Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Creates Life-Size Totoro For London Game – Up News Info
The Deadline website reports that Jim Henson’s Creature Shop will provide life-size puppets for the next Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) show stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli‘the sand Hayao Miyazakithe 1988 movie My Neighbor Totoro at the Barbican Center in London.
The company was founded by puppet legend Jim Henson. Henson and company created the characters for The puppet show, sesame street, The dark crystal, Labyrinth, Dinosaurs and many other titles.
The deadline describes the My Neighbor Totoro play as the RSC’s most ambitious production to date, and says the play “now has creatives working on it at bases in London, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Los Angeles and Tokyo”.
Jim Henson’s Creature Shop pays special attention to the Totoro and the cat-bus. The play’s director, Phelim McDermott, declined to say how the cat-bus would fly, saying “it’s theater magic.”
The Creature Shop puppets are based on designs by puppeteer Basil Twist, with additional puppets created by Mervyn Millar.
Peter Brooke, Creative Supervisor of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, commented, “We know all too well the importance of maintaining the visual style and personality of beloved characters. Whether an audience member is a long-time fan of this iconic story or new to the fantastical world of Miyazaki, they will be simply amazed when they see these magical creatures come to life on stage in a whole new way. in My Neighbor Totoro.”
Deadline also reports that there is “chatter” about the play possibly moving to London’s West End following the Barbican run, although the site says theaters large enough to host the play have already been booked.
Tickets are available at this link. The play will run for 15 weeks from October 8, 2022 to January 21, 2023.
The play is presented by the CBC and Hayao Miyazakilong time composer Joe Hisaishiwho created the music for the original film and is the executive producer of the piece.
Tom Morton Smith (Oppenheimer) adapts the story, and Phelim McDermott (Akhnaton) directs production. The play is produced in collaboration with the English theater company Improbable and the Japanese company Japanese television.
There is ticket information here. Ticket prices will be £20 to £72.50, with a limited number of premium seats starting at £85. Prices are guaranteed until May 19, but may vary thereafter. There are also other offers, including a “Family Rate” offer offering up to two half-price tickets with each adult paying full price, not valid for Saturday evening performances.
Evening performances will be at 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There will also be matinees starting Thursday, October 20, on Thursdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m., and additional matinees on December 19, 21, 23, 27 and January 2.
There will be no matinee on December 22; no evening performances on December 31 and January 2; and no performances on December 24 and 26
Morton-Smith said he had permission “to expand on the beats (in the movie) that are already there and to show scenes that aren’t in the movie.”
Full rehearsals for the play begin in July. The RSC describes the production on its website:
The world premiere of Studio Ghibliit is My Neighbor Totoro hits the Barbican stage in London this fall.
“The famous 1988 animated feature of Hayao Miyazaki will be carried on stage by its original composer Joe Hisaishi in a new historical adaptation of the RSC written by playwright Tom Morton-Smith.
“This enchanting coming-of-age story explores the magical fantasy world of childhood and the transformative power of imagination, following an extraordinary summer in the lives of sisters Satsuki and Mei.
“My Neighbor Totoro will play a strictly limited 15-week season from October 8, 2022 to January 21, 2023 and promises to delight all generations.
The original animated film My Neighbor Totoro is the story of two young sisters, Mei and Satsuki, who move to the countryside and meet Totoro, wonderful creatures that only children can see.