Musical theatre star Killian Donnelly from Co Meath is currently performing as one of the West End’s most iconic figures, but that doesn’t mean the actor doesn’t get stage fright from time to time.
Donnelly is starring as The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera in Her Majesty’s Theatre in London, a role he has dreamed of since he was 11, and is used to treading the boards day in and day out on the West End, but an appearance at an open-air theatre festival in the heart of London caught him unawares.
In a video shared by the West End Live organisers on YouTube, Donnelly joins his castmate Lucy St. Louis halfway through their segment to sing the iconic Music of the Night.
The star, who has had leading roles in Les Miserables, Kinky Boots and The Commitments, is about to appear on stage after his colleagues have performed All I Ask of You and Prima Donna and as the camera pans over the crowd, he utters two awe-struck words: “f*ck me”.
It was so quiet it went largely unnoticed by attendees in Trafalgar Square and by viewers online until Donnelly shared the gaffe on his own social media to apologise to viewers, blaming both his nerves and his Irishness.
“I can only apologise for my DREADFUL language @ 7:26 and take full responsibility. My mother would be ashamed of me.
“In my defense, I was very nervous and about to sing in front of thousands upon THOUSANDS of people… I’m also Irish.”