Empty W Theatre Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre Reviewed: September 22 Abortion, suicide, corruption and murder are just some of the issues this production tackles. Written by Alvin Wong Chi-lung and directed by Leung Cho-yiu, W Theatre's Empty depicts a gritty side of modern-day Hong Kong - a city, in the playwright's view, that's devoid of moral values and standards. The two-act musical drama also explores the emptiness of a generation that's consumed by pastimes such as karaoke, shopping, on-line chat and backstabbing. Wong Yuen-kwan (played by Shaw Mei-kwan) is out of love and out of luck. She discovers that her boyfriend is cheating on her when she's pregnant with his child. Despairing and desperate, she goes on a shopping spree to numb her senses and runs into a stranger, Joey (Leung), who agrees to act out her sexual fantasies (a date rape) and satisfy her carnal needs. The man turns out to be both a cad and a cheat. She finally finds a soulmate in Jacob (Chan Chu-hei), a divorce on his way up the career ladder. The rest of the drama basically comprises two parallel storylines: how Yuen-kwan deals with her pregnancy and Joey, and how Jacob eventually gets his promotion (but not without paying a hefty price). W Theatre, which has produced some fine work such as Queer Show and Superman Forever, should be commended for taking a risk to stage something as dark and hard-hitting as Empty. However, there's one serious flaw in its execution: a lack of characterisation. Yuen-kwan and Joey are simply two-dimensional. Leung's direction was patchy, and Wong's script incoherent at times. Such shortcomings were partially compensated by composer Michael Tsang Wai-yin's original score, Wong's no-nonsense lyrics and a live band. As an independent theatre company that receives no government subsidies and relies totally on freelance actors, W Theatre would do better not to rush into production - otherwise it may jeopardise the well-deserved success it has built so far.