El Sid (1988)

Mile End Road
3 Jun - 9 Jul 1988
El Sid flyer (1) El Sid flyer (1)

Twenty five years ago on the 8th of August a train was hi-jacked, the driver and co-driver were attacked and hand-cuffed, the engine and first two carriages were uncoupled and driven to Brodego Bridge. 120 Mailbags containing over 1,000,000 in old notes were removed from the registered mail carriage. But few of the thieves managed to spend any of their cut. On the 26th March 1964 after a 48 day trial, 11 of the Great Train Robbers were sentenced to a total of 302 years imprisonment. End of story? Or the beginning?

Sunny Spain 1988. Sid’s past is catching up with him. So’s his wife. So’s the booze. He’s still tough; but is he still tough enough…?

Chris Bond, author of Sweeney Todd  and director of Blood Brothers has joined forces with David Watts, Andrew Birtles and David Barry to write El Sid: the first known attempt to cross a hard edged thriller with a full blooded musical. The result of this violent, sexy and melodic collision could be seen spattered across the stage of the Half Moon theatre.

You can access the script of this play via the British Library’s MPS Modern Playscripts Collection.

Programme and Marketing

Cast List

  • Carl Chase Tel
  • Nicky Croydon Sharon
  • Yvonne Edgell Jan
  • Bernard Gallagher Holloway
  • Vicky Licorish Tracey

Creative Team

  • Chris Bond Director
  • Ellen Cairns Designer
  • Jimmy Simmons Lighting Designer
  • Tim Foster Sound Designer
  • Michael Dixon Musical Director


Chris Bond was Artistic Director of Half Moon Theatre on the Mile End Road from 1985-88. He talks about El Sid, a gangster musical about the great train robbers, which was an unexpected box office flop. Interviewed by Rosie Vincent.


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