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Spirited Away in the West End – meet the show’s puppets

The stage adaptation of the beloved Studio Ghibli classic continues its London Coliseum run until 24 August

Obata no Oniisan (as Aogaeru) in the West End production of Spirited Away
Obata no Oniisan (as Aogaeru) in Spirited Away, © Johan Persson

Recently WhatsOnStage paid a visit to the London Coliseum, where we were taken backstage by Toby Olié (puppetry designer and director) and Daisy Beattie (puppetry co-designer and supervisor) to meet some of the glorious puppets used in the original Japanese production of Spirited Away.

Take an exclusive behind-the-scenes look below:

Presented by TOHO Co Ltd and co-produced by PW Productions in the original Japanese (with English captions), Spirited Away is based on the Oscar-winning animated film by Hayao Miyazaki. It is adapted for the stage by John Caird, co-adapted by Maoko Imai, and features the original score by Joe Hisaishi.

WhatsOnStage’s Sarah Crompton described the show as “captivating” and a “very loving tribute to a deservedly acclaimed film”.

Spirited Away tells the story of Chihiro as she travels to a new home with her family and stumbles into a fantasy world of spirits ruled over by the sorceress Yubaba. When her parents are transformed into pigs, Chihiro must find a way to free them and escape back to the real world.

Check out our video from the show’s opening night at the London Coliseum:

Spirited Away runs through to 24 August 2024, with tickets on sale below.

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Spirited Away

Final performance: 24 August 2024