A world premiere stage adaptation of Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-winning animated film Spirited Away will debut in Japan. Tony and Olivier winner John Caird (Nicholas Nickelby) adapts and directs the production, with performances slated to begin in February 2022 at Tokyo's Imperial Theatre.
Spirited Away (original title: Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) follows Chihiro, a 10-year-old moving with her parents to a new home. After they get lost in a mysterious world and her parents are turned into pigs, Chihiro (to be double-cast with Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi) must survive in the strange land and return to the human world.
Following the run at the Imperial, Spirited Away aims to tour the country throughout the spring and summer, playing Osaka, Fukuoka, Sapporo, and Nagoya.
“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,” says Caird. “I share a belief in all the most dominant themes of [Miyazaki’s] work, themes that are at the core of the Sen to Chihiro world—care for the environment, reverence for nature, a belief in the force of the good spirits within us, and the empowerment of young women and men to change the world for the better.”
“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,” said Studio Ghibli’s Toshio Suzuki, the film’s producer. “I could tell how much he adores this story from his delighted face when I gave him a No-Face (Kaonashi) piggy-bank.”