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My Neighbour Totoro on stage at the Barbican – in photos

The Studio Ghibli film heads to London

Ami Okumura Jones, Mei Mac
© RSC and Nippon TV, photo by Manuel Harlan

Production images have been released for My Neighbour Totoro's stage premiere.

The seminal 1988 Studio Ghibli film by Hayao Miyazaki follows two sisters, Satsuki and Mei, who encounter a vibrant world of wood spirits while waiting for their father to finish work and their mother to return from hospital.

The stage version will blend music, puppetry and storytelling to bring Miyazaki's tale to life, with Tom Morton-Smith (Oppenheimer) adapting the book. It is currently in previews with dates to Saturday 21 January 2023. A press night will take place on Tuesday 18 October 2022.

The company is made up of Haruka Abe (Yasuko/ puppeteer), Li-Leng Au (puppeteer), Boaz Chad (puppeteer), Nino Furuhata (Kanta/ puppeteer), Andrew Futaishi (puppeteer), Zachary Hing (puppeteer), Susan Momoko Hingley (Miss Hara/ puppeteer), Yojiro Ichikawa (puppeteer), Arina Ii (puppeteer), Haruka Kuroda (Nurse Emiko/ puppeteer), Marian Lee (puppeteer), Matthew Leonhart (puppeteer), Mei Mac (Mei), Aki Nakagawa (puppeteer), Kanako Nakano (Tsukiko/ puppeteer), Ami Okumura Jones (Satsuki), Michael Phong Le (Hiroshi/ puppeteer), Tobi Poster-Su (puppeteer), Si Rawlinson (puppeteer), Dai Tabuchi (Tatsuo/ puppeteer), Jacqueline Tate (Granny/ puppeteer) and Shaofan Wilson (puppeteer).

As you can see from the photos, you might have to wait a little while before seeing some of the exciting puppetry on offer!

Directed by Phelim McDermott, the show has production design by Tom Pye, costumes by Kimie Nakano, lighting by Jessica Hung Han Yun, sound by Tony Gayle, movement by You-Ri Yamanaka, dramaturgy by Pippa Hil, associate lighting programming by Tamykha Patterson and associate set design by Isobel Nicolson,

Joe Hisaishi's score will be performed live in the show, with new orchestrations by Will Stuart, musical supervision by Bruce O'Neil, sound design by Tony Gayle, creative sound design by music associate Nicola T Chang and associate sound design by Steven Atkinson.

The production will feature puppetry created by Basil Twist while the associate director is Ailin Conant and puppetry associate is Mervyn Millar, with Julie Atlas Muz as puppetry assistant and Andrea Scott as associate video designer.

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