Be Spirited Away at the London Coliseum

Last year Tokyo had a stage production of Studio Ghibli’s masterpiece, Spirited Away, writes Claudia Lee.

It has just been announced that it will play a limited season at the London Coliseum next April to July.

Despite its size, there are enough fans of this classic to almost guarantee a sell out, so tickets need to be brought quickly.

For those who do not know, Spirited Away is a coming of age film of fantasy and childhood.

The 2001 Japanese animation – written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki – is as wild as it is dark.

A young girl, Chihiro, and her family take the wrong turn one day and end up in a parallel universe.

Scared by the feelings of loneliness that are creeping up on her, Chihiro navigates her way through a bathhouse of creatures and mythical spirits – some funny, some deeply sinister and some lonely just like her.

The characters and plot are heavily inspired by Japanese folklore, mythology and Shinto-Buddhist legends, so it has a lot to offer to Western audiences.

For example, a water dragon known as Mizuchi represents a legend going back as far as seven centuries in Japan.

It terrorized humans until a brave warrior named Agatamori defeated it – although this is not quite how it is portrayed in Spirited Away.

Miyazaki also offers a modern twist to the traditional Japanese water spirit – his river spirit allows a commentary on how human pollution is affecting everyone in nature.

Now, this magical story is set to come to life on the stage with the help of John Caird and the craftsmanship of puppet designer Toby Olié.

The original Japanese cast will perform this extraordinary production with wildly imaginative puppets, costume designs and a live orchestra playing the film score by Joe Hisaishi.

Tickets are only available from the show’s official site:

Spirited Away is at London Coliseum in St Martin’s Lane, West End, from April 30 until July 20.



Picture: Spirited Away Picture: Toho Co Ltd

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