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The Garden of Words Film Gets Stage Play in London in 2020

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Princess Mononoke play's Whole Hog Theatre adapts Makoto Shinkai's 2013 anime

U.K. theatrical company Whole Hog Theatre announced on Monday that it is producing a stage play adaptation of Makoto Shinkai's anime film The Garden of Words. The play will run at Park Theatre at London's Finsbury Park from July 15 to August 15 after previews on July 15-16.

The play will also run in Tokyo, and Nelke Planning is participating in production.

The play will be performed in English with "occasional Japanese," and it will feature "puppetry, movement and projection art." Alexandra Rutter (Princess Mononoke stage play) is directing the play.

Whole Hog Theatre describe's Shinkai's anime:

Rainy season. Tokyo. Akizuki is skipping class; Yukino should be at work.

When a student and an older woman seeking solace in a Japanese garden meet by chance, their mutual feelings of alienation draw them together. But a truth is about to be uncovered. The friendship that could save them might also ruin them…

Based on the stereotype-defying Anime by world-renowned director Makoto Shinkai (your name.), The Garden of Words is a modern Tokyo tale inspired by ancient Man'yōshū poetry. This subtle drama explores invisible disability, loss of human connection in a digital world and challenges us to consider the moral line between platonic and romantic longing.

The Garden of Words premiered in Japan in 2013. The anime won The Satoshi Kon Award for Achievement in Animation at Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival in August 2013. The film also won the award for the best animated feature film at the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film in Germany in April 2014. Sentai Filmworks licensed the film even before its May 2013 opening in Japan, and released it on home video in August 2013. Vertical published Midori Motohashi's manga adaptation in North America in 2014.

Whole Hog Theatre's stage play adaptation of Studio Ghibli's Princess Mononoke anime film ran at London's New Diorama Theatre in April and June 2012. The play then ran in Tokyo at AiiA Theater from April to May 2013.

Sources: Whole Hog Theatre, Park Theatre

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