About My Neighbour Totoro

Gillian Lynne Theatre, London
8 March 2025 - 2 November 2025

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Executive Producer Joe Hisaishi present the spectacular stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbour Totoro live on stage in London’s West End.

Following two sold-out runs at the Barbican Theatre in London, My Neighbour Totoro is coming to the West End’s Gillian Lynne Theatre for 34 weeks only.

My Neighbour Totoro won 6 Olivier Awards at the 2023 awards, including the Best Entertainment or Comedy Play award.

The celebrated 1988 animated feature film by Hayao Miyazaki has been brought to the stage by its original composer Joe Hisaishi in a landmark new adaptation by the RSC (Matilda The Musical), written by Olivier Award winner Tom Morton-Smith (Oppenheimer).

This enchanting coming-of-age story explores the magical fantasy world of childhood and the transformative power of imagination, as it follows one extraordinary summer in the lives of sisters Satsuki and Mei.

My Neighbour Totoro is playing at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London from 8 March to 2 November 2025.


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Show Information

Performance dates
8 March 2025 - 2 November 2025
Age restrictions
6+ Children under the age of 4 will not be admitted into the theatre. All persons aged 16 or under must be accompanied by an adult and may not sit on their own within the auditorium. All persons entering the theatre, regardless of age, must have a valid ticket.
Running time
2 hours 40 minutes (including interval)
Performance days
Evenings: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Matinees: Thursday, Saturday, Sunday

Performance information is for guidance only. Check booking calendar for details.

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What's the story of My Neighbour Totoro?

This enchanting coming-of-age story explores the magical fantasy world of childhood and the transformative power of imagination, as it follows one extraordinary summer in the lives of sisters Satsuki and Mei.

In order to be closer to their mother while she recovers from an illness in a rural convalescent hospital, their father moves the family to the countryside. As the girls explore their beautiful new surroundings, Mei encounters magical creatures and the ancient protector of the forest she calls Totoro. 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.

Who is in the cast of My Neighbour Totoro?

Casting for the Gillian Lynne Theatre to be announced .

2024 Barbican casting included:

Mei Mac as Mei Kusakabe, Ami Okumura Jones as older sister Satsuki, Dai Tabuchi as the father Tatsuo, and Jacqueline Tate as Granny. The Kazego Puppetry ensemble are: Boaz Chad, Jasmine Chiu, Andrew Futaishi (Hiroshi), Matthew Leonhart, Arina Ii (Miss Hara), Yojiro Ichikawa, Si Rawlinson, Mark Takeshi Ota and Shaofan Wilson. Also in the cast are Jessie Baek, Jasmine Bayes, Ka Long Kelvin Chan (Kanta), Elizabeth Chu, Anna Kato, Heather Lai, Amanda Maud (Nurse Emiko), Yuki Nitta, Bright Ong, Emily Piggford (Yasuko), Daniel Phung, Gun Suen and Naomi Yang (Tsukiko).

Cast in alphabetical order: Kazego – Jessie Baek; Off-stage Swing Kazego – Jasmine Bayes; Off-stage Swing Kazego – Boaz Chad; Kazego – Jasmine Chiu; Kazego – Elizabeth Chu; Kazego – Yojiro Ichikawa; Miss Hara/Kazego – Arina Ii; Kazego – Anna Kato; Off-stage Swing Kazego – Heather Lai; Kazego – Matthew Leonhart; Kanta/Kazego – Ka Long Kelvin Chan; Mei – Mei Mac; Nurse Emiko/Kazego – Amanda Maud; Singer – Ai Ninomiya; Kazego – Yuki Nitta; Satsuki – Ami Okumura Jones; Kazego – Bright Ong; Kazego – Mark Takeshi Ota; Off-stage Swing Kazego – Daniel Phung; Yasuko/Kazego – Emily Piggford; Kazego – Si Rawlinson; Kazego – Gun Suen; Tatsuo – Dai Tabuchi; Granny Ogaki/Kazego – Jacqueline Tate; Kazego – Shaofan Wilson; Tsukiko/Kazego – Naomi Yang.

Who are the creative team of My Neighbour Totoro?

Adapted for the stage by Tom Morton-Smith, My Neighbour Totoro is directed by Improbable’s Phelim McDermott with 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. Associate Director is Ailin Conant.


Reviews

★★★★★ "It’s unadulterated joy: a huge, healing hug of a show" - The Stage
★★★★★ "Astonishing puppetry, magical music and huge emotional impact" - The Guardian
★★★★★ "Magical staging of a much-loved film" - Financial Times
★★★★ "The RSC’s new blockbuster" - TimeOut
★★★★ "Spectacular" - The Telegraph
★★★★ "As pure spectacle, the results are overpowering" - The Times

Read more reviews


Important Notes

Age advice:

6+ Children under the age of 4 will not be admitted into the theatre. All persons aged 16 or under must be accompanied by an adult and may not sit on their own within the auditorium. All persons entering the theatre, regardless of age, must have a valid ticket.

Access performances:

Audio Described Performances: Sun 18 May, 2pm (Touch Tour, 12 – 12.30pm); Sat 19 July, 2pm (Touch Tour, 12 – 12.30pm); Sun 17 Aug, 2pm (Touch Tour, 12 – 12.30pm); Sat 11 Oct, 2pm (Touch Tour, 12 – 12.30pm); Captioned Performances: Sat 17 May, 2pm; Sun 20 July, 2pm; Sat 16 Aug, 2pm; Sun 12 Oct, 2pm; Chilled Performance: Thurs 03 July, 2pm; Relaxed Performance with Integrated BSL Interpreter: Sat 27 Sept, 2pm


Venue Information

Gillian Lynne Theatre, 166 Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5PW
Nearest Tube or Train: Holborn (Central line, Piccadilly line), Covent Garden (Piccadilly line)
Nearest Buses: 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 26, 59, 68, 76, 77A, 91, 139, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 243, 341, 521, X68
Maps:
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Frequently Asked Questions

My Neighbour Totoro is playing at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London
The running time of My Neighbour Totoro is 2 hours 40 minutes (including interval)
The age recommendations for My Neighbour Totoro are: 6+ Children under the age of 4 will not be admitted into the theatre. All persons aged 16 or under must be accompanied by an adult and may not sit on their own within the auditorium. All persons entering the theatre, regardless of age, must have a valid ticket.
To buy official London Theatre tickets to My Neighbour Totoro, click on the Find Tickets button at the top of this page. You will be able to access the booking calendar to check ticket availability and see any exclusive offers or discounts. You will be purchasing tickets from an authorised retailer and member of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers.
Yes, My Neighbour Totoro has matinee performances on the following days: Thursday, Saturday, Sunday

News about My Neighbour Totoro

My Neighbour Totoro to transfer to the West End’s Gillian Lynne Theatre in London
My Neighbour Totoro to transfer to the West End’s Gillian Lynne Theatre in London
The RSC's mega-hit, multi-award winning show My Neighbour Totoro is coming back to London - and this time the West End! The show will run at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London for 34 weeks starting March 2025, from 8 March to 2 November 2025. My Neighbour Totoro has already played two hugely successful runs at the Barbican Theatre in London, the last one finishing in March 2024 starring Mei Mac as Mei Kusakabe, Ami Okumura Jones as Satsuki, Dai Tabuchi as Tatsuo, and Jacqueline Tate as Granny. Over 290,000 people saw the show across its two runs at the Barbican. Casting for the new West End run at the Gillian Lynne Theatre is to be announced. My Neighbour Totoro - West End trailer https://youtu.be/F9FMArpxqXY The show won six Olivier Awards, five WhatsOnStage Awards and the Critic’s Circle Awards for Best Design, and scored very impressive reviews from the critics. Based on the much-loved, Oscar-winning animated film by Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbour Totoro has been adapted for the stage by Tom Morton-Smith (Oppenheimer). The production features music by Joe Hisaishi from his iconic movie score, in a new orchestration by Will Stuart, performed by live musicians. [ngg src="galleries" ids="1460" display="pro_horizontal_filmstrip"] My Neighbour Totoro is directed by Improbable’s Phelim McDermott, with 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 the Jim Henson Creature Shop. Phelim McDermott told the Guardian newspaper this week that Hayao Miyazaki's work continues to attract audiences because, "It’s like Shakespeare: those films are archetypal, they’re mythical. Shakespeare was an improviser, he’s making it up as he goes along and creating theatre for his time. Disney and early Pixar are the same, and absolutely in those Studio Ghibli cartoons, Miyazaki was inventing something new.” McDermott also said that My Neighbour Totoro's huge appeal comes down to its universal themes. "It talks about grief, loss and the children worrying about their mother, but also man’s disconnection from nature. But at no point do you think you’re being preached to. It’s embedded in a way that’s authentic." The show is produced by Executive Producer Joe Hisaishi and the Royal Shakespeare Company in collaboration with Improbable and Japan's commercial TV broadcaster Nippon TV. Asked by Deadline whether My Neighbour Totoro is also eyeing Broadway as well as the West End, Griselda Yorke, the executive producer of the show for the RSC said that My Neighbour Tototo will "definitely have a life beyond the West End" but that, "with our Japanese partners we want to focus on nailing that West End transfer before we cast our eye further afield". Another show based on a Studio Ghibli movie, this time Spirited Away, is also getting the big stage treatment, and opens at the London Coliseum later this month for 12 weeks. My Neighbour Totoro will run at the Gillian Lynne Theatre from 8 March to 2 November 2025. More about tickets to My Neighbour Totoro at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London What They Said 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.” More about tickets to My Neighbour Totoro at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London
Photos: My Neighbour Totoro returns to the Barbican Theatre – new pictures
Photos: My Neighbour Totoro returns to the Barbican Theatre – new pictures
New production photos are out for the return of smash-hit RSC show My Neighbour Totoro to the Barbican Theatre in London. The talented cast includes Mei Mac, who reprises her Olivier Award-nominated performance as Mei Kusakabe, with Ami Okumura Jones returning as older sister Satsuki, Dai Tabuchi in his role as Tatsuo, and Jacqueline Tate as Granny. Also returning as Kazego Puppetry ensemble are: Boaz Chad, Jasmine Chiu, Andrew Futaishi (Hiroshi), Matthew Leonhart, Arina Ii (Miss Hara), Yojiro Ichikawa, Si Rawlinson, Mark Takeshi Ota and Shaofan Wilson; and the cast also includes Jessie Baek, Jasmine Bayes, Ka Long Kelvin Chan (Kanta), Elizabeth Chu, Anna Kato, Heather Lai, Amanda Maud (Nurse Emiko), Yuki Nitta, Bright Ong, Emily Piggford (Yasuko), Daniel Phung, Gun Suen and Naomi Yang (Tsukiko). Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar winning animated film has been adapted for the stage by Tom Morton-Smith (Oppenheimer), and broke box office records last year at the Barbican, plus won six Olivier Awards, five WhatsOnStage Awards and the Critic’s Circle Awards for Best Design. It also scored some very impressive reviews from the critics. My Neighbour Totoro is directed by Improbable’s Phelim McDermott, with 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 the Jim Henson Creature Shop. The production features music from Joe Hisaishi’s iconic score in a new orchestration by Will Stuart, performed by live musicians including singer, Ai Ninomiya, with sound design by Tony Gayle. Video design is by Finn Ross and Andrea Scott. Casting Director is Hannah Miller CDG. Associate Director is Ailin Conant. The show is produced by Executive Producer Joe Hisaishi and the Royal Shakespeare Company in collaboration with Improbable and Nippon TV. A My Neighbour Totoro is now playing at the Barbican theatre for a strictly limited run to 23 March 2024. Book tickets to My Neighbour Totoro at the Barbican Theatre in London My Neighbour Totoro - Photos [ngg src="galleries" ids="1460" display="pro_blog_gallery"] Watch: Behind-the-scenes with the cast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQT62UlcUhU
Variety: Writer Tom Morton-Smith talks about bringing back My Neighbour Totoro to London
Variety: Writer Tom Morton-Smith talks about bringing back My Neighbour Totoro to London
London's Barbican Theatre is set to welcome back the magical world of My Neighbor Totoro later this month, as the RSC and Nippon TV's acclaimed stage adaptation of Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli film returns for a second run. In an exclusive interview with Variety, Tom Morton-Smith, the mastermind behind the adaptation of the show from screen to stage, offered insights into the creative process and the subtle enhancements audiences can expect in this highly anticipated return. The collaboration between award-winning composer Joe Hisaishi, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Improbable and Nippon TV brought the first iteration of the stage play to the Barbican in October last year. The production not only enchanted audiences but also scored a hit with the London theatre critics, and broke box office records for the venue. Oh, and won an impressive six Olivier Awards, five What's On Stage Awards, and a Critic’s Circle Award for Best Design. Morton-Smith, known for his hit RSC and West End play Oppenheimer, emphasised that while there are no major changes in the second London run of the show, lessons learned from first run have been incorporated to refine the rhythms and technical aspects of the performance. "That’s one of the joys of being able to return to some things – you can tighten the screws a little, make it smoother and flow better," Morton-Smith told Variety. Adapting My Neighbor Totoro for the stage was a natural choice for Morton-Smith, who recognised the film's beautifully atmospheric quality. The story, set in the 1950s, follows the journey of sisters Satsuki and Mei as they discover magical creatures and the ancient protector of the forest, Totoro. The play "didn’t need a huge amount of updating in terms of talking to modern sensibilities because it’s got that beautiful, timeless quality to it already", he said. Reflecting on the play's resonance with UK audiences, Morton-Smith mentioned the story's universal themes, noting that My Neighbor Totoro speaks to people at different stages of life. "For the youngest viewers, it's a thrilling fantasy adventure, while older children engage with the coming-of-age elements. For adults, the play delicately addresses themes of mortality and loss, portraying them with the unique Ghibli touch that neither waters down nor overwhelms."for the youngest kids, it’s very much an exciting fantasy adventure with big furry friends in the woods. And for slightly older children, it’s got a coming-of-age story that’s in there about Satsuki, the older sister, learning about mortality for the first time and learning that her parents aren’t perfect, and realizing that she has to grow up a bit in order to take a bit more responsibility." In the post-COVID era, the play also imparts valuable life lessons. "It speaks to people differently depending on where they are in their life and what their experiences are," Morton-Smith said. My Neighbor Totoro is playing at the Barbican Theatre from 21 November 2023 to 23 March 2024. Book tickets to My Neighbour Totoro in London
VIDEO: My Neighbour Totoro – Meet the cast for the show’s London return to the Barbican Theatre
VIDEO: My Neighbour Totoro – Meet the cast for the show’s London return to the Barbican Theatre
The RSC has revealed casting for the forthcoming return of My Neighbour Totoro to the Barbican Theatre in London in November 2023. Mei Mac is set to reprise her Olivier Award-nominated performance as Mei Kusakabe, with Ami Okumura Jones returning as older sister Satsuki, Dai Tabuchi in his role as Tatsuo, and Jacqueline Tate as Granny. Also returning as Kazego Puppetry ensemble are: Boaz Chad, Jasmine Chiu, Andrew Futaishi (Hiroshi), Matthew Leonhart, Arina Ii (Miss Hara), Yojiro Ichikawa, Si Rawlinson, Mark Takeshi Ota and Shaofan Wilson. Also in the cast are Jessie Baek, Jasmine Bayes, Ka Long Kelvin Chan (Kanta), Elizabeth Chu, Anna Kato, Heather Lai, Amanda Maud (Nurse Emiko), Yuki Nitta, Bright Ong, Emily Piggford (Yasuko), Daniel Phung, Gun Suen and Naomi Yang (Tsukiko). Meet the cast in this behind-the-scenes video of rehearsals for the show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQT62UlcUhU Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar winning 1988 animated feature film has been adapted for the stage by Tom Morton-Smith (Oppenheimer), and broke box office records last year at the Barbican. The show went on to win six Olivier Awards, five WhatsOnStage Awards and the Critic’s Circle Awards for Best Design. The show also scored some impressive reviews from the critics. It was announced in March that the show would be making a return to London in November 2023. My Neighbour Totoro is directed by Improbable’s Phelim McDermott, with 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 the Jim Henson Creature Shop. The production features music from Joe Hisaishi’s iconic score in a new orchestration by Will Stuart, performed by live musicians including singer, Ai Ninomiya, with sound design by Tony Gayle. Video design is by Finn Ross and Andrea Scott. Casting Director is Hannah Miller CDG. Associate Director is Ailin Conant. This enchanting coming-of-age story explores the magical fantasy world of childhood and the transformative power of imagination, as it follows one extraordinary summer in the lives of sisters Satsuki and Mei. The show is produced by Executive Producer Joe Hisaishi and the Royal Shakespeare Company in collaboration with Improbable and Nippon TV. A prominent exclusive in US entertainment industry trade magazine Variety this morning to announce casting suggests the producers are eyeing up a Broadway run for the show, with a number of Broadway producers believed to have already seen the show. It was announced last week that Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli would be acquired by Japan's main private broadcaster Nippon TV. Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbour Totoro will play the Barbican theatre for a strictly limited run from 21 November 2023 to 23 March 2024. Book tickets to My Neighbour Totoro at the Barbican Theatre in London
Nicholas Hytner to join the board of the RSC
Nicholas Hytner to join the board of the RSC
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has announced that Nicholas Hytner is joining their Board. He will formally take up the position at the Company’s AGM in Stratford-upon-Avon later today, 28 September 2023. Nick Hytner, who was Director of the National Theatre from 2003 to 2015, is Artistic Director of London Theatre Company, which runs the Bridge Theatre in London. The Bridge is currently running his acclaimed revival of Guys and Dolls. Hytner and business partner Nick Starr also run the Lightroom in King’s Cross through their London Theatre Company alongside 59 Productions. This flexible space that was originally slated to be a theatre, and the venue currently hosts immersive art exhibition David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away), booking to 3 December 2023. It will then host new Tom Hanks-narrated project The Moonwalkers: A Journey with Tom Hanks. Nicholas Hytner said in a statement: “I am honoured and delighted to be joining the Board of the RSC as its new Co-Artistic Directors take the helm, and I am looking forward to what I am sure will be an exciting future”. Chair of the Board Shriti Vadera said: “I am excited to welcome Nick to the Board. His exceptional experience will add huge value to the Board and to the next phase of the Company’s future under new artistic leadership”. The RSC's highlights for their last financial year April 2022 to April 2023 include opening their multi-award winning production of My Neighbour Totoro, which is back in London at the Barbican Theatre this November. In September 2022 the RSC announced the appointment of Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey as their new co-artistic directors, replacing acting artistic director Erica Whyman. The pair started at the RSC in June this year. Alongside My neighbour Totoro, RSC productions in London include long-runner Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre; and forthcoming transfers Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre - which opens later this week, 30 September; and The Empress, coming to the Lyric Hammersmith from 4 October 2023. Guys and Dolls is booking to 24 February 2024 at the Bridge Theatre.
Catherine Mallyon exits as RSC Executive Director
Catherine Mallyon exits as RSC Executive Director
The Royal Shakespeare Company's Executive Director, Catherine Mallyon, is stepping down after 11 years. In June, the RSC's new co-artistic directors Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey started work, replacing acting artistic director Erica Whyman. Catherine Mallyon said in a statement: “It has been an enormous privilege to lead the RSC for the past 11 years with an incredible roster of collaborators in Gregory Doran, Erica Whyman and now Tamara Harvey and Daniel Evans. It has only become possible for me to think beyond the RSC, about the many things I still hope to do professionally and personally, now that we have emerged from the challenges of recent years and arrived at such a positive place. It was always my intention to see Tamara and Daniel into post. With such a strong leadership team and a wonderful audience- and artist-focused creative vision, this feels like the right time to pass on the baton, as the RSC moves into this next chapter – which I know will be a hugely exciting one. I am also grateful for the loyalty, support and generosity of thousands of Subscribers, Members, Friends, Patrons, Artists and Production Circle supporters, all Donors, Partners and Funders throughout my tenure.” Co-Artistic Directors Tamara Harvey and Daniel Evans said: “We couldn’t be more grateful to Catherine for her support and guidance as we have stepped into our roles here at the RSC. Her expertise and knowledge of the company are second to none, and her care and insight have proved invaluable as we prepare to announce our first season. She will be much missed by everyone here, and we wish her every happiness and success for the future.” Chair of the RSC Board, Shriti Vadera said: “On behalf of the Board and Governors at the RSC, I would like to thank Catherine for the commitment, dedication and passion with which she led as Executive Director of the company. We have been incredibly fortunate to have had her skill and steadying hand at the helm for the past decade, not least having navigated us through the pandemic – undoubtedly one of the most challenging periods the industry has ever faced – and seeing through the transition of the new Co-Artistic Directors. I’m personally very grateful to Catherine for her support during these times of significant change; and for paving the way for Tamara and Daniel as they have joined the company. The impact of her tenure will be reflected throughout the company as it moves ever onwards.” The RSC has a number of shows now playing or coming soon to the West End, including long-running hit show Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre; the West End transfer of Hamnet, coming to the Garrick Theatre from 30 September 2023; The Empress transferring to the Lyric Hammersmith from 4 October 2023; and smash-hit My Neighbour Totoro, returning to the Barbican Theatre on 21 November 2023.
Will Gompertz to leave the Barbican
Will Gompertz to leave the Barbican
The Barbican Centre in London has announced that its Artistic Director Will Gompertz is to leave this autumn 2023. Gompertz, who is to become the new Director of the Sir John Soane's Museum, joined the Barbican in 2021, helping reopen the Centre after the pandemic. Under his leadership the Barbican has hosted the world premiere of The RSC's My Neighbour Totoro, which broke box office records and is back for another run from 21 November 2023. It has also been announced that the Barbican is forging a three year deal with West End producer and theatre owner Trafalgar Entertainment, to produce new work together. Trafalgar has already booked the Barbican Theatre three summers in a row, with Anything Goes playing in 2021 and 2022, and this summer the Barbican is hosting the Broadway-to-London run of Michael R Jackson's A Strange Loop, running to 9 September 2023. Will Gompertz joined the Barbican from the BBC where he was Arts Editor from 2009, and prior to that he was a Director of the Tate Galleries for seven years. Claire Spencer, CEO of the Barbican, said in a press statement: "Will is known to everybody at the Barbican for his boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm. The generosity of spirit he has shown me personally in the 15 months we've worked together is unmatched. We're very sad to say goodbye to him but excited to see what he will achieve in his new role, and we wish him all the best. He leaves behind him a strong legacy of projects delivered and still in development and his positive impact on the Barbican will be felt for a long time to come." Tom Sleigh, Chair of the Barbican Board, said: "Will’s artistic vision has re-invigorated the Barbican’s artistic and educational offer. I couldn’t be more pleased for him to be taking up this nationally important new role, and want to thank him on behalf of the Board and the City of London Corporation for all that he has done for the Barbican, including stepping up as Joint Interim Managing Director for nine months from September 2021. It is wonderful to see talented members of the Barbican team go on to great things elsewhere, and we wish him well.” Will Gompertz said: “I am delighted to be joining Sir John Soane’s Museum at such an exciting time, following decades of restoration across the renowned architect’s extraordinary house and collection led by its brilliant conservators, curators, and previous directors. I look forward to championing the Museum and Soane’s vision, bringing audiences to our newly-restored home and taking Soane’s vision out into the world.” The President of the Royal Academy of Arts, Rebecca Salter PRA, had to approve Will Gompertz’s appointment, and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport have appointed him as the Museum’s Accounting Officer.
My Neighbour Totoro to return to London’s Barbican Theatre
My Neighbour Totoro to return to London’s Barbican Theatre
The RSC's My Neighbour Totoro back to London for Christmas 2023 The smash-hit production of Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbour Totoro will return to the Barbican Theatre this year for an extended run. The show will play the Barbican Theatre from 21 November 2023 to 23 March 2024. Hayao Miyazaki’s acclaimed animated feature film has been turned into a hit stage play, and broke box-office records at the Barbican when it opened in October 2022. My Neighbour Totoro scooped great reviews from the London critics, and has been nominated for nine 2023 Olivier Awards - the most of any show this year. Adapted for the stage by Tom Morton-Smith (Oppenheimer), My Neighbour Totoro is directed by Improbable’s Phelim McDermott with 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. Associate Director is Ailin Conant. Casting for the show's return to London will be announced soon. This enchanting coming-of-age story explores the magical fantasy world of childhood and the transformative power of imagination, as it follows one extraordinary summer in the lives of sisters Satsuki and Mei. Griselda Yorke, RSC Executive Producer, said in a press statement: "The most extraordinary group of artists have come together from all over the world to adapt this iconic film for the stage, and I am delighted that the production will return to the Barbican in 2023. My Neighbour Totoro is a story of imagination and courage which asks us to trust the youngest amongst us to see further than most of us dare to dream. With our return to the Barbican, many more audiences will be able to experience the joy of Totoro and we can’t wait to welcome them." The show is produced by Executive Producer Joe Hisaishi and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), in collaboration with Improbable and Nippon TV. Book tickets to My Neighbour Totoro at the Barbican Theatre
My Neighbour Totoro Reviews ★★★★
My Neighbour Totoro Reviews ★★★★
A reviews round-up for the RSC's new stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbour Totoro, now playing at the Barbican Theatre in London. The critics reviewed My Neighbour Totoro last night, Tuesday 18 October 2022, and the show is set to play a 15-week season at the Barbican to 21 January 2023. Studio Ghibli's 1988 animated movie by Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) has been lovingly brought to the stage by its original composer Joe Hisaishi in this new RSC adaptation, written by playwright Tom Morton-Smith (Oppenheimer) in collaboration with Improbable and Nippon TV. Exploring a magical fantasy world of childhood imagination, the show follows an extraordinary summer in the lives of two sisters, Satsuki and Mei. The show is 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 show also features puppetry created by Basil Twist and music from Joe Hisaishi’s iconic score in a new orchestration by Will Stuart, performed live with sound design by Tony Gayle and Video by Finn Ross. The cast of My Neighbour Totoro includes 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). Reviews in this round-up include TimeOut, The Times, The Telegraph, and more reviews to follow. Book My Neighbour Totoro tickets at the Barbican Theatre London

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