Footprints on the Moon

Maureen Hunter

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 28, 29, 30 May, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13 June 2017

“What’s wrong with me? Something’s got to be awful wrong with me. Why am I never enough for people?”

The European premiere

Joanie loves her home – a small town on the Canadian prairies. But Joanie’s mum left her, her husband left her, and now her teenage daughter Carol-Ann wants to leave too…

If only she could “freeze a bit of time”, so nothing ever changed – like the footprints on the moon. As Joanie battles to keep Carol-Ann from leaving to go and live with her dad in Toronto, she is finally forced to confront why she keeps being abandoned by her loved ones, and the loves and losses that have shaped her life.

A finalist for Canada’s most prestigious literary award – the Governor General’s Award – and winner of the Labatt Award for Best Canadian Play, Footprints on the Moon premiered in Winnipeg in 1988 and has since been produced in New York City, and all over Canada including – amongst many others – Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Saskatoon. It now receives its European premiere at the Finborough Theatre.


Playwright Maureen Hunter is one of Canada’s most accomplished playwrights. Her work has been produced from coast to coast in Canada, as well as in the USA and the UK and by CBC and BBC Radio. She has been short-listed for two Governor General’s Awards, two Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding New Play and the Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre. Her play Transit of Venus became the first Canadian play ever produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company. An opera version of Transit of Venus, for which she wrote the libretto, premiered at Manitoba Opera in 2007. Other plays include Wild Mouth, Atlantis, Vinci, The Queen of Queen Street, Beautiful Lake Winnipeg, and Sarah Ballenden which premiered in April 2017 at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.


Director Anastasia Osei-Kuffour returns to the Finborough Theatre where she was a Resident Assistant Director including assisting Purni Morell on Alpha Beta. Trained as a director through the Young Vic Directors Programme, she is a Creative Associate at the Gate Theatre, and is the Artistic Director of Wrested Veil for which she directed Hosea’s Girl which won a Talawa Studio Firsts Award. Direction includes An Adventure (Bush Theatre), Cell (The Young Vic), Here Comes The Bride (Black Lives Black Words at the Bush Theatre), All The Ways to Say Goodbye (The Young Vic), Dishonour, You Know That I’ll Be Back, and Universally Speaking (Theatre 503) and Pushers (Etcetera Theatre). Assistant Direction includes assisting Justin Audibert on Macbeth and Bijan Sheibani on Romeo and Juliet (National Theatre, Stratford Circus and Schools Tour), Gbolahan Obisesan on the Olivier Award nominated Cuttin’ It – as part of The Young Vic’s Jerwood Assistant Director Programme, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation (The Young Vic, Royal Court Theatre, Birmingham REP, Sheffield Theatres and The Yard Theatre), Ria Parry on Three Generations of Women (Greenwich Theatre and Tour), Lucy Morrison on Plaques and Tangles (Royal Court Theatre), Ellen McDougall on Idomeneus (Gate Theatre) and Henry V (Unicorn Theatre), and – as Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director – Carrie Cracknell on A Doll’s House (The Young Vic).


“A journey of empathy that’s well worth taking.” Shanine Salmon, View from the Cheap Seat

“This play, from Canadian writer Maureen Hunter, may take us back to the 1980s, but its salient commentary on loss and change is pretty-much as relevant as ever.” Peter Brown, Actdrop

“A perfect piece expressing the feeling of life in the prairie towns so far removed from the big cities.” Blanche Marvin, London Theatreviews

“The play deserves a longer run.” Rod Dungate, Reviewsgate

“Twenty-nine years after its premiere in Winnipeg and being nominated for the Governor General Award and later winning the Labatt Award for Best Canadian Play in 1995, Footprints on the Moon has its European premiere. So, you have to ask yourself, is a play written over 30 years ago and set in a remote Canadian prairie town still relevant today? You bet!” George Althaus, London Olios

“It is a story told with sensitivity and charm that is enjoyable to watch.” Keith Mckenna, British Theatre Guide

“It's rather surprising that this well-written, thoughtful play is only just receiving its European premiere, because its enduring themes are still provocatively exacting.” Peter Brown, Actdrop

“A wonderful play exploring loss and loneliness as well as friendship and love.” George Althaus, London Olios

“A distinctive and touching green light drama which plays on the psychology of the audience as much as revealing what lies beneath the characters and the rhythms of late twentieth century prairie life.” Alice Josephs, Traffic Light Theatre Goer

“Enthralling drama, hugely recommended.” Peter Brown, Actdrop

“A consistently watchable production that combines confident believable actors, an effective sound design by Lucinda Mason Brown and imaginative direction from Anastasia Osei-Kuffour.” Keith Mckenna, British Theatre Guide

“A play about love, lost illusions, dreams of somewhere better and the selfishness of people who has lost something and cannot face it happening again.” Rod Dungate, Reviewsgate

“Deceptively gentle, warm hearted play has a savage undertow about small town life on the Canadian Prairies and also the treatment of women in life.” Alice Josephs, Traffic Light Theatre Goer

“An emotional journey centred on women who are warm, determinedly hopeful and generous in their behaviour.” Keith Mckenna, British Theatre Guide

“It’s the Finborough Theatre’s mission to rediscover plays which resonate with a UK audience, and Maureen Hunter’s Footprints on the Moon well deserves its chance.” Shanine Salmon, View from the Cheap Seat

“Maureen Hunter's powerful dialogue and story illustrate the futility of attempting to head-off change or prevent loss.” Peter Brown, Actdrop

“Maureen Hunter’s fine play.” Keith Mckenna, British Theatre Guide

“Maureen Hunter shows an ear for dialogue and subtle plotting which reminds us of Tennessee Williams.” Alice Josephs, Traffic Light Theatre Goer

“A stunningly good, powerful and moving performance in the leading role of Joanie from Anne Adams.” Rod Dungate, Reviewsgate

“Anne Adams as Joanie provides a somewhat understated but totally absorbing and mesmerising portrayal.” Peter Brown, Actdrop

“Anne Adams is particularly impressive as Joanie, giving depth and distinction to every physical gesture of her body and expression of her face. You will want to see much more of this remarkable actor.” Keith Mckenna, British Theatre Guide

“Anne Adams who is terrific.” George Althaus, London Olios

“Movingly charted by Anne Adams.” Rod Dungate, Reviewsgate

“Sally Cheng is totally believable.” George Althaus, London Olios

“An impressive Sally Cheng.” Rod Dungate, Reviewsgate

“Played wonderfully by Samantha Coughlan.” George Althaus, London Olios

“Samantha Coughlan’s Beryl, outspoken friend and carb-bearing neighbour, wins the warmest laughs for a character written with great sympathy.” Shanine Salmon, View from the Cheap Seat

“Conjured up perfectly by Samantha Coughlan.” Rod Dungate, Reviewsgate

“A remarkable cast.” Blanche Marvin, London Theatreviews

“Superbly performed and very moving.” Rod Dungate, Reviewsgate

“A very fine ensemble.” Peter Brown, Actdrop

“Anne Adams’s Joanie, Sally Cheng’s Carol-Ann, Derek Hagen’s Dunc Carr, Samantha Coughlan’s Beryl, Nicholas Goh’s Boone, are so real, expressing feelings, passions, and desperation with such honesty. They move and talk with a reality that is no longer acting but being. Their body language communicates as much as the dialogue.” Blanche Marvin, London Theatreviews

“Fine performances.” Alice Josephs, Traffic Light Theatre Goer

“Sensitively directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour, who captures that soft melancholia so beautifully expressed by Maureen Hunter in the warm summer heat of this intimate prairie town.” Blanche Marvin, London Theatreviews

“Beautifully directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour.” George Althaus, London Olios

“Anastasia Osei-Kuffour's exceptionally-crafted and riveting production.” Peter Brown, Actdrop

“Directed with sensitivity by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour.” Rod Dungate, Reviewsgate

“Director Anastasia Osei-Kuffour deftly paces the action in an intricate, slippery piece with an ebbing and flowing soundscape by Lucinda Mason Brown and delicate lighting by Peter Harrison.” Alice Josephs, Traffic Light Theatre Goer

“The staging configuration provides such an intimate, close-up and near-claustrophobic atmosphere for the poignant proceedings.” Peter Brown, Actdrop

“Peter Harrison’s lights and Lucinda Mason Brown’s sound and music are so imaginatively effective. a warming and insightful play and production, it deserves a full run at the Finborough.” Blanche Marvin, London Theatreviews

“Haunting guitar music from Lucinda Mason Brown.” Peter Brown, Actdrop ★★★★★

“The Finborough has a policy of showcasing Canadian drama and this award winning 1988 play by Maureen Hunter is getting what looks like a long overdue British premier.” Rod Dungate, Reviewsgate ★★★★★

★★★“This is in celebration for Canada’s 150th anniversary.” Blanche Marvin, London Theatreviews

“With only a handful of performances left in this run at the Finborough, it's to be hoped this compelling production gets a transfer to allow much-deserved appreciation by a wider audience.” Peter Brown, Actdrop


“Fresh, lyrically precise…told with charm, subtlety and piercing insight.” The Montreal Gazette on Footprints on the Moon.

“Highly literate…a potent blend of sexy spiritualism and fey eroticism” The Globe and Mail on Atlantis.

“Hunter’s writing is utterly intoxicating.” The Calgary Herald on Vinci.

“It takes place on the Canadian prairies, but there’s nothing flat about Hunter’s exquisitely written and acted play” Now Magazine on Wild Mouth.

“Hunter has created an impressive piece of work here…full of often unruly humanity and marked by a deep and genuine affection and empathy not only for her characters, but for the land they both love and fear.” The Toronto Sun on Wild Mouth.

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 28, 29, 30 May, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13 June 2017

Tickets and Times

Monday 7:30pm
Tuesday 2:00pm
Sunday 7:30pm

2 hours 10 minutes including one interval of fifteen minutes