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A Word on Approaching Empty from the Writer Ishy Din

I’m delighted that Approaching Empty is coming to Live Theatre in my native North East.

Approaching Empty is about middle-aged Asian men that came to England in their early teens and have spent a majority of their lives here, yet have a clear idea of what they left behind. They end up working together one becoming the boss of the other. The state of the society they live in is the result of decisions that were made in the 80s and that change of policy and trickle-down economics, which, in my opinion, hasn’t worked out.

It’s important that we really investigate and interrogate what’s going on today by examining what the cause of the problems were. I thought that was really important to do. The themes of friendship, family and community are all subjects that are not exclusive to particular people and therefore instantly relatable. These are topics that we all deal with on regular basis and are fertile ground for a dramatist to explore.

My personal litmus test for my plays is would it work if I set it in another community, a different location, a different world. In Approaching Empty it is Raf and Mansha in a taxi cab office in Middlesbrough, but would this play work if it was Harry and Jack in a back street garage in Elswick or Sue and Margaret in a greasy spoon café in Byker... or any other two friends in one of our post-industrial northern towns... I think it would.

I hope that you will come to see it at Live Theatre this February.

Ishy Din

Writer, Approaching Empty and Trustee, Live Theatre

  • Arts Council England
  • Community Foundation
  • European Regional Development Fund


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