• Jiji


Director Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film “Spirited Away” will be adapted for the stage for the first time next year, movie studio Toho Co. said Thursday.

The stage production of the 2003 Oscar-winning film will have its world premiere at Tokyo’s Imperial Theater in February 2022. It will later be staged in Osaka, Fukuoka, Sapporo and Nagoya.

Chihiro, a main character in the film who finds herself lost in the world of gods, will be played separately by actresses Kanna Hashimoto, 22, and Mone Kamishiraishi, 23.

“I want to play a real-life Chihiro so that we can take pride in performing the world premiere,” Hashimoto said.

I will take the role of an “honest and brave girl,” Kamishiraishi said.

The stage adaption will be written and directed by John Caird, honorary associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a big fan of Miyazaki’s work.

Toho will present the play to mark the 90th anniversary of its founding. It is considering touring the production worldwide.

“The theme of Spirited Away is to awaken the power to live,” Toho board director Atsuo Ikeda said. “At a time when many people are suffering economically and mentally amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the stage play can send a big message.”

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