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Razor-sharp drama Approaching Empty comes to Hornchurch's Queen's Theatre

PUBLISHED: 10:35 11 March 2019

L-R: Nicholas Prasad, Rina Fatania and Kammy Darweish in Approaching Empty which is coming to the Queen's Theatre: Helen Murray

L-R: Nicholas Prasad, Rina Fatania and Kammy Darweish in Approaching Empty which is coming to the Queen's Theatre: Helen Murray

© Copyright Helen Murray 2019

A compelling drama about two life-long friends and a complicated business deal is coming to Hornchurch.

L-R: Karan Gill, Kammy Darweish and Nicholas Khan in Approaching Empty which is coming to the Queen's Theatre: Helen MurrayL-R: Karan Gill, Kammy Darweish and Nicholas Khan in Approaching Empty which is coming to the Queen's Theatre: Helen Murray

Ishy Din’s new play Approaching Empty will be showing at the Queen’s Theatre as part of a national UK tour.

In a scruffy minicab office, Mansha decides it’s time to create his own destiny and offers to buy a business from his lifelong friend Raf.

As the realities of the state of the business slowly unravel, these two best friends must confront the difficulties of going into business with those closest to them.

Set in north east England, the play lays bare the everyday struggles of a post-industrial age where manual labour is no longer plentiful.

Karan Gill and Nicholas Khan in Approaching Empty at the Queen's Theatre. Photo: Helen MurrayKaran Gill and Nicholas Khan in Approaching Empty at the Queen's Theatre. Photo: Helen Murray

The cast includes Kammy Darweish, Karan Gill, Nicholas Khan, Rina Fatania, Nicholas Prasad and Maanuv Thiara.

Award-winning playwright Ishy wrote Approaching Empty as part of a trilogy plays that looks at the post-industrial northern towns and Asian communities.

He said: “I had the title, Approaching Empty, because when I was trying to keep the wolves from the door I did a bit of cabbing.

“The operator would ask us, ‘Where are you?’ and, if you were nearly finished, you would say ‘I’m approaching empty’.

“I thought it was a great phrase.”

The production is produced by Kiln Theatre, Tamasha and Live Theatre, with direction from Pooja Ghai.

Speaking about the importance of bringing working class and Asian communities into the theatre, Ishy added: “I think there’s a great will now to open up the types of stories being told and the different voices being heard. But I think we need to demystify theatre.

“If people don’t come to a theatre, it’s theatre’s obligation to go to the people.

“We need to get out more into social clubs, into community centres, into churches, and say ‘We tell stories, come and tell us yours’ and within that we will find incredible writers and directors.”

Approaching Empty plays at the Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane from April 2 to 6.

A sign language interpreted performance will take place on Wednesday, April 3 at 7.30pm.

Visit queens-theatre.co.uk or call 01708 443333 for tickets.

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