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 and featured David Jason's first straight acting role on TV.