"Baaba's Footsteps"

by Susan Momoko Hingley
Directed by Ragga Dahl Johansen
Co-Produced by Filip Krenus (Honey-tongued Theatre Productions)

VAULT Festival 2020

Featured on the Online Fringe Festival.

British Theatre Guide - ... a charming and poignant play."

Off West End.com  - "Susan Hingley’s new play balances the generations and timelines smoothly. Although circumstances between the generations were different the feelings of loss, disappointment and not fitting in are shared across the timeline by both generations.  Hingley's writing is superb..."

A View from the Upper Circle -"Baaba’s Footsteps is a small play with big themes. It is an understated comment on racism, identify and feminism."

The Play's the Thing -“Baaba’s Footsteps ... is a bold and often brilliant interrogation of the cycle of expectation and disappointment that is perpetuated by our insistence on engaging with false ideas of people.”


Tokyo 2020: Yu, 39, career-driven but recently dumped by her long term job, keeps beating her head against societal pressures to get married. Sick of the patriarchy and feeling powerless, she struggles to fit in her own country. Can the answer to her self-doubt lie in following her great-grandmother Takako’s footsteps and travelling to San Francisco? Armed with an airplane ticket and Takako’s diary, Yu sets out to find herself.

San Francisco 1920: Takako, 16, stares at the numerous men waiting on the dock. Armed with only a photo and a marriage certificate, she tries to recognise her new husband who she has never met, in a land she has never been. Facing down hostility and cultural differences,Takako, one of the many Japanese Picture Brides of the early 20th century, bravely sets out to create a home for herself in America. Lonely in a land that both welcomes and resents her, she finds solace in keeping a diary where she writes about her struggle. Can her diary help light the way for a great-granddaughter who she will never meet?

BAABA’S FOOTSTEPS straddles time and place, but remains a story about love and belonging. Touching, infuriating and downright funny, Yu and Takako’s stories intertwine as two generations of women struggle to find their way in societies that do not accept them. From, Japanese-American internment camps during WW2 to sexist work policies of 2020, we vortex through three eras by the hands of two women, struggling to find their places in lives set up for them by others.

Sound Design: Guy Connelly

Set and Costume design: Hannah Kuchar

Lighting design: Nao Nagai

Stage Management: Natalie Wong


Tomoko Komura

Eyre Kurasawa

Johnny Ong

Tammie Rhee

Supported by Arts Council England.

Official selection of the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2020.

Using Format