Amongst Barbarians

Amongst Barbarians

"Amongst Barbarians" is

* a play (1989) by British playwright Michael Wall first performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester prior to a transfer to the Hampstead Theatre in London ; and

* a British made-for-TV movie (1990) directed by Jane Howell starring David Jason, Anne Carroll, Rowena Cooper, Con O'Neill and Lee Ross.

"Amongst Barbarians" is set far away from Margaret Thatcher's Britain in Penang, Malaysia, a former British colony, where two young Englishmen have been arrested for drug trafficking. As they both face the death penalty, their relatives travel to Penang to come to their rescue. However, they soon find out that there is nothing they can do to save the boys' lives. In the course of their futile attempts at influencing the authorities, their racism becomes more than apparent. The question which is never made explicit is of course who the real barbarians are.

Wall's play is based on a true story.


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