‘My Neighbour Totoro’ returns to the West End next year with a massive 34-week run

Though the Barbican’s accounts department would probably have been into it, it’s probably fair to say that a third lengthy winter season for the RSC’s stunning stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s classic fantasy animation ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ might have been pushing it a bit. Indeed, it had been assumed by many that a West End transfer would follow its first season.

Now that’s finally becoming a reality, as the puppet-driven smash books a length 34-week 2025 run at the huge Gillian Lynne Theatre.

Whether this is a last hurrah for the awesome, six Olivier Award-winning spectacle – written by Tom Morton-Smith and directed by Phelim McDermott – or whether it ends up with a lifespan closer to previous Gillian Lynne inhabitant ‘War Horse’ remains to be seen. But hopefully anyone who wants to see it, will be able to see the fastest selling show in the Barbican’s history as it settles in for its longest London run to date.

Casting is TBC and we have no images to share with you of the show’s biggest puppets – ie furry forest spirit Totoro and the, er, Catbus – because they’re kept strictly under wraps, the RSC not wanting to spoil the surprise of Basil Twist and the Jim Henson Creature Workshop’s stunning creations. But trust us, they’re spectacular.

It’s a while to wait, but in the interim Ghibliphiles can enjoy ‘Spirited Away’, which begins its run at the London Coliseum next week.

‘My Neighbour Totoro’ is at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, Mar 8-Nov 2 2025. Public booking opens Friday May 3.

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