In 2001, Studio Ghibli an animated film called Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi or Spirited Away (in English) that has captivated the world. Considered one of the finest animated projects of all time, the beloved Japanese modern classic is slated to premiere on stage early next year.
As per Toho Stage, the stage adaptation of Spirited Away is slated to make its worldwide debut this coming February and March 20221 at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo. The project will be directed by Les Miserables director John Caird.
“I feel so excited and privileged to be working on the first-ever stage adaptation of Spirited Away. I have for many years now regarded Hayao Miyazaki as one of the preeminent geniuses of world cinema and the greatest ever proponent of the anime form,” Caird said.
You’ve probably watched the cartoon movie at least once in your life, but in case you’ve been living under a rock, the story follows Chihiro, a young girl who is heading to her family’s new home, who goes into a tunnel to find herself lost in the world of gods and supernatural beings in a bathhouse for spirits. She courageously overcomes various challenges on her way back to the human world.
Actresses Kanna Hashimoto of Gintama and Kaguya-sama: Love is War, Kingdom fame and Mone Kamishirasishi, who’s known for her work in your name and live-action Shihayafuru, will both star as Chihiro in alternating performances.
The stage play will reportedly run at TOHO’s Imperial Theatre, which will transform into the iconic bathhouse, from February to March 2022, then tour to Osaka in April, Fukuoka in May, Sapporo in June, and Nagoya in June and July. The show marks Toho Co.’s 90th-anniversary theatrical production.
Originally released in Japan in July 2001 by distributor Toho, Spirited Away received universal acclaim and went on to win an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003. The film is currently streaming on Netflix, alongside other beloved Studio Ghibli classics.
Art Daniella Sison