Erected: 1890, modernised 1960
    Location Between Speicherstadt and HafenCity
    Special features: Top spot for harbour photos

    Sometimes in the summer, students of the Hamburg Stage School sit in the sun during a short break up on the jetty above the Zollkanal (Customs Canal), note sheets in hand, and continue their studies even in these few minutes. The workload is heavy, says Madeleine Lauw, but every minute is pure happiness, even if she no longer feels her legs in the evening from hours of dancing.

    For two years now, the 21-year-old has been a student at the Joop van den Ende Academy in the Speicherstadt. In a former warehouse on the Kehrwiederspitze, the school of the musical company Stage Entertainment trains performers, three years in jazz dance, ensemble singing, improvisation – lessons six days a week. Madeleine Lauw is one of only 16 students in her class, from next term only ten will be accepted each year, yet all of them with a full scholarship.

    In February 2009, Madeleine Lauw stood on stage in front of the casting jury of the Academy, almost by coincidence and simply to give it a try. As a little girl she loved old musical films, "Singing in the Rain" and "Hello, Dolly!", learned ballet and tap dancing, sang in the school choir and acted in plays. But she hardly gave any thought to pursuing a stage career. Instead, she wanted to study political science or medicine. She did not know how she should fit in there: in this magic. And that's what it is about, says Madeleine Lauw, it's not the technique, not about hitting the highest note; it's about nothing less than the magic. Lots of work until it looks easy, but the greatest fun you can have.

    After the summer, she will be auditioning for the first time. Her training at the Joop van den Ende Academy still has one year to go. If she could choose a role after that, Madeleine Lauw would play the matchmaker Dolly Levi in "Hello, Dolly!"

    Text: Constanze Kindel

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    Address: Kehrwiedersteg, 20457 Hamburg

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