My Neighbour Totoro Returning To London’s Barbican Theatre

Published Thu, 30 March 2023

Studio Ghibli's My Neighbour Totoro will return to London for an extended run in autumn 2023.

The award-winning show, which is a collaboration between the Royal Shakespeare Company, Nippon TV and Improbable, will run at the Barbican Theatre from Tuesday 21 November to Saturday 23 March 2024.

The production premiered in October 2022 at Barbican and broke the box office record for most tickets sold in one day in April 2022.

Based on Hayao Miyazaki’s 1988 Studio Ghibli animated feature film, the production tells the coming-of-age story of two sisters, Satsuki and Mei, as they encounter ancient forest spirits and explore the fantasy world of childhood and the transformative power of imagination.

The play was adapted by Tom Morton-Smith (Oppenheimer), directed by Phelim McDermott (Improbable) and features live performance of Joe Hisaishi's legendary music score in a new orchestration by Will Stuart. Hisaishi is also the executive producer of the show.

Sound design is done by Tony Gayle, the puppetry design and direction by Basil Twist, and video design by Finn Ross and Andrea Scott. Puppets are created with puppetry associate Mervyn Millar's Significant Object and the Jim Henson Creature Shop.

My Neighbour Totoro is currently nominated for 9 Olivier awards, including the categories for Best Entertainment, Best Actress, and Best Director.

The Telegraph’s reviewer Dominic Cavendish said:

"A vital power surge of Anglo-Japanese creative electricity"

"It’s a pleasure to report that what fans loved about Hayao Miyazaki's film has been beautifully served in this stage version"

"You have to go back to the mega-musical Matilda to find a family friendly RSC project around which so much excitement buzzes and upon which so much hope is pinned"