My Neighbour Totoro set to return to the Barbican

Posted on 30 March 2023

Produced and composed by Joe Hisaishi and the Royal Shakespeare Company, Studio Ghibli's groundbreaking My Neighbour Totoro is set for a highly-anticipated and magical return to the Barbican theatre from 21 November to 23 March 2024!

The stunning stage adaptation of the celebrated 1988 animated film by Hayao Miyazaki premiered in October 2022, breaking the Barbican's box office record for most tickets sold in a single day, and winning five What's on Stage Awards. It was also nominated for nine Olivier Awards, the highest number of nominations for any production this year. Sign up for updates on when tickets will be released for this modern classic!

About My Neighbour Totoro 

Join sisters Satsuki and Mei on an enchanting journey of self-discovery in this coming-of-age tale that celebrates the power of imagination and the fantastical world of childhood. The girls move with their father to the countryside to be closer to their mother, who is recovering at a rural hospital. In this new environment, Mei discovers a magical world of mystical creatures, including Totoro, the ancient, giant and loveable guardian of the forest.

At first, Satsuki is sceptical of her sister's claims, but soon they find themselves embarking on thrilling adventures with their new neighbours, delving deeper into a world of spirits, sprites, and natural wonder that they never imagined possible! This extraordinary summer will change their lives forever, as they learn to embrace the beauty of the unknown and the transformative power of imagination.

The creatives of My Neighbour Totoro 

Improbable's Phelim McDermott directs the stage adaptation of My Neighbour Totoro. Tom Pye provides the production design, while Kimie Nakano designs the costumes. Jessica Hung Han Yun handles lighting, with movement by You-Ri Yamanaka. The show boasts puppetry design and direction by Basil Twist, created in collaboration with Mervyn Millar's Significant Object and the Jim Henson Creature Shop. Will Stuart provides a new orchestration of Joe Hisaishi's iconic score, which is performed live with sound design by Tony Gayle. Finn Ross and Andrea Scott handle video design, while Ailin Conant serves as associate director.

The stage adaptation's artwork includes a hand-drawn title by Toshio Suzuki, the producer for Studio Ghibli, who was involved in planning and producing the original animated film. Stay tuned for casting announcements for the 2023/24 run of My Neighbour Totoro!

Sign up for updates on My Neighbour Totoro tickets! 

Totoro fans, don’t miss the return of one of the most celebrated stage adaptations of recent times. Keep an eye out for tickets, as they're sure to disappear as quickly as little forest spirits!

By Kevin Thomas

From as early as I can recall, writing has always been my passion. Being able to combine this with my love for theatre has been a rewarding and exhilarating experience. I truly believe that there is magic in seeing a story brought to life on stage, and this is what I would like to promote to audiences.