CULTURE / THEATRE
For a time Billy Hayes became the most hated man in
and the Turkish Diaspora.
His autobiographical novel Midnight Express charted his time in Turkish prisons
following his conviction for drug smuggling. However the Oscar-winning movie of
the same name had numerous key departures, making the story far darker and
deeply anti-Turkish. Turkey
Riding the Midnight Express is Billy Hayes’ attempt to put the record straight. This captivating one-man show starts with how he came to be in
, falling in love with the city and
its people. In October 1970, he was
arrested at Istanbul
airport following the discovery of two kilos of hashish taped to his body. The
Turkish High Court sentenced him to life in prison. In 1975 he escaped from
Imrali Island Prison by rowing 17 miles across the open sea in a raging storm. Istanbul
It’s an incredible story told by a great narrator, and it’s a show every Turk needs to see to understand that Midnight Express was never intended to be anti-Turkish. Rather this is a candid and often emotional human journey of youthful adventure gone wrong, where bravado turns into a harrowing battle to survive and escape. Its re-telling is as cathartic for us Turks as it is for Billy Hayes.
If you can’t make tonight’s final show at the Soho Theatre in central
, look out for details for a new run at
the Edinburgh Festival over the summer. London
Final show: Sunday 13 April 2014
Venue address: downstairs at Soho Theatre,
21 Dean Street, London
Tickets: £20 (£17.50 concessions).
Start time: 7.30pm (show runs approx 70 minutes).
For tickets & info: Riding the Midnight Express, Soho Theatre