Spirited Away: Acclaimed Miyazaki Animation Comes to London’s West End

Spirited Away: Acclaimed Miyazaki Animation Comes to London’s West End

The highly acclaimed 2001 animation, Spirited Away, by Hayao Miyazaki, is set to be brought to the London stage.

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The Japanese stage adaptation will make its debut at the London Coliseum, the largest West End theatre, in April 2024, running for a 12-week duration.

Director John Caird expressed his pride and excitement in presenting this magical production to a British audience, immersing them into the captivating world created by Miyazaki.

The Enchanting Story:

Spirited Away follows the journey of a young girl named Chihiro, who accidentally finds herself in a world inhabited by Kami, shinto spirits, with the setting being a mystical bathhouse.

In this enchanting realm, Chihiro embarks on a mission to find her parents, who have been transformed into pigs due to their greed for food that was not rightfully theirs.

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To accomplish her goal, she must convince the bathhouse’s boss, Yubaba, to release them and prove her worth by working in the meantime.

A Worldwide Success:

Originally released as an animated film, Spirited Away received widespread acclaim, earning an Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2003.

The film propelled Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio behind it, to global recognition.

Spirited Away went on to become the second highest-grossing Japanese film worldwide, amassing $395 million and holding that position to this day.

The Stage Adaptation:

In 2022, Spirited Away was successfully adapted into a stage play by the Toho Theatrical Department, under the direction of Canadian director John Caird.

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Caird, renowned for his Olivier and Tony Award-winning productions, brings his expertise to this adaptation, having previously directed Japanese-language plays in Tokyo, such as an adaptation of Twelfth Night.

The London Debut:

The upcoming London production will feature the original cast from Japan, including Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi, both playing the role of Chihiro.

The play will be presented in Japanese with English-language captions to cater to a diverse audience.

The live orchestra will perform Joe Hisaishi’s original music, specially arranged by Brad Haak, adding to the immersive experience.

Anticipation and Production Team:

The actors and production team are eagerly looking forward to bringing the beloved show to London audiences.

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The production boasts a talented team, with set designer Jon Bausor, choreographer Shigehiro Ide, costume designer Sachiko Nakahara, and puppet designer Toby Olié, known for his work on 101 Dalmatians.

Comparisons to My Neighbour Totoro:

Last year, a Royal Shakespeare Company adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbour Totoro received immense popularity, breaking ticket sale records at the Barbican.

With Spirited Away being a darker and more complex tale, it has the potential to answer the demand for a story with added jeopardy and intrigue.

Ticket Information:

Audiences eagerly awaiting Spirited Away can sign up for priority booking to secure their seats for the April 2024 opening at The London Coliseum.

Conclusion:

The stage adaptation of Spirited Away promises to bring the enchanting world of Hayao Miyazaki to life on the London stage. With its captivating storyline and mesmerizing characters, the production is set to become a highlight of London’s theatrical landscape in 2024.

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