Studio Ghibli’s much-loved film Spirited Away is set to be adapted into a stage play.
The narrative of the film revolves around Chihiro, a 10-year-old girl who finds herself in a mysterious village. Chihiro, her father, and mother explore the vicinity. However, strange occurrences and manifestations lead us to discover that they have fallen into the spirit world. Baku, a boy from the village, befriends her ,and Chihiro is warned to return to the human world before sundown. Unfortunately, a spell transforms her parents, and the return path becomes flooded, rendering her unable to cross back. Chihiro must courageously face the predicaments that meet her. But with a witch taking part of her name away, further complications arise. Lest she be trapped forever, Haku warns her not to forget her real name . With her identity on the line, and spiritual chaos abounding, will she be able to find her way out?
John Caird will serve as director for the stage version of the beloved fantasy film Spirited Away. Meanwhile, Kana Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi meanwhile have been cast as the protagonist.
An Award-winning Combination
Spirited Away has gained a plethora of accolades over the years. In 2001, the animated masterpiece claimed Best Film, and Best Song at the 25thJapanese Academy Awards. It also won Best Animated Feature at both the 75thAcademy Awards and the 8thCritic’s Choice Awards in 2003. The film holds a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The impact of pollution is referenced throughout, which the film is often praised for. The loss of nature due to excessive construction and its effect on the environment is also present within the film. 20 years after the movie’s theatrical release, fans are still supportive of projects linked to the movie.
Kind of surprised this hadn't already been turned into a stage play, to be honest o:
— Limi❄️ (@justlimi) February 26, 2021
The film isn’t the only award-winning-aspect linked to the play. John Caird has won several Tony Awards and a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director. Moreover, Toshio Suzukiproducer for Studio Gibli said in a statement:
“We, Hayao and I, both liked John’s vision. He is a person we can trust. I am looking forward to seeing Chihiro grow on stage under his direction”
John Caird similarly reciprocates these sentiments, mentioning:
“I have for many years now regarded Miyazaki Hayao as one of the pre-eminent geniuses of world cinema and the greatest ever proponent of the anime form”
Additionally Mone Kamishiraishi is well known for her role in the hit success animated film Your Name. Mone Kamishiraishi voiced the lead role of Mitsuha Miyamizuin the Japanese version of the film. The two actresses cast as Chihiro will take turns portraying the role in alternating performances.
February and March 2022 is slated to be the stage production’s world premiere at the Imperial Theater in Tokyo. Following this, the play will make its way around Japan as part of its run.
Venues include Osaka in April, Fukuoka during May, Sapporo in June, and Nagoya in both June and July.
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