly acknowledge her contribution as the show’s director.
After the final curtain call, he took centre stage, and began his tribute, thanking Dyck for all her work and calling her on stage to receive a card and gift. Then, the twist.
“Some of you may know Mandy and I have been together for four years,” he said. “In that time, Mandy has had a complaint, that I don’t profess my love often enough to her, so I’d like to change that tonight.”
He reached into his pocket, took out a ring box, and got down on one knee.
“Mandy was truly taken by surprise as was everyone else on and off the stage,” said producer Diane Gendron.
“Everyone cheered! Then another big cheer erupted when everyone heard Mandy say ‘yes.’ The cast and crew and some of the audience were in tears. It was all very exciting,” Gendron said.
Langley’s own Lauren Trotzuk, a cast member, made the comment “Love’s Labour’s Won tonight.”
Knopp’s character in the play has a beautiful monologue all about his love for a woman.
“His delivery during this speech has been truly inspired, which I have attributed to the fact that Darcy is a talented actor. I now know that, as all good actors, he was drawing on his real love for Mandy to give his monologue that extra spark,” she said.
Knopp has been with Bard in the Valley (BIV) since the first show in 2010. He picked up the ring about six months ago.
“The proposal definitely was a surprise for me. I had no idea it was going to happen or that he had even been thinking about this,” she said.
Dyck has been with BIV for three years with lead roles in the past two productions and as a director this year. Both are graduates of the University of the Fraser Valley and live in Chilliwack.
No date is set for the wedding but there are for the final four performances of Love’s Labours Lost in Douglas Park: July 30, July 31, and Aug. 1 at 7 p.m., as well as a 2 p.m. matinee on Aug. 2. Shows are free.