The first ever stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s acclaimed movie My Neighbor Totoro will be performed by Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company for a limited period of 15 weeks at the Barbican Theatre from Oct 8, 2022 until Jan 21, 2023.
“Adapting this deeply loved magical story for the stage is the next chapter in our longstanding commitment to making spectacular and accessible productions that see the world through the eyes of children,” Erica Whyman, the RSC’s acting artistic director, said.
The stage project was greenlighted by director Hayao Miyazaki, after he was approached by Joe Hisaishi, who composed the music for My Neighbor Totoro. Hisaishi is also serving as the executive producer of the adaptation.
The stage play is being directed by Phelim McDermott, who has been involved in numerous operas, including the Laurence Olivier Award-winning “Akhnaten.” Tom Morton Smith, who wrote the script for “Oppenheimer,” is in charge of adapting the movie for the stage.
The adaptation will feature music composed by Hisaishi.
“If there is a true universality to this work – and I believe there is – then even if it is performed in a different language by people who grew up in completely different cultures, I am sure it will be understood by people all over the world,” Hisaishi commented on the stage adaptation.
My Neighbor Totoro is a 1988 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli for Tokuma Shoten. The film tells the story of a professor’s two young daughters (Satsuki and Mei) and their interactions with friendly wood spirits in postwar rural Japan.
The film and its titular character have become cultural icons and made multiple cameo appearances in a number of Studio Ghibli films and video games. Totoro also serves as the mascot for the studio and is recognized as one of the most popular characters in Japanese animation.
Source: Comic Natalie