Footprints on the Moon by Maureen Hunter, Finborough Theatre, 4 June 2017

Janie and I have been meaning to try the Finborough Theatre for ages. Eventually we got round to booking a couple of productions this June – Footprints on the Moon being the first of them.

What a friendly place.

We went on a Sunday evening for this one and it was lovely to have a drink in a quiet local pub before strolling upstairs to take our seats in the theatre. Perhaps when we go on a Friday or Saturday night, the pub will heave a bit like the The Bridge beneath The Canal Cafe Theatre or The Prince Albert beneath The Gate Theatre.

But I digress.

Footprints On the Moon is set in a remote town in the Canadian prairies, the town being loosely based on Indian Head, Saskatchewan, from whence the playwright hails.

Being a tiny theatre club operating on a minuscule budget, naturally the Finborough has an excellent on-line resource with information about the production and quotes from reviews – click here. It simply wouldn’t be possible for a big beast like The National theatre to do this, would it?

But I digress again.

Footprints On the Moon is a very well-written chamber play centring around a feisty female character, Joanie, who has rich thoughts but is trapped in her small town world. We learn at the end of the play that she has never been beyond her immediate prairie environment, not by train, not by plane. She doesn’t want her daughter to move to Toronto, where Joanie’s estranged husband now lives.

It was written and is set in the 1980s, so there are no cell phones or internet connections either. Janie and I discussed afterwards whether that particular type of parochialism has gone for ever in the internet age.

Anne Adams as Joanie was excellent, as was Derek Hagen as the love interest and Samantha Coughlan as Joanie’s loyal friend. Sally Cheng did a decent job as the sultry teenage daughter, although looked a little too senior to be quite such an immature broody teen.

This is a claustrophobic (in a good way) chamber play – we never leave Joanie’s stoop/dining room – such plays work especially well in small theatres like the Finborough.  The second half of the play worked better than the first half for me, although I enjoyed the whole thing – Janie if anything preferred the first half.

We were both quite tired on Sunday evening yet came away delighted with our evening of theatre and looking forward to our next visit.

We shall be signing up as friends of the place next time we go.

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