Riding the Midnight Express with Billy Hayes



Billy Hayes was arrested at the Istanbul airport in October 1970 with two kilos of hashish taped to his body. The Turkish High Court sentenced hime to life in prison. A sympathetic judge reduced it to 30 years.

In October 1975, Billy made a brazen escape from Imrali Island Prison by rowing 17 miles across the Sea of Marmara in a raging storm.

In 1976, Billy wrote Midnight Express, chronicling his time in prison and his daring escape. The best-selling book was published in 18 languages and in 1978, made into the iconic OSCAR®-winning motion picture. Billy Hayes became a mythical figure in American culture – his name etched in media lore.

After captivating audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, now in a riveting live performance, Billy recounts his story for the first time on the New York stage.

You’ll never forget this cautionary, yet uplifting tale.

St. Luke's Theatre

308 West 46th Street

(between Eighth and Ninth Avenues)

New York, NY 10036

Visit website

About this organization

St. Luke's Theatre

St. Luke's Theatre is a 174 seat Off-Broadway theater in midtown Manhattan that has housed many long-running hits (Late Nite Cathechism, Tony & Tina's Wedding) and presents shows featuring major Broadway, film and TV talents.

  • More events at St. Luke's Theatre

  • Sistas: The Musical

    Tue, Oct 25, 2011 - Sun, Sep 07, 2014

    Sistas: The Musical is an uplifting musical about an African-American family that segues from the days of Jim ...
  • More events at St. Luke's Theatre

  • Miracle on South Division Street


    From the producer of the acclaimed off-Broadway musical The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith ...