Dot Game w/h Merlin Sandmeyer | hvv switch | hvv switch

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Altona Station w/h Merlin Sandmeyer

Every hvv switch point is a story in itself - and an invitation to make a point. More than 100 hvv switch points in Hamburg offer a variety of ways to get from A to anywhere. We introduce you to exciting people from Hamburg - on their routes through the city.

Merlin Sandmeyer, Thalia Theatre, The Sandmann, The Discounter, hvv switch, hvv switch station, Hamburg

Most people know him from the supermarket, but not just any supermarket: In the mockumentary series Die Discounter, actor Merlin Sandmeyer, 32, stumbles from one clanger into the next as a shop detective. In real life, however, the Saarland native is climbing the career ladder in leaps and bounds: having already won numerous prizes for his theatre roles, he is currently hailing requests from film and television.

"The role in Die Discounter was a booster," he says in an interview with hvv switch. He is currently shooting a series for ARD. However, he often has to turn down roles because it doesn't fit in terms of time: Since 2018, he has had an engagement at the Thalia Theatre - and that "often bites". On the stage near the Binnenalster, he can currently be seen live in "The Sandman" by E.T.A. Hoffmann and "Three Sisters" by Anton Chekhov, among others.

We meet Merlin far away from the theatre, at hvv switch Punkt Bahnhof Altona. He arrives four minutes late. "Sorry - I usually take an e-scooter when I'm late. But there was no one there...", he says.

Do you often ride it?

Yes, I like e-scooters. Maybe it's because I would like to ride a motorbike - but I don't have a driving licence. With the scooters, you at least get the feeling of it a little bit. But most of the time I'm on the bus. X3 is my line, I always use it to go to rehearsals and performances at the theatre.

You've been part of the Thalia Theatre ensemble since 2018 and have been in Hamburg for five years. How did you arrive in the city?

The start was wild. I lived on the Reeperbahn as an interim tenant, right opposite the Davidwache. My job at the Thalia Theatre started only three days after the end of my engagement in Vienna, I had to move quickly then and couldn't look for long. So I ended up in the middle of the neighbourhood. The flat was nice and quiet, but there was always a lot going on outside. So of course you get to see everything.

For example?

Tourists on drugs, alcohol corpses in the hallway in the morning on the way to work, which you have to climb over first. But I was also right in the middle of the action and quickly found my favourite bar, where I spent a lot of time: the Koralle. And it's still an authentic and historic place. Apart from the Kiez, the Thalia Theatre and the S-Bahn, I didn't see much of Hamburg in my first year. I had to commute to Vienna all the time because I was still performing in plays there. Sometimes I went to Austria and back three times a week. And I really wanted to get to know the city: At that time I really wanted to move to Hamburg, even though I didn't know Hamburg at all.


I studied in Munich, then worked at the Burgtheater in Vienna - all south of the white sausage equator, as they say. I metaphorically needed a bit of fresh air back then. And Hamburg, with its fresh air, is very close to the sea. Or so I thought. Wrongly, as I soon found out.

Did you regret the move?

No! I stayed and enjoy it very much. The manageability. The relaxedness. The people. The positive image or feeling I had back then has totally come true. Unfortunately, my idea of the weather was also correct.

Why did you want to meet here, at Altona station?

I don't know many hvv switch points in Hamburg. But this one I do, quite well in fact. When my parents or parents-in-law come to visit, I pick them up here and take them home with the Miles. And this station is generally a place for me where I often am and have to be: I'm out shooting a lot. I leave here by train and arrive here again.

Do you have a favourite place in Hamburg?

The Altona balcony. There I always really realise that I really live in this city with ships and harbour and Elbe. Sitting on a bench there means peace for me. Sure, Ottensen is not the Reeperbahn, but you still need a break sometimes.

Merlin Sandmeyer, Thalia Theatre, The Sandmann, The Discounter, hvv switch, hvv switch station, Hamburg

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