Chihiro: Kanna Hashimoto/Mone Kamishiraishi
Haku: Kotaro Daigo /Hiroki Miura
No Face: Koharu Sugawara/Tomohiko Tsujimoto
Lin/Chihiro’s Mother: Miyu Sakihi/Fu Hinami
Kamajî: Tomorowo Taguchi/Satoshi Hashimoto
Yubaba/Zeniba: Mari Natsuki/Romi Park
Aniyaku/Chihiro’s Father: Kenya Osumi
Chichiyaku: Sunao Yoshimura
Aogaeru: Obata no Oniisan
Maria Abe Kaito Arai Yuya Igarashi Yoko Ose Wataru Oshige Motoko Orii Hiroko Kachi
Saori Kouzuki Toshihiko Jo Mayu Suetomi Keiichi Tagawa Hayato Takehiro Saya Chinen
Hanano Teshirogi Ayame Nakagami Rei Hanashima Teppen Matsunoki Eiji Mizuno Mayu Musha
Yuna Yasuno Yuki Yahiro YAMATO Hikaru Yamano
|Based on “SPIRITED AWAY” directed by||Hayao Miyazaki|
|Adapted and Directed by||John Caird|
|Co-adapted by||Maoko Imai|
|Original Score by||Joe Hisaishi|
|Musical Supervision, Orchestrations and Arrangements by||Brad Haak|
|Associate Music Supervision,
Orchestrations and Ableton Programming by
|Set Designer||Jon Bausor|
|Puppetry Design and Direction||Toby Olié|
|Lighting Designer||Jiro Katsushiba|
|Sound Designer||Koichi Yamamoto|
|Costume Designer||Sachiko Nakahara|
|Hair and Make Up Designer||Hiroaki Miyauchi|
|Projection Designer||Satoshi Kuriyama|
|Music Director／Conductor||Erika Fukasawa|
|Stage Manager||Takashi Hojo|
|Opening & Ending Movie||Studio Ghibli|
|Title written by||Toshio Suzuki|
|Special Thanks to||Studio Ghibli|
|Supporting Director||Maoko Imai|
|Assistant Directors||Makoto Nagai／Ryusei Onuki|
|Associate Set Designer||Satoko Nakane|
|Associate Puppetry Director||Sarah Wright|
|Puppetry Supervisor||Daisy Beattie|
|Associate Costume Designer||Mika Tominaga|
|Associate Music Directior||Haruka Sakai|
|Assistant Choreographer||Yukina Sakai|
|Assistant Lighting Designer||Atsushi Ozawa|
|Assistant Sound Designer||Mafuyu Kurokawa|
|Assistant Costume Designer||Yoshiko Totsuka|
|Assistant Hair and Make Up Designers||Mao Matsunaga／Ayumi Sakura|
|Orchestra Coordinators||Takao Morioka／Takeru Chiba（TOHO MUSIC CORPORATION）|
Nobuya Matsukura／Kazunari Oshima（DAT Music）
|Rehearsal Pianists||Chika Iwanaga／Mio Sugita|
|Assistant Producer||Hayato Torisawa|
|Associate Producer||Haruko Murata|
|Presented by||Toho Co., Ltd.|
With its fantastic, unique story and setting, SPIRITED AWAY has captured millions of fans around the world. Hayao Miyazaki's magnum opus will make history with its world premiere stage production at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo.
John Caird, Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, will write and direct the stage adaptation. Mr. Caird is internationally renowned for adapting and directing the world premiere of the monumental musical, Les Misérables, and for creating theatrical masterpieces such as Daddy Long Legs and Knights' Tale. The heroine, Chihiro, will be double cast with Kanna Hashimoto, an acclaimed actress who will be making her stage debut, and Mone Kamishiraishi, who is showing her versatile talents from acting to singing.
The story begins as Chihiro, a girl who is heading to her family’s new home, goes into a tunnel to find herself lost in the world of gods and supernatural beings. She encounters many spirits, but courageously overcomes their challenges on her way back to the human world. The Imperial Theatre will turn into the Bathhouse, inviting the audience to the enchanted world of spirits. Please look forward to this grand project the world has been waiting for!
Animated feature film SPIRITED AWAY, director Hayao Miyazaki’s timeless masterpiece, became a blockbuster right after its release in 2001. The heroine, a 10-year-old girl, Chihiro, gets lost in a realm of gods and spirits after going through a tunnel on a drive with her parents to their new home. The story follows her as she survives and build resilience to find her way to return to the human world. In 2003, the film won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It was released in China for the first time in 2019 and caused a sensation. It has continued to be one of the most beloved animated movies of all time around the world.
This celebrated animation feature is now bound to have its world premiere as a live stage performance. The theatrical production SPIRITED AWAY (original title: Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) will be presented at the Imperial Theatre (Marunouchi, Tokyo) from March 2nd to 29th, 2022.
The highly anticipated stage adaptation will be written and directed by John Caird. Caird, Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, had adapted and directed the world premiere of the monumental musical Les Misérables. The heroine, Chihiro, will be double-cast with Kanna Hashimoto, who has gained critical acclaim for her many appearances in films/TV dramas and will be making her theatrical debut, and Mone Kamishiraishi, who has starred in multiple TV dramas, films, theatre pieces and is recognized as a brilliant singer/voice actor as well. The one-and-only character actor, Mari Natsuki, who voiced the sorceress Yubaba who ruled the bathhouse and her twin sister Zeniba in the original film, will double-cast the same roles with the voice actor, Romi Park. A star-studded cast has lined up to celebrate Toho’s 90th anniversary coming up in 2022.
A press conference for this extraordinary production was held on November 9th in Tokyo. All of the principal cast members including Kanna Hashimoto, Mone Kamishiraishi and Mari Natsuki, and John Caird (adaptation/direction), Maoko Imai (co-adaptation/supporting director) attended the conference with Studio Ghibli’s Toshio Suzuki, producer of the original film SPIRITED AWAY. Each of them talked about their anticipation towards the new stage production.
The conference opened with the presentation of the two posters which each features Hashimoto or Kamishiraish as Chihiro. The attendees applauded at the two distinct visuals of the posters. The exhilaration of the two actors heightened as they saw the posters for the first time themselves.
Suzuki said it was “very touching” that the stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s classic is happening two decades after the initial release. He also shared an anecdote of Hayao Miyazaki meeting Caird for the first time, “They just clicked right away, and Miyazaki immediately said ‘okay’ to the idea of the stage adaptation.” He also added that it had come from Miyazaki’s thoughts on SPIRITED AWAY being “so widely beloved that it has become everyone’s piece, not just his.” Caird, who is a great admirer of Ghibli films, was surprised at Miyazaki’s prompt decision, even though he believed the story of SPIRITED AWAY was very theatrical, and he always felt it could be a stage production. He continued that Miyazaki’s stories have an amazing emotional and intellectual integrity, that his talent to get inside the mind of children “makes him equal with some of the great storytellers like Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen, Lewis Carol. I think he will go down in history as one of the greatest storytellers.” He revealed that Miyazaki had told him to “have fun.” Caird referred to the vivid cast members and said, “I can guarantee you we’re going to have fun.” A torch has been passed from the original creator to a fan who has promised to let the work bloom on a new stage.
Caird has already been working on the play in London and in Tokyo through three workshops with the creatives including Brad Haak (Knights’ Tale) on music supervision/ arrangement/orchestrations, Jon Bausor (London Paralympics Opening Ceremony in 2012) on set design, Toby Olié (puppeteer/associate puppetry director for Olivier Award/Tony Award winning War Horse) on puppetry design and direction, and Shigehiro Ide on choreography.
Comments from the cast members:
“I can relate myself with Chihiro who gets lost in the world of gods because this will be my theatre debut and it will be my new adventure to the theatre world. I am hoping to live Chihiro instead of acting as her.”
Hashimoto will make her stage debut as Chihiro. The only actor who had made her stage debut as the heroine at the historic Imperial Theatre before Hashimoto is Minako Honda for the Japan premiere of Miss Saigon in 1992.
“I was absolutely fascinated by the film when I saw it for the first time at the age of seven, including the scary parts. I am going to convert the pressure I am feeling into energy. I hope I can be as brave as Chihiro.”
-Kamishiraishi played the role of Jailer’s Daughter in Knights’ Tale (2018 and 2021), the musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Two Noble Kinsmen, written and directed by John Caird.
“I am nervous, but I am looking forward to working with and learning from everyone.”
“I am looking forward myself to see how the scene where Haku turns into a dragon will be depicted”
“The story sets in a mysterious world, but there are lives in it. I want to deliver their sparkles.”
“Ghibli films are a part of my life. I am hoping that I can become a part of someone else’s life through this play.”
-Tsujimoto showed an improvisational dance inspired by the character at the press conference. After seeing his dance, Caird said, “I didn’t know how we’re going to do it (to show No Face on stage) until now. Now I know how to do it.”
“I’ve seen every single Ghibli film. I still feel like I am in a dream. I need to calm down my excitement, but I am looking forward to be a part of the show.”
“I am excited that I am going to be working under Ms. Natsuki and Ms. Park and going to take care of Kanna and Mone. I am ready!”
“The historic stage of Imperial Theatre, a masterpiece with fans around the world, and John’s direction- I would like to make the most of this power triangle.”
“John says, ‘let’s play’ to the actors, letting us play around. He is a very proficient director. I hope the audience will enjoy as much as we do. Please look forward to the number of arms I show on stage.”
“When I voiced for the original film, I thought the role was a villain and I was prepared to act accordingly. But director Miyazaki said ‘Yubaba is putting all her efforts to protect the bathhouse. She is not a villain.’ It felt very emotional. I never thought that I would be playing the same role on stage two decades later. Just like Kanna, I would like to play like a debutante and enjoy this stage version as a completely new one.
-Natsuki has been good friends with Caird since she played Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables in 1997 and 1998 which he adapted and directed.
“I was given courage to take this role when I was told that I can try out a lot of ways to express because the play itself shows so many faces. I am going to dive in the bathtub in Imperial Theatre.”
"John always treats actors equally regardless of their age or career. I'm honored to be working with him."
The press conference ended with a question to Caird about how he is going to make No Face happen on stage. The audience broke into laughter when John answered, “do you really think I am going to tell you?” There was a vibrant energy throughout the conference. It has raised the excitement and expectations for the stage production of SPIRITED AWAY.