A social comedy set in the former British colony of Penang, Malaysia, Amongst Barbarians follows two young Englishmen who are arrested for smuggling heroin and face the death penalty. In an attempt to rescue them, their relatives travel to Penang, their fares paid by the newspaper to which they have sold their story. As their efforts seem to be futile, English-folk abroad reveal their ignorance and prejudice.

Based on a true story, Amongst Barbarians was first performed at the Royal Exchange Manchester before tranferring to Hampstead theatre in April 1989, with a cast including Kathy Burke, who returns to the venue to direct this rehearsed reading.

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