The story involves the liaison between a Harlem woman, who is a bit older, and plumper, than she would like others to notice, and the younger man she has picked up in the park. It is her birthday, and they have come to her apartment for, she hopes, a night of unbridled passion. But her guest proves to be more than she has bargained for; a self-styled orator and revolutionary "genius," whose mission is to "save" the black race. At first, she tries to humor him into a more relaxed and receptive mood, but gradually she becomes aware that her visitor is not only very intense but perhaps slightly unbalanced as well. And, despite her unsatisfied needs, she determines to send him on his way—a decision which brings on a telling, revealing exchange and for the lady, a sense of self-respect she thought she had long since lost.
Originally presented as part of a double bill by New York's prestigious Negro Ensemble Company, this funny, touching and unstintingly honest play explores the unexpected differences which crop up between a fun-loving Harlem matron and the young man she has invited home with her. "…his comic tone, his ability to weave humor out of a character's details, keeps the audience laughing along." —Village Voice. "Their timing is first-rate as they swiftly trade Wadud's streetwise, often funny dialogue." —NY Daily News. "COMPANIONS OF THE FIRE is most successful. It evokes the loneliness, self-doubt and despair of contemporary urban life." —NY Daily World.