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From Animation to Stage: Theatre Trip - My Neighbour Totoro

Published on 02/04/24

A group of Year 10, Year 11 and Year 12 students accompanied by Frau Freeman and Ms Barrell went to see the play My Neighbour Totoro at London’s Barbican Theatre.

Students studying Japanese and Drama attended which resulted in interesting discussions afterwards, as the different perspectives came into play. The play is originally a Studio Ghibli animation film adapted for the stage by Tom Morton-Smith. It was incredible to see the film so closely reproduced on stage using many different innovative techniques. The magic realism was indeed there, beautifully delivered with ingenuity, skill and grace. We had a beautiful glimpse into Japanese culture and a world full of imagination and playful spirits. We would all have loved to be bouncing upon Totoro’s large air-filled tummy which filled the stage at one point or chasing around the soot spirits. The set made us feel part of the forest and the magic, with the orchestra in tree-houses at the back of the stage. Joe Hisaishi’s score connected seamlessly with the story and lulled us through the delightful world, both the lows and the highs.