My Neighbor Totoro Is Getting A Stage Adaptation

Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro hits the Barbican stage in London this fall.

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My Neighbor Totoro, one of the most beloved anime films from Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, is heading to the stage at London’s the Barbican this October.

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The stage adaptation has pulled in greats from all parts of the entertainment world; the Royal Shakespeare Company director Phelim McDermott and Improbable, the globally renowned improv acting group he co-founded, will work alongside famed Japanese composer (and longtime Miyazaki collaborator) Joe Hisaishi and playwright Tom Morton-Smith.

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Set in rural Japan in the ‘50s, My Neighbor Totoro is a coming-of-age story following Satsuki and Mei, two sisters who move closer to the hospital where their mother is recovering from an illness. Their summer turns magical when they encounter a forest filled with loving spirits, including the one and only Totoro, along with an otherworldly catbus.

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On stage, Satsuki and Mei’s magical woodland adventure will include puppetry (a must, given the film’s ethereal nature) and original songs from the movie. The stage adaptation also comes with a bonus: unheard orchestral pieces that never made the original cut.

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“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,” said the RSC in a statement

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The stage adaptation of My Neighbor Totoro follows in the footsteps of Spirited Away, which was exclusive to Japan, save for a special live-streaming event coming to HBO in July.

My Neighbor Totoro will have a strict 15-week run at the Barbican from October 8, 2022 to January 21, 2023. Tickets are available now at

And if you still need more of My Neighbor Totoro, it’s your lucky day: Studio Ghibli is set to open a theme park in Japan later this year.

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