The theatre piece, “My Neighbour Totoro,” opened on October 8 at the Barbican Theatre in London, UK. Pictures from the stage of the “most ticket-selling show in West End” have been released.
“My Neighbour Totoro” is a 1988 Studio Ghibli film directed by Miyazaki Hayao. The film depicts the sisters Satsuki and Mei, who have moved to the suburbs to live closer to their mother, who is in the hospital for treatment, and their interaction with Totoro, a mysterious creature they encounter in the forest.
The stage adaptation came into reality when the composer Hisaishi Joe, who also composed the music for the film, proposed the project to Director Miyazaki, who readily agreed. Under Hisaishi’s direction as the executive producer, the stage was co-produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC,) a prestigious British theater company, and Nippon Television Network Corporation.
30,000 tickets were sold on May 17, which was the first day of sales, surpassing the number for “Hamlet (2015)” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and breaking the Barbican Theatre’s first day sales record. Since then, tickets have been hard to come by, and according to “THE TIMES” dated October 9, it has become “the most ticket-selling show in West End.”
“My Neighbour Totoro” has won the hearts of audiences with its music composed by Hisaishi Joe, the worldview that respects the original story, and the RSC’s unique theatrical skills, and has been greeted with thunderous applause and standing ovations every day. Expectations are high for the further success of this piece which is currently attracting the most attention in London, such as being featured on BBC’s national news.
“My Neighbour Totoro” will be performed at the Barbican Theatre in London, UK, until January 21, 2023.
© Studio Ghibli