Based on the Japanese animated fantasy movie by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, a stage adaptation of My Neighbor Totoro will open in London's West End at The Barbican theatre for a 15-week engagement October 8-January 21, 2023. The production will be presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company and executive producer Joe Hisaishi.
Miyazaki also directed and wrote Spirited Away which was recently adapted for the stage and is currently embarking on an international tour. My Neighbour Totoro will include music from composer Hisaishi and will be written by Tom Morton-Smith.
The coming-of-age adventure story takes place in a fantasy world driven by childhood and imagination, and follows sisters Satsuki and Mei who move to the countryside with their father to be closer to their ill mother. Mei explores the new area, meeting magical creature and the ancient protector Totoro. Tickets go on sale May 10.
"In Japan, many people are passionate about theatre and musicals, but there are no original Japanese shows or musicals performed in the world," says Hisaishi. "Totoro is a Japanese work famous throughout the world, and so this stage adaptation could have the potential to reach global audiences. That’s what I thought, and I told Mr Miyazaki 'I want to see such a show' and he said 'yes, only if you are going to do it.'"
The production is directed by Phelim McDermott with production design by Tom Pye, costumes by Kimie Nakano, lighting by Jessica Hung Han Yun, movement by You-Ri Yamanaka, puppetry by Basil Twist, music by Hisaishi, orchestration by Will Stuart, and sound design by Tony Gayle.
For more information, visit RSC.com.