The Boys from The Bridge: The Story of Attenborough’s Private Army

The Boys from The Bridge: The Story of Attenborough’s Private Army

By Sebastian Abineri

Format: Paperback

(1 customer review)

Publication Date: 28 Jun 2017


Categories: Media and the Arts, Autobiography

ISBN: 9781911320821


In 1975 the 20 year old Actor Sebastian Abineri having recently appeared in a BBC Play for Today portraying a Farm Labourer actually found himself three months later working as a Farm Labourer on a Suffolk farm whilst he waited for his next acting job!

He was in the middle of feeding the cattle when the Farmer told him that his agent was on the telephone.

Sebastian learned that he'd been invited by the renowned Casting Director Miriam Brickman to audition for a newly formed repertory company in the West End to be called the Lyric Theatre Company directed by the legendary Theatre and Film Director Lindsay Anderson.

Sebastian put down his pitchfork and hared down to London to meet him.

He was offered the job and spent nine months with the company where he worked with not only Lindsay Anderson but also Helen Mirren, Joan Plowright and Ben Travers the author of the famous 'farces'.

Miriam Brickman then cast him in the epic War Film “A Bridge Too Far” and he joined “Attenborough's Private Army” (APA) where with 50 other young actors he underwent two weeks of military training under the eagle eye of a former Director of the SAS to represent the gallant band of Paratroopers who heroically held Arnhem Bridge against insurmountable odds during the terrible battle in 1944.

Sebastian recounts in this story the extraordinary happenings which occurred during the making of the Film which included stars like Anthony Hopkins, Sir Laurence Olivier, Sean Connery and many others.

Sebastian also had the privilege of meeting several veterans of Arnhem who gave him little known information about the Battle which meant that it could have been a victory instead of a defeat and ended the War by Christmas 1944.


LISA LaMonica (Guest Review) - 05 Apr, 2024

The Boys From the Bridge chronicles Sebastian Abineri’s early days in theater as a youth, with some 70 plays to his credit during his teens, while also working towards a dream of a long term acting career, in hopes of taking him away from arduous farming work. He has had a long and interesting career in movies and television ever since. For many years, the retelling of tales from the time of filming would have promptings to write a book on the subject which led to writing a memoir in 2018, The Boys From the Bridge. But it wasn’t all danger as he illustrates with story telling of football and food fights, amorous activities, partying and pranks among actors who war hero Colonel Frost described as “amazed that the actors were so similar to actual soldiers.”
Talented as an author as well with interesting metaphor, Sebastian Abineri achieves lively, entertaining, humorous, descriptive writing and with the audio book one can hear the passion along with impersonations peppered with the many accents of colorful characters he encountered in several countries during his filming of this still memorable movie. Highly recommend the book and audio version as well.

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