'My Neighbour Totoro' announces full cast

The Royal Shakespeare Company's stage adaptation of My Neighbour Totoro will return to the Barbican Centre in November, following its record-breaking premiere last year.

Kate Riley
Kate Riley

My Neighbour Totoro has set the complete cast for its return to the London stage this autumn. The Olivier Award-winning production will play at the Barbican Centre from 21 November 2023 to 23 March 2024.

Mei Mac will reprise her Olivier Award-nominated performance as Mei Kusakabe, with Ami Okumura Jones returning as older sister Satsuki, Dai Tabuchi reprising his role as Tatsuo, and Jacqueline Tate as Granny.

The Kazego Puppetry ensemble will include returning members Boaz Chad, Jasmine Chiu, Andrew Futaishi (Hiroshi), Matthew Leonhart, Arina Ii (Miss Hara), Yojiro Ichikawa, Si Rawlinson, Mark Takeshi Ota, and Shaofan Wilson.

Jessie Baek, Jasmine Bayes, Ka Long Kelvin Chan (Kanta), Elizabeth Chu, Anna Kato, Heather Lai, Amanda Maud (Nurse Emiko), Yuki Nitta, Bright Ong, Emily Piggford (Yasuko), Daniel Phung, Gun Suen, and Naomi Yang (Tsukiko) complete the company.

In a five-star London Theatre review, our critic said: "Behind the curtains, a giant silhouette gradually appears, and when those curtains swing open, we finally see him: a huge shaggy mass, so enormous, so peculiar and so utterly beguiling that the audience breaks into rapturous applause. It’s the moment that we know, behind doubt, that the RSC has got this exactly right: My Neighbour Totoro is going to be a massive hit."

The global stage premiere of Hayao Miyazaki’s renowned 1988 animated feature film made history by breaking the Barbican's box office record for the most tickets sold in a single day. The production went on to earn widespread acclaim from both critics and audiences, winning six Olivier Awards.

Phelim McDermott directs the production, working alongside production designer Tom Pye, costume designers Kimie Nakano, lighting design Jessica Hung Han Yun, video designers Finn Ross and Andrea Scott, sound designer Tony Gayle, and movement choreographer You-Ri Yamanaka. Basil Twist oversees puppetry design and direction, in collaboration with Mervyn Millar’s Significant Object and the Jim Henson Creature Shop. The production showcases Joe Hisaishi's iconic score with new orchestrations by Will Stuart, which will be performed by live musicians, including singer Ai Ninomiya.

What is My Neighbour Totoro about?

My Neighbour Totoro follows two young sisters who move to the countryside and encounter friendly forest spirits, including the lovable creature known as Totoro, as they navigate the challenges and wonders of their new rural life. Find out more about Studio Ghibli stage adaptations.

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Photo credit: My Neighbour Totoro cast (Photo courtesy of production)

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