Ellen ten Dam (55): ‘I’m too old to be a gymnast’

Performer Ellen Ten Dam mixes ‘everything from Rammstein to Kate Busch, Purcell to Rihanna’ as Sun Queen in Baroque. This week’s performances at the De La Mar are sold out, but she’ll continue to perform throughout the new theater season, so you still have a chance to see it, in all its stark beauty.

“How do I tell my mom”

There is also a very intimate moment in the show. A year ago, Ten Damme was diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time. She wrote the song How I Tell My Mother About It, one of the highlights of the show, slipped into Rammstein’s mutter.

MT in hospital

“Because that’s always the hardest thing: that you have to tell your mother something like that,” says Ellen in Hate Parole. “Every year that check, I’m now cleared for another year. MOT, that’s what I say myself in the song. You’re the kind of car that can be repaired until it’s done. I do. I’m calm about that too. Only one thing is certain and that is our mortality.”


She underwent surgery and returned to Dee Parade three weeks later. “I could move, I could just sing. I even performed in a wheelchair because I had knee surgery. Amazing, I could concentrate completely on singing.

Later, when I’m old, I can just sit on a stool and move. But even now I enjoy dancing, walking on my hands. Although it’s also starting to get funny because I’m old enough for gymnasts, they’re usually written after the age of eighteen.”

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