This year is shaping up to be a great one for Studio Ghibli fans.
In addition to the opening of Studio Ghibli Theme Park this coming November, the Japanese animation studio's famous Spirited Away live-action stage play will reportedly be streamed online this coming July.
Adapted from Hayao Miyazaki's 2001 Oscar Award-winning animated film, the production premiered at Tokyo's Imperial Theatre last March.
The live-action stage play is helmed by Tony winner John Caird (Les Misérables) and features stunning production design and puppetry designed by Toby Olié.
The Spirited Away stage play recently ended its run in Tokyo and Osaka and will be touring around three additional cities in Japan (Fukuoka, Sapporo, and Nagoya) until July 2022.
Once the Japanese tour finishes, Toho Stage reportedly hopes to take the play to other parts of Europe and Asia. For ticketing information, refer to Toho Stage’s website.
Last March, the puppeteer and designer Toby Olié shared first-look photos from the stage play on his website and Twitter account, showing the incredible details and care that was put into bringing these characters to life on stage.
First look: Spirited Away on stage— Toby Olié (@TobyOlie) March 3, 2022
Adapting the limitless imagination of Hayao Miyazaki’s iconic animation for the stage was both a monumental joy & challenge.
More images in my online gallery: https://t.co/rLGZRBzamN#千と千尋の神隠し #SpiritedAway pic.twitter.com/05Dyf3H1Qc
According to a report on Japan’s SoraNews24, the Spirited Away production’s final performances at the Misonoza Theatre in Nagoya will be streamed live on the online steaming service Hulu for international fans to watch on select dates. This is great news for avid Ghibli fans who won't be able to catch the show in person.
Here are even more images of #SpiritedAway at Tokyo’s Imperial Theatre.— Toby Olié (@TobyOlie) March 4, 2022
Thank you for all of the kinds words, likes & shares of my previous tweet.
I’m so happy people are liking our interpretations of such well loved characters 😅https://t.co/rLGZRBzamN#千と千尋の神隠し pic.twitter.com/GjDdeSvCWL
The streamed performances will feature different cast members, as the production is double-cast, a common practice in Japan. Here’s who will be performing on each show date:
Sunday, July 3, 2022
- Chihiro: Kanna Hashimoto
- Haku: Kotaro Daigo
- No Face: Koharu Sugawara
- Lin/Chihiro’s Mother: Miyu Sakihi
- Kamaji: Tomorowo Taguchi
- Yubaba/Zenibaba: Mari Natsuki
Monday, July 4, 2022
- Chihiro: Mone Kamishiraishi
- Haku: Hiroki Miura
- No Face: Tomohiko Tsujimoto
- Lin/Chihiro’s Mother: Fu Hinami
- Kamaji: Satoshi Hashimoto
- Yubaba/Zenibaba: Romi Park
Spirited Away follows the story of a young girl who moves into a new neighborhood and accidentally stumbles into the world of Japanese spirits. After her parents are turned into pigs by a witch named Yubaba, Chihiro gets employed in Yubaba’s bathhouse and embarks on a mission to help save her parents and return to the human world with the help of the bathhouse’s boilerman Kamaji, bathhouse worker Lin, and a boy who turns into a dragon named Haku.
In case you need a refresher on Spirited Away, the beloved film along with other Studio Ghibli classics, are currently streaming on Netflix.
No announcements have been made regarding the live streaming of the stage play for audiences outside Japan have been revealed, but we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for updates.
Here's a detailed guide how to buy / watch livestream works on Hulu.