“Les Miz is a long show. And it was a long time between my cues. One night a couple of months into the Palace run, I got really tired of listening to the score. [..] After the barricade scene this one particular night, I went back to my dressing room, took off my wig, my costume, my microphone, and my contacts. I turned off the Tannoy (the intercom), stuck some gum in my mouth, put my glasses on, lit a cigarette, and began reading the Madonna issue of Interview magazine. I was sitting there in my long johns because it was wintertime and the Palace Theatre was freezing. Just as I began thinking, “I wonder where they are…”, Roger Allam burst open my dressing room door with his foot.
My wig, my costume, and I flew down three flights of stairs. By the time I hit the bottom step, I was fully dressed. (No contacts, no mike, no time). The ghost of Fantine is supposed to make an entrance in the closing minutes of the show as Jean Valjean is dying, but I had left Colm Wilkinson onstage alone, dead, sitting in a chair, head listing to the right, barely breathing - rnough to keep him alive - for sixteen bars of music.
Yeah, I royally fucked up.”