‘My Neighbor Totoro’ Transfers to London’s West End

My Neighbor Totoro,” a stage adaptation of Miyazaki Hayao‘s beloved 1988 Studio Ghibli film, is transferring to the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London’s West End in early 2025.

The production is a collaboration between multi-award-winning composer Joe Hisaishi, who executive produces, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), Improbable and Nippon TV. Adapted by Tom Morton-Smith (“Oppenheimer”), it opened at London’s Barbican in 2022 and broke the venue’s box office record for most tickets sold in a single day. It won six Olivier Awards, five What’s on Stage Awards and the Critic’s Circle Awards for Best Design. Variety gave the production a rave review. It returned to the Barbican for a limited run in fall 2023 and closed in March 2024.

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The coming-of-age story follows one summer in the lives of sisters Satsuki and Mei. In order to be closer to their mother while she recovers from an illness in a rural convalescent hospital, their father moves the family to the countryside. Mei encounters magical creatures and the ancient protector of the forest she calls Totoro and the sisters are soon both swept up in adventures.

“My Neighbor Totoro” will run from March 8 through Nov. 2, 2025 at the Gillian Lynne Theatre.

Morton Smith said: “I am delighted that our take on Totoro will make the move into the West End next year. It’s an incredibly special show that has managed to marry beautiful technical design with so much heart and humanity. I am thrilled that even more people will get to experience the magic and wonder that this production conjures. Spending time with these characters and with Miyazaki’s incomparable gentle giant has been both a joy and an honor, and I can’t wait to once again share this show with audiences both new and returning.”

Director Phelim McDermott added: “I am constantly delighted by the love that ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ receives from audiences of all ages, both from those who already cherish the film and those newly introduced to the story of Mei and Satsuki. It is truly an honor to share the joy of this production with thousands more in London’s West End.”

The production’s producer from Nippon TV, Kenichi Yoda, said: “We continue to treasure this show, which has been led by Mr. Joe Hisaishi. It’s a pleasure that ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ has been loved for a long time, and that more people will discover the original film.”

The RSC’s co-artistic directors, Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey, added: “We very recently began our first chapter at the RSC – and have just opened our first production in Stratford-upon-Avon. To see that our inaugural season as co-artistic directors will include the West End transfer of this magical show is an honour. What a delight to see the RSC’s work thriving in Stratford, abroad and as part of the London theater scene.”

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