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My Neighbour Totoro heads to West End

Image: My Neighbour Totoro / 2023 / Photo by Manuel Harlan / RSC / Nippon TV

Entertainment

My Neighbour Totoro heads to West End

A 34-week run for Studio Ghibli’s record-breaking My Neighbour Totoro will take place at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London’s West End.

​The production will run from Saturday 8th March – Sunday 2nd November 2025, tickets are now on sale. 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.

Director, Phelim McDermott

“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.” 

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.” 

​​​​My Neighbour Totoro features production design by Tom Pye, costume design by Kimie Nakano,  lighting design by Jessica Hung Han Yun, movement by You-Ri Yamanaka and puppetry design and direction is by Basil Twist. 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.

The RSC’s Co-Artistic Directors, Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey:

“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.” 

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.

My Neighbour Totoro, Gillian Lynne Theatre, 166 Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5PW, Booking details: www.lwtheatres.co.uk/theatres/gillian-lynne, 020 7087 7750

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