The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) release exclusive new images of Executive Producer Joe Hisaishi together with director Phelim McDermott at the Barbican in London, as well as the new concept trailer for the upcoming global premiere of the stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbour Totoro.
The short film was launched at Japan House London last night, where the RSC celebrated 37 years of Studio Ghibli, which was founded by Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata and Toshio Suzuki on 15 June 1985. The event was attended by guests from Nippon TV, Kenichi Yoda and Hisashi Igarashi, and included a welcome from RSC Acting Artistic Director Erica Whyman as well as an ‘in conversation’ with Director Phelim McDermott, Associate Director Ailin Conant and Lighting Designer Jessica Hung Han Yun hosted by RSC Executive Producer, Griselda Yorke.
Performed on the Barbican’s iconic stage, My Neighbour Totoro will play a 15-week season from Saturday 8 October 2022 to Saturday 21 January 2023 with press night on Tuesday 18 October 2022. The production recently broke the Barbican’s box office record for ticket sales in one day following public booking opening last month.
The celebrated 1988 animated feature film by Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) will be brought to the stage by its original composer Joe Hisaishi in a landmark new adaptation by the RSC (Matilda The Musical) written by playwright Tom Morton-Smith (Oppenheimer) in collaboration with Improbable and Nippon TV.
Directed by Phelim McDermott with production design by Tom Pye, costumes by Kimie Nakano, lighting by Jessica Hung Han Yun, and movement by You-Ri Yamanaka, the production will feature puppetry created by Basil Twist and music from Joe Hisaishi’s iconic score in a new orchestration by Will Stuart, performed live with sound design by Tony Gayle. Associate Director is Ailin Conant. Artwork for the stage adaptation of My Neighbour Totoro includes a hand drawn title by Toshio Suzuki, Producer for Studio Ghibli, who was involved in the planning and production of the original animated film. Casting for the production to be announced soon.
The production is supported by Spanish Luxury House LOEWE, the Headline Sponsor of My Neighbour Totoro, whose connection with Studio Ghibli began in 2021 with the creation of a capsule collection inspired by the original animated film.
This enchanting coming-of-age story explores the magical fantasy world of childhood and the transformative power of imagination, as it follows one extraordinary summer in the lives of sisters Satsuki and Mei.
In order to be closer to their mother while she recovers from an illness in a rural convalescent hospital, their father moves the family to the countryside. As the girls explore their beautiful new surroundings, Mei encounters magical creatures and the ancient protector of the forest she calls Totoro.
Although Satsuki doesn’t believe her little sister at first, they are soon both swept up in exciting adventures with their new neighbours – transported to a long-forgotten realm of spirits, sprites, and natural wonder.