Studio Ghibli films are our comfort movies. The Japanese animation studio is responsible for beautiful films like Grave of the Fireflies, Princess Mononoke and Kiki's Delivery Service. One of our writers remembers their friend lending them Spirited Away on video, and they watched it every day for weeks — their mum used to come into the living room and say ‘You’re not watching that film where the parents turn into pigs again, are you?’ (she didn’t get it).


We’d beg our grandparents to rent Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo from the video shop (official name, uncertain). But no film gives us quite so much comfort as My Neighbour Totoro.

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Joe Hisaishi production premiered at the Barbican Theatre on 8th October last year, and it was announced that My Neighbour Totoro would be coming to London for a second time, also at the Barbican Theatre, from this winter.

The world premiere of the My Neighbour Totoro stage adaptation broke the Barbican box office record for the most ticket sales in a single day, a record previously held by the 2015 production of Hamlet starring English actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

My Neighbour Totoro was nominated in nine categories at the 2023 Laurence Olivier Awards ceremony, and walked away with six category wins, including Best Director, Best Set Design and Best Entertainment/Comedy Play.

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With the stage adaptation being brought to life by the film’s original composer Joe Hisaishi and Oppenheimer’s Tom Morton-Smith, we’re not surprised My Neighbour Totoro swept up at this year’s awards. Plus, a special style of puppetry is employed: wind spirit style, where human puppeteers are used instead of machines.

You can get your hands on tickets to see My Neighbour Totoro the stage adaptation right now, and here’s how to do it.

For more things Studio Ghibli, take a look at our best Studio Ghibli films guide. Plus, here's how to get Stranger Things West End tickets.

My Neighbour Totoro: when and where is the UK stage adaptation?

my neighbour totoro play barbican theatre london tickets
My Neighbour Totoro will be showing at the Barbican Theatre. Barbican

My Neighbour Totoro from the Royal Shakespeare Company and Joe Hisaishi will run from Tuesday 21st November 2023 until Saturday 23rd March 2024. The stage adaptation will be performed at the Barbican Theatre, located within the main Barbican building in east London.

Moorgate and Barbican stations are the closest to the Barbican, however, if you’re travelling from outside of London, Liverpool Street Station is a 13-minute walk away.

If you're a fan of the theatre, be sure to take a look at our best West End shows and best Manchester theatre shows guides. Plus, here's how to get cheap theatre tickets.

How long is My Neighbour Totoro at the Barbican?

my neighbour totoro stage adaptation at the barbican 2023 2024 how to get tickets
The magical story will take the stage at the Barbican Theatre. Barbican

The My Neighbour Totoro stage adaptation has a two hour 40-minute run time, which includes an interval. If you're familiar with the Japanese animation's story, you'll understand that the story has a lot to pack in. If you’re not familiar with the magical story, let us fill you in! We won't spoil it, though – don't worry.

My Neighbour Totoro was released in 1988 and was written by Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki. It follows two sisters, Satsuki and Mei, in 1950s Japan. The sisters relocate to a house in the countryside to live with their professor dad as their mum has been hospitalised with tuberculosis, and they soon discover their new abode is haunted by soot spirits (susuwatari).

Not long after their arrival, the girls encounter the protector of the forest, Totoro, Who they very accurately describe as a “forest spirit who looks like the result of an experimental breeding programme involving a chinchilla, a barn owl and a bean-bag sofa”. Adventures ensue, and we can reassure you that the story is a wonderful coming-of-age classic, which features themes of grief and loss.

How much are tickets for My Neighbour Totoro in London?

Tickets for My Neighbour Totoro start from £25 each if you purchase via the Barbican website. Other ticket providers, such as Ticketmaster, are selling them for slightly more at £35.25, however, there is no booking fee.

There are Audio Described, BSL-integrated, Captioned and Relaxed performances across the run, too. These also start from £25 each on the Barbican website, with a free companion seat available for wheelchair spaces.

When do tickets for My Neighbour Totoro go on sale?

The Ticketmaster pre-sale for My Neighbour Totoro happened yesterday morning (Thursday 20th April).

General on sale for My Neighbour Totoro is happening right now (Friday 21st April), with tickets being released this morning.

RSC and Barbican members could access tickets from Friday 14th April at 10am, with RSC Bronze and Barbican Patrons being able to buy tickets a day earlier on Thursday 13th April at 10am. RSC Subscribers were able to bag tickets from Monday 17th April at 10am.

If you weren’t part of the early bird groups, though, don’t worry! There are still tickets available for My Neighbour Totoro, but if the record-breaking ticket sales from the last run are anything to go by, we’d recommend snapping up seats quickly.


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