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(Credit: Studio Ghibli)

Film

RSC to adapt Studio Ghibli film 'My Neighbour Totoro' for the stage

@Russellisation

The Royal Shakespeare Company is looking to expand its stage adaptations, setting its sights on the beloved Studio Ghibli anime My Neighbour Totoro for an upcoming stage show.  

Directed by Phelim McDermott, the adaptation will feature puppets of the magical creatures in the film, created by Basil Twist. Running from October 2022 until January 2023 in a limited 15-week run, fans of the 1988 animation will have to be quick to snap up a ticket for the event. 

Representing the harmony between humans and nature, the story for the original film follows two girls who move to the country with their ill mother where they enjoy adventures with the magical spirits of the forest who live just outside their doorstep. Studio Ghibli’s most iconic tale is so for good reason, illustrating everything that the company strives for, as whilst My Neighbour Totoro is brightly coloured with endearing characters, it is also layered with genuine depth. 

Acting artistic director of The Royal Shakespeare Company, Erica Whyman, said of the new show, “Adapting this deeply loved magical story for the stage is the next chapter in our longstanding commitment to making spectacular and accessible productions that see the world through the eyes of children”. 

Adapted to the stage by Tom Morton-Smith, it is clear that the writer has plenty of love for the original film, stating that the film has a “very wholesome, beautiful world that washes over you”.

Continuing, he adds: “These young girls are discovering nature for the first time, so there are long shots of a snail on a leaf or a fish in a stream or a frog jumping in a puddle”.

Check out the original trailer for the Studio Ghibli classic, below, before the release of the stage show later this year.