Transfers to the West End March 2025




Executive Producer Joe Hisaishi and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), in collaboration with Nippon TV and Improbable, today announce a 34-week run for Studio Ghibli’s record-breaking My Neighbour Totoro at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London’s West End.

The production** will run from Saturday 08 MarchSunday 02 November 2025, with an opening night on Thursday 20 March. Priority booking opens on Monday 29 April, with public booking from Friday 03 May.

Adapted by Tom Morton-Smith (Oppenheimer) from Hayao Miyazaki’s celebrated 1988 animated feature film, the production is directed by Improbable Co-Founder, Phelim McDermott. Winner of six Olivier Awards and five WhatsOnStage Awards, My Neighbour Totoro broke the Barbican’s Box Office record for most tickets sold in a single day in April 2022, ahead of its global premiere in October 2022. Following both critical and audience acclaim, the production returned to the Barbican Centre for a strictly limited run in Autumn 2023. The production closed at the Barbican Centre in March 2024.

The Olivier Award Winning adapter, Tom 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 honour, and I can’t wait to once again share this show with audiences both new and returning.”

Director, Phelim McDermott said:

“I am constantly delighted by the love that My Neighbour 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 honour to share the joy of this production with thousands more in London’s West End.

“I am grateful to Nippon TV, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the brilliant cast, creatives, and staff who have helped bring this adaptation of Miyazaki’s beloved 1988 film to the stage with such delicacy, beauty, and care. The success of My Neighbour Totoro continues to exceed my own expectations and I am incredibly proud to work on this once-in-a-lifetime theatrical experience.”

The production’s producer from Nippon TV, Kenichi Yoda, who is also a board member of Studio Ghibli, said*

“We continue to treasure this show, which has been led by Mr. Joe Hisaishi. It’s a pleasure that My Neighbour 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,** said:

“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 theatre scene.”

My Neighbour Totoro features production design by Tom Pye, costume design by Kimie Nakano, lighting design by Jessica Hung Han Yun, and movement by You-Ri Yamanaka. Puppetry design and direction is by Basil Twist, created with puppetry associate Mervyn Millar’s Significant Object and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. The production features music from Joe Hisaishi’s iconic score in a new orchestration by Will Stuart, performed live with sound design by Tony Gayle. Video design is by Finn Ross and Andrea Scott. Casting is yet to be announced.

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.

Mr. Suzuki said:

“It would be really wonderful if people thought of Totoro when they think of London.”

Satsuki and Mei’s mother has taken ill. In order to be closer to her while she recovers in a rural convalescent hospital, their father moves the two sisters from their home in a city to the countryside. And though the countryside is beautiful and the people friendly, it’s hard not to be scared when the wind rustles the trees at night. As the sisters explore their new surroundings, young Mei encounters magical creatures and the ancient protector of the forest she calls “Totoro” – and they are to be the girls’ neighbours.

Although Satsuki doesn’t believe her little sister at first, they are soon both swept up in exciting adventures with their new neighbours – transported to a long-forgotten realm of spirits, sprites, and natural wonder.

★★★★★ – Guardian
★★★★★ – Financial Times
★★★★★ – The Stage
★★★★★ – Metro
★★★★★ – Culture Whisper
★★★★★ – The Arts Desk
★★★★★ – Broadway World
★★★★★ –
★★★★★ – All That Dazzles

Joe Hisaishi and Royal Shakespeare Company present
Studio Ghibli’s

A description of my image.

in Collaboration with NIPPON TV and IMPROBABLE
Adapted by Tom Morton-Smith from the feature animation by Hayao Miyazaki

My Neighbour Totoro

My Neighbour Totoro © Studio Ghibli. Logo by Toshio Suzuki.
Concept and Design by Dewynters.
© RSC and Nippon TV