The play portrays the tension between three people (two black - one white) trying to eke out a living.
The play takes place near Port Elizabeth. Daan (a resident in a nearby township where malnutrition and unemployment are rife) is walking to work at an apartheid whites-only resort where he works as a gardener. He encounters another unemployed black man - Melton - who is desperately looking for work. Daan is worried that Melton's presence will draw attention to him which is a problem as his passbook is no longer valid.
The pair struggle and argue and the appearance of a white man - Paulus (a snake catcher) - acts as a catalyst.
Daan realises that the apartheid system is often responsible for black-on-black violence. The only way to fight this is solidarity and compassion towards each other.
In 1980, it won the Berlin Silver Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Fugard's insights still ring true; Few South-African playwrights are known to the public, and plays are normally sold on the strength of the lead cast members. / Athol Fugard is an exception to this rule and one could argue that his name has become a theatre brand. To market Coming Home / as his new play would be spot on, reckons Steyn du Toit.(Life)
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