Manuel Harlan


The RSC's My Neighbour Totoro Is Coming To The West End

My Neighbour Totoro.

You either love it, or you haven’t seen it yet.

The good news for those who haven’t seen it yet is that the Royal Shakespeare Company’s incredibly ambitious theatre adaptation of the Studio Ghibli animated classic is returning to London for a third run in 2025, this time in the West End.

This follows two sell-out runs at the Barbican Centre – and calling the adaptation insanely popular doesn’t even begin to do it justice. It currently stands as the Barbican’s all-time fastest selling show, smashing the box-office record in a single day.  

The brief premise of the film, without ruining anything, tells the tale of two sisters who move to the country for the sake of their sick mother. Settling into their new home, they head off to explore the nearby woods – which just so happen to be an enchanted forest inhabited by the titular character; an enormous, chinchilla-like forest spirit named Totoro who treads a fine line between being cute and terrifying. It’s on many ‘best films of all time’ lists and widely adored by all ages – young children, teens, nostalgic adults – and should really be seen if you haven’t done so already.

my neighbour totoro rsc barbican

As for My Neighbour Totoro’s stage adaptation – written by Tom Morton-Smith and directed by Phelim McDermott – well, that did alright too. Under sky-high expectations it earned a flood of five-star reviews after the critics took it in, and bagged itself six wins at the Olivier Awards. The film’s legendary director, Hayao Miyazaki, gave it the big thumbs up and it’s safe to say that even the most diehard Ghibli fans have been blown away.

Expect the same surprising blend of tranquillity and humour that the film is famous for; mesmerising set pieces from costumed performers alongside spectacular set designs; goosebump-inducing live music taken from Joe Hisaishi’s iconic original score; and even puppets, about which we’ll say nothing to maintain the magic of witnessing them live for the first time. The overall gist is essentially: don’t miss it.

Just make sure to be on the ball when tickets go on sale this May…


NOTE: My Neighbour Totoro transfers to the Gillian Lynne Theatre in 2025, running from 8th March – 2nd November 2025. Booking opens on Friday 3rd May at 10am. You can book HERE.

My Neighbour Totoro | Gillian Lynne Theatre, 166 Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5PW

Beforehand? Head to one of these excellent Covent Garden restaurants

My Neighbour Totoro

Gillian Lynne Theatre, 166 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, WC2B 5PW