Totoro Play Wins Five WhatsOnStage Awards – News

The recently-ended stage adaptation of Hayao Miyazaki‘s My Neighbor Totoro wins Best Direction, Set Design, Lighting Design, Sound Design and Musical Direction/Supervision

In the theatrical WhatsOnStage Awards, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)’s stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli‘s and Hayao Miyazaki‘s 1988 film My Neighbor Totoro at London’s Barbican Centre won in five categories: Best Direction (Phelim McDermott), Best Set Design (Tom Pye and Basil Twist), Best Lighting Design (Jessica Hung Han Yun), Best Sound Design (Tony Gayle) and Best Musical Direction/Supervision (Bruce O’Neil and Matt Smith).

The play had been nominated in nine categories. In addition to those it won, it was also nominated for Best Performer in a Play, Best New Play, Best Video Design and Best Graphic Design.

The play won the most awards in the ceremony this year, where it also received more nominations than any other stage production.

My Neighbor Totoro had a 15-week run at London’s Barbican Centre from October 8, 2022 to January 21, 2023. It was presented by the RSC and Hayao Miyazaki‘s longtime composer Joe Hisaishi, who created the music for the original film and served as the play’s executive producer. Tom Morton-Smith (Oppenheimer) adapted the story, and Phelim McDermott (Akhnaten) directed the production. The play was made in collaboration with the English theatre company Improbable and Japan’s Nippon TV.

Morton-Smith said that he had permission “to expand on the beats (in the film) that are already there and show some scenes that aren’t in the film.”

The original anime film My Neighbor Totoro is the story of two young sisters, Mei and Satsuki, who move to the countryside and encounter Totoro, wonderful creatures which only children can see.

Grateful thanks to Ian Wolf for the heads-up.

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