Princess Mononoke, the acclaimed 1997 anime film and produced by Studio Ghibli, is going to be adapted into a stage play to be performed in London next year. Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Princess Mononoke was the first animated film to win the Best Picture Award from the Japanese Academy Awards. Sudio Ghibli, serving as Miyazaki’s own production studio, have been responsible for numerous animated films, many regarded as classics, such as 1988’s My Neighbor Totoro, 2001’s international hit Spirited Away, and more recently Ponyo, in 2008.
Whole Hog Theatre is the theater company responsible for the world’s first stage adaptation of Miyazaki’s renown film. They have not only received the blessing from Studio Ghibli, but will also be working in collaboration with the studio. The idea was conceived several years ago, but the actual adaptation from animation to play has taken well over a year to complete. Very few details other than the performance dates have been revealed, but producers have said that the play will feature newly written music.
A recurring theme in many of Miyazaki’s film, including Princess Mononoke, is the conflict between nature and civilization, and the effects that has on the environment. Large puppets constructed from recycled materials will be used in the play in order to portray some of the fantastical creatures. The play is scheduled to be performed for only five days at London’s New Diorama Theatre, from April 2nd through April 6th, 2013. Sadly, Whole Hog Theatre has said there are no plans for the performance to be brought to Japan or any other nations, and even worse, all tickets have been sold out. I guess we can only hope for additional performances to be added, or that they take the show on the road.
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