LIFE will imitate art when Grand Opera House pantomime stars Matt Dallen and Carly Nickson tie the knot next year.

From today until January 6, Matt and his fiancée are starring as Chester the Jester and Fairy Sparkle respectively in Sleeping Beauty at the York theatre.

“I end up with the fairy, as always happens to my character in panto!” says Matt, who performs with Carly not only in pantomime but on cruise ships and elsewhere too.

“After Sleeping Beauty ends, we might have a short stint doing some shows in Dubai, where they have a big shopping festival, and in the malls they have these shows in a sort of panto style, as the kids over there have never seen such things,” says Matt.

“It’s a week and a half in January, so we can top up our tans for the wedding!”

The February wedding will be followed by a honeymoon in Canada before Matt and Carly return to the ships on March 28. “That’ll then take us right through to panto again next year,” he says.

Matt and Carly, who are performing in York for the first time, live in Chester. “I’m from Hastings originally and I only moved up to Chester because Fairy Sparkle is my fiancée and she dragged me there.

“So I’m now Chester the Jester from Chester, but that was a pure coincidence!” Matt and Carly met in Scotland when performing in Sleeping Beauty.

“We were at a theatre just outside of Ayr, a strange place to meet, but it was love at first sight and we’ve worked and lived together ever since, he says. The couple will wed in church in Chester on February 23.

“I wouldn’t let Carly wear one of her fairy costumes, like a giant marshmallow!” says Matt.

“Can you imagine people saying ‘She’s behind you’ as she came up the aisle!”