Deep in the bowls of the opera house there’s someone lurking. We ventured into the shadowy depths of Her Majesty’s Theatre to hunt out musical theatre’s most iconic ghoul – The Phantom of the Opera.
Luckily for us, we discovered that the man behind the mask, Geronimo Rauch, is much more approachable than his on-stage character.
Historically, The Phantom is one of the most frightening characters on stage. What do you think makes him so scary?
I believe that it’s because he has no middle ground – he is unpredictable and he loves and hates with the same intensity.
The Phantom of the Opera has been running for 28 years, is it hard to still make audiences jump?
I think we have such an iconic way of ending the first act that people are willing to see it live again and again. This production is still so fresh even after 28 years.
How do you get into character to play The Phantom?
I really avoid looking in the mirror while the transformation (make-up) happens so I suddenly see the Phantom in the reflection.
Is it difficult to perform in a mask?
At the beginning it was uncomfortable but now I feel naked without it on stage.
When you take off the mask, does a bit of The Phantom ever stay behind to haunt you?
No!! The Phantom stays at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Sometimes a bit of make-up gets left behind and I realise the morning after!
You recently finished playing Jean Valjean in Les Mis at The Queen’s Theatre, do you identify with misunderstood characters and who is harder to portray, The Phantom or Jean Valjean?
I think I love to suffer on stage ha ha ha. I always try to get roles that challenge me so playing both roles is a dream. Both are very hard to portray and very demanding. I’m really enjoying playing the Phantom now and I wouldn’t mind playing Valjean again in the future.
Do you think you’d go to a Halloween party dressed as The Phantom?
That’s work! The phantom stays at the theatre!
See Geronimo as The Phantom this Halloween by booking you tickets here.