Studio Ghibli is heading to London with a brand new production that fans won’t want to miss! Today the Royal Shakespeare Company announced plans to perform an original play in collaboration with Studio Ghibli. The pair bring My Neighbor Totoro on stage, and of course fans are already desperate to know when tickets will go on sale.
According to the theater’s announcement, the play will debut on October 8 in London and run for 15 weeks until the end of January 2023. Tom Morton-Smith is adapting My Neighbor Totoro for the stage while Phelim McDermott oversees production. My Neighbor Totoro will be done mainly with puppets similar to the current Japan Taken away as if by magic play. And of course, Hisaishi’s music will continue throughout production.
GREAT NEWS ! There’s a brand new live-action stage adaptation of My Neighbor Totoro from @theRSC and @unlikely1 come to London @BarbicanCentre in October – executive produced by Joe Hisaishi! https://t.co/nKKHGVdrfs pic.twitter.com/bohoGOb47N
— Ghibliotheque – A podcast about Studio Ghibli (@ghibliotheque) April 26, 2022
McDermott spoke with Deadline recently on the project, and that’s where the director clarified a few questions. On the one hand, he said that the two protagonists of the story would probably be played by adult actors rather than young girls. Indeed, McDermott’s production uses actors who have experience multitasking on stage. “We have to use performers who can do a lot of things… puppets, physical stuff, so there are choices to be made,” he shared.
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The director also said that this adaptation would not be a musical in the strict sense. Hisaishi’s music will be an integral part of the overall production, but fans shouldn’t expect Totoro to sing any songs. McDermott also confirmed rehearsals for My Neighbor Totoro will begin in July, so fans can look forward to learning more about its cast as summer approaches.
What do you think of this special London production? would you like to see My Neighbor Totoro live on stage? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.