New Anglo-Japanese play The Garden of Words to open in London this summer

Posted on 29 January 2020

Calling all Anime fans! Following their success with the theatrical staging of Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke, Whole Hog Theatre are back to present a brand-new Anime play co-produced by Nelke Planning (Naruto and Sailor Moon stage productions). Based on the film by Your Name director Makoto Shinkai, The Garden of Words will be performed both in Tokyo and London, arriving at London's Park Theatre on 15 July 2020.

The Garden of Words film to receive its world premiere in London this summer!

The modern Tokyo tale inspired by ancient Man'yōshū poetry is set to receive the full West End treatment this summer. The Garden of Words will run at the Park Theatre in London from 15 July until 15 August 2020

The piece explores the loss of human contact in a fast-paced digital world, exploring invisible disabilities and challenging us to rethink the moral fine line between romantic and platonic desire. Based on the film of the same name, The Garden of Words play comes after its creator Makoto Shinkai's hit film Your Name, which now holds the record as the highest-grossing Anime of all time after being released in 2016.

What is The Garden of Words play about?

A chance encounter brings an older woman and a younger student together whilst they seek solitude in a Japanese garden. They share feelings of alienation and unlock a treacherous truth that could save their friendship just as easily as it can destroy it.

The Garden of Words stage adaptation creatives and info

The world theatrical premiere of this ground-breaking Anglo-Japanese stage production will be performed in London and Tokyo by the UK's Whole Hog Theatre and Anime gurus Nelke Planning. The collaboration represents a female-led project that aims to unite British and Japanese creatives, promote diverse audience members, and challenge the stereotypes about Japan and Japanese Anime. The new stage adaptation will fuse projection art, movement, and puppetry to progress this visually delicate story. The play will be performed in English with Japanese mixed in.

Alexandra Rutter from Whole Hog Theatre commented on the new show: "We believe this project has tremendous potential to challenge stereotypes about Japan and Anime and encourage diverse, non-traditional audiences to the theatre. We are thrilled to be collaborating with Nelke Planning Tokyo and a team of a Japanese, British and British East Asian artists to bring this highly respected filmmaker's work to the stage for the first time and in so doing, share such an important, moving and challenging story about loneliness in the digital age. With the ongoing UK Japan season of culture, Makoto Shinkai's meteoric rise and his latest film now out in the UK, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, there has never been a more exciting time for Anglo-Japanese collaboration."

About Makoto Shinkai, Whole Hog Theatre, and the Park Theatre

Makoto Shinkai is a Japanese filmmaker, animator, and manga artist who is best known for having directed Your Name and was notably listed as one of Variety's Top 10 Animators to Watch in 2016. The 55222 Makotoshinkai asteroid is named in his honour.

Whole Hog Theatre is engaged with emerging artists and creating new Anglo-Japanese productions. Their first Anime theatre production was Princess Mononoke, which was produced with the permission of Studio Ghibli and enjoyed two highly successful runs at London's New Diorama in 2013. Princess Mononoke completely sold out in just two days after tickets were released (or nine months ahead of the show's opening). The theatre production company are partially based in Tokyo where they create new and innovative collaborations between Japanese and British artists.

The Park Theatre in London is located in the centre of Finsbury Park and has enjoyed a total of eight West End transfers in the past six years (including Pressure starring David Haig, The Life I Lead starring Miles Jupp, The Boys in the Band starring Mark Gatiss, and Daytona starring Maureen Lipman), twenty-five national tours, two transfers to the National Theatre, four Olivier Award nominations, two Offie Awards for Best Foodie Experience and Best New Play, and a Theatre of the Year Award from The Stage.

The Garden of Words London theatre tickets available from £23!

The hotly anticipated production of The Garden of Words is an absolute must-see for Anime fans! Don't leave this brand-new Park Theatre play off your list this summer! Book your tickets for The Garden of Words early to secure the best seats at the best prices or you may live to regret it!

Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.