29 September 2023
My Neighbour Totoro breaks Barbican box office record
The RSC’s highly anticipated stage adaptation debuts in London this autumn
The RSC’s previously announced world premiere production of My Neighbhour Totoro has broken the Barbican’s box office record.
Following yesterday’s opening of public booking, the hotly anticipated stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s animated film smashed the record for ticket sales in one day, previously held by the 2015 Benedict Cumberbatch-led production of Hamlet.
Head of theatre and dance at the Barbican, Toni Racklin, commented: “We’re absolutely blown away by the response from the public to tickets going on general sale for the RSC’s stage adaptation of My Neighbour Totoro yesterday. We knew that this ambitious international collaboration would be an exciting prospect, and for so many tickets to be sold in one day is truly tremendous. We can’t wait to present this stunning show in our theatre this autumn to audiences so obviously keen to be part of the Studio Ghibli phenomenon.”
The 1988 animated feature, penned by Hayao Miyazaki, follows the lives of sisters Satsuki and Mei as they move to the countryside and encounter magical creatures. It was first shown on the big screen in the UK in 2001, at the Barbican Cinema.
The stage production will blend music, puppetry and storytelling to bring Miyazaki’s tale to life, with Tom Morton-Smith (Oppenheimer) adapting the book.
Joe Hisaishi’s beloved score will be performed live in the show, which also has new orchestrations by Will Stuart.
Watch a video explaining more about the show below:
Directed by Phelim McDermott with production design by Tom Pye, costumes by Kimie Nakano, lighting by Jessica Hung Han Yun, and movement by You-Ri Yamanaka, the production will feature puppetry created by Basil Twist with sound design by Tony Gayle. The associate director is Ailin Conant.
Artwork for the stage adaptation of My Neighbour Totoro includes a hand drawn title by Toshio Suzuki, producer for Studio Ghibli, who was involved in the planning and production of the original animated film. Casting for the production to be announced soon.
Created in collaboration with Improbable and Nippon TV, My Neighbour Totoro will debut on 8 October 2022, with an official opening night on 18 October. Tickets for performances through to 23 January 2023 are available below.