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London Run of Spirited Away Stage Play Begins Today

posted on by Andrew Osmond
Venue is the London Coliseum Theatre near Leicester Square

The London run of the Spirited Away stage play begins on Tuesday April 30 2024 and will run to August 24 2024.

The venue is the London Coliseum theatre, located in London's West End close to Leicester Square station. Tickets are available at https://www.spiritedawayuk.com/.

Performances will be at 7.30 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday, with additional matinee performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2.30 p.m., and performances on Sundays at 3 p.m.

The play will feature multiple rotating performers in each role on different dates, with the actors listed here. A provisional schedule of when each of the actors is appearing during the London run is given here on the play's Japanese website. However, this schedule is subject to change, and tickets cannot be refunded or switched to another date in the event of an actor change.

Among the multiple rotating actors, Romi Park, who voiced Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist and Hange in Attack on Titan, is one of the three actors playing Yubaba. Another Yubaba actor is Mari Natsuki, who voiced Yubaba in the original Spirited Away film.

One of the four Chihiro actors is Mone Kamishiraishi, who voiced Mitsuha in Makoto Shinkai's your name. One of the three Haku actors is Kotarō Daigo, who voiced Hodaka in Shinkai's Weathering With You.

Rina Kawaei, another of the Chihiro actors, voiced the heroine Hinako in Masaaki Yuasa's Ride Your Wave. Another of the Chihiros is Kanna Hashimoto, who is famed in Japan as a model and a former member of the idol group Rev. From DEL.

Of the three actors playing Kamaji the spider-man, one is Tomorowo Taguchi, who played the transforming salaryman in Shinya Tsukamoto's live-action films Tetsuo: The Iron Man and Tetsuo II: Body Hammer.

The play is described as follows:

"Studio Ghibli's Oscar-winning Spirited Away, created by legendary animator and director Hayao Miyazaki is re-imagined for the stage by Olivier and Tony award-winning director of Les Misérables, John Caird. The original Japanese cast perform this extraordinary production with wildly imaginative puppets, dazzling set and costume designs and a live orchestra playing the magnificent original film score by Joe Hisaishi."

According to the westendtheatre.com website, the play will be presented in Japanese, with English captions. It is adapted by John Caird, co-adapted by Maoko Imai and features the original score from the film version by Joe Hisaishi. The cast will include the two Chihiro actresses, Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi.

Other credits given on the site include score arrangement by Brad Haak (Mary Poppins), set design by Jon Bausor (Bat Out of Hell), puppets by Toby Olié (Pinocchio at the National Theatre), choreography by Shigehiro Ide (NODA MAP), and costumes by Sachiko Nakahara. The play was made in association with Studio Ghibli, co-produced with PW Productions Ltd and presented by Toho Co., LTD.

The stage play ran in Japan with two different sets of cast members. The play's first run debuted at Tokyo's Imperial Theatre from February to March 2022, then went on tour to Osaka in April, Fukuoka in May, Sapporo in June, and Nagoya in June and July, and then returned to Nagoya in August.

Tony and Olivier Award-winning director and the Royal Shakespeare Company's Honorary Associate Director John Caird (Les Misérables, Nicholas Nickleby, Daddy Long Legs) wrote and directed the production.

GKIDS theatrically screened a recorded performance of both versions of the stage play in North America.

Spirited Away was previously the highest-grossing Japanese film worldwide until Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train surpassed the record. Spirited Away remains the only non-English-language title to win the Academy Awards' Best Animated Feature award, which it earned in 2003.

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