“Spirited Away” Stage Play Makes Its Grand Entrance in London’s West End

by Hazel

London, April 30, 2024 – The much-anticipated stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s iconic film “Spirited Away” begins its London run today at the prestigious London Coliseum theatre, nestled in the heart of the West End near Leicester Square station. The show will captivate audiences from April 30 to August 24, 2024, offering a fresh take on the beloved animated classic by Hayao Miyazaki.

The play will light up the stage every Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with additional matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2:30 p.m., and a Sunday performance at 3:00 p.m. Theatergoers can secure their tickets by visiting Spirited Away UK.


In a unique twist, the play features multiple actors rotating through each role on different dates, adding a dynamic flavor to each performance. Notably, the cast includes Romi Park, famed for her roles in “Fullmetal Alchemist” and “Attack on Titan,” and Mari Natsuki, the original voice of Yubaba in the “Spirited Away” film. The lineup of Chihiros includes Mone Kamishiraishi from “Your Name” and Rina Kawaei, known for her role in “Ride Your Wave.”


The role of Haku will be portrayed by Kotarō Daigo, among others, who brought to life Hodaka in “Weathering With You.” Meanwhile, veteran actor Tomorowo Taguchi, recognized for his transformative performances in “Tetsuo: The Iron Man” and its sequel, will be one of the talents playing Kamaji the spider-man.


The stage version of “Spirited Away” has been re-imagined by John Caird, the Tony and Olivier award-winning director known for his work on “Les Misérables.” The production boasts imaginative puppetry, dazzling set and costume designs, and a live orchestra performing the film’s original score by Joe Hisaishi.


The play is presented in Japanese with English captions to cater to an international audience, ensuring that Miyazaki’s masterful storytelling transcends language barriers. The adaptation, co-written by Caird and Maoko Imai, remains true to the enchanting spirit of the original film.

The production’s creative prowess is further enhanced by a team of renowned artists. The score has been arranged by Brad Haak, while Jon Bausor has crafted the visually stunning set designs. Toby Olié, known for his work on the National Theatre’s “Pinocchio,” handles the intricate puppetry. Choreography is by Shigehiro Ide, with costumes designed by Sachiko Nakahara, rounding out a powerhouse creative team.

Originally premiered in Tokyo’s Imperial Theatre in 2022, the play toured Japan before making its way to international stages. This theatrical adaptation not only celebrates the legacy of “Spirited Away” but also continues to underscore its significance in cinema history. Despite being overtaken by “Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train” as the highest-grossing Japanese film, “Spirited Away” remains a landmark as the only non-English-language film to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2003.

As London welcomes this magical production, “Spirited Away” is set to enchant a new generation of theatergoers and reaffirm its place in the pantheon of animated masterpieces, beautifully transcended onto the stage.


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