Well, they did it.
The new stage version of the Royal Shakespeare Company of My neighbor Totoro He works at the Barbican Center in London and…let’s put it this way. There is an angry anime director called Hayao MiyazakiHe is notorious for brutalizing people who give presentations that offend him. And by “monstering,” I don’t mean a friendly, thick-furred beast that loves raindrops, acorns, and spinning tops. To increase the risk even further, Totoro It is Miyazaki’s most special film, the one in which he relives his turbulent and frightened childhood and makes it a magic to the world. So it is not easy to try to bring him Totoro to host.
Directed by Willem McDermott and written by Tom Morton Smith Totoro He has many tricks, but the main one is how to pull two completely different things at once. It feels so faithful to the classic 1988 movie, And the He feels cheerful and creative fun, as if he’s figuring out what he can do even while you’re watching. this is funy. Sometimes it’s silly. She has moments that can be really good pantomime. But then the play can turn the tunes into something wonderful, frightening, and even painful. Instead of Bantu, this Totoro It sounds like a jig, a sweeping dance of the two little girls, Mei and Satsuki, black soot creatures, shy rabbit-sized creatures, even corn-studded bushes (which the theatrical chorus of puppeteers revolve around) and parts of homes that are remodeled on a turntable like puzzle pieces with Giant size.
For those who have seen the movie, Totoros is what you sit and wait for. How are you going to play? who – which Scene, this one, and that? But the play correctly topped the girls, as it should; All the wonderstoros is directed through them. And the cast – Mei Mac as Mei and Ami Okumura Jones as Satsuki – are adorable. You know they are adults who play, or more accurately perform, characters who are a fraction of their age, but who throw themselves into their parts with the same sense of discovery as the play. She’s funny, endearing, vulnerable, gritty, sassy, and boisterous. (Typical Mi line: “We saw a cow!”) You don’t imagine them as anime girls; you accept this be Mi and Satsuki on stage.
Just like in the movie, Mei has her biggest moments, not only when she’s crawling on a giant furry belly of something, but later, too, when the magic is nowhere to be seen and she’s more wounded and fearful than any child should be. Next to her, Satsuki can only try to lead her as a good big sister – the play amplifies the moment when Satsuki scolds herself for abandoning Mei, feeling like the climax of her Mamoru Hosoda‘s mirai, Another story about young siblings and their overwhelming feelings. But even as Satsuki seeks to lead Mi, the irony is that Satsuki’s happiest moments are when she instead follows Mi, or when the girls go out spontaneously together.
Among the supporting cast is country boy Kana (Nino Furuhata) – the one who stares at Satsuki from afar and acts like a teenager tsunder. He’s been tapped into comedy, turned into the kind of boy who’s afraid to say one syllable for a girl. There’s a gem in a new scene, where they’re feeding his family’s chickens, and somehow the chickens end up gathering on him (it’s a psycho-chicken scene!), which is a riot. Grandma Kanta (Jacqueline Tate) is also rounded. She’s still beautiful, but with more angst and anxiety than the movie gave her, and the extra details that she also once had a sister. The girls’ father Tatsu (Dai Tabuchi) is close to the movie, but with more comic pressure on how he relies on his responsible daughters to get him to work in the morning and keep things running at home. Again, it looks like Hosoda miraiand how the father who was harassed at home was shown there.
So, humans feel real. to metoros is real as it should be. I won’t spoil the details of how to do itToro is done, but that never feels like a high-tech play. There are no ostentatious theater machines or video screen effects to get Back to the Future: The Musical, to take a new version of the film to the show. But you do get huge creatures standing on stage, which is okay. Exactly many play effects appear How It is made as you watch it. But there’s one sequence that feels like a long time – definitely longer than the famous scene it’s adapting – that will make you think, How do they do it on stage?a piece of theatrical piece that you will carry in your head after a long time.
Creatures often look foolish, but Good sucker. LittleToros popping up all over the stage as if it were old Scooby Doo cartoon. Giant creatures sometimes feel like they came out of a kid’s drawing (it’s supposed to be Mee), but that also feels true. As for the expressions of the giant king TuToru, the first was reminded king kong character in 1933, which had moments when filmmakers used “real” life-size props for stop-motion signs. Only now you see giants on stage, right in front of you.
But the play provokes the animation too, many times over. While the named characters are described in the play, there is another group of performers. These are black-clad, usually black-veiled, puppeteers, constantly appearing, manipulating the landscape, catching smaller creatures or meeting in groups to move or raise larger creatures. It’s like a stop-motion movie behind the scenes, when you see animators tenderly convey the models they act through. On stage, puppeteers sometimes push and lift human figures as well.
They also double as an extra human when needed, for example, for children’s play in Satsuko’s classroom. When they teleport the scene, the girls themselves sometimes see the scene in motion, as in a striking sequence where Mai gets lost in a fence circling, and even “attacking” her. If this were a cartoon, it would be more psychedelic than anything Miyazaki could do.
The play also bypasses Miyazaki with moves in the fourth wall. Some effects “deviate” slightly from intentional gags. The puppeteer must be prompted by his teammate, because he forgot to transform into a character in the world to animate the current scene. If these jokes were animated, they would be more Aardman cartoons than Ghibli. The play then a few beautiful moments of what be ‘Animation’ is pretty low-tech, and it’ll make older viewers remember TV shows cut by British studio Smallfilms, makers Noggin the Nog And the Ivor Engine.
Granted, the play makes choices that don’t please everyone. There is an essential part of the movie where you definitely wonder “How are they going to do that?” As the play approaches the moment. What is the play actually? Do With this challenge it’s low tech so funny and so charming, but it left me frustrated, like a kid opening a gift and finding socks. Or for another animation comparison, I felt like watching an anime go into a huge fight, and then the fight itself was still just visuals. This happened just before the interval, and it left me feeling a little flat… then the second half started with a Different The effect of low tech, and this pleased me so much that I immediately forgave the play.
Unsurprisingly, the play lengthens the conversations that were in the film and adds new ones. Some Japanese expressions are cheerfully thrown into English dialogue, such as “itadakimasu!” And the Yatta!. More seriously, it appears that Mei and Satsuki are fully aware of the tragic facts. I think Mai is the first to bring up the theme of death in the play with unpopular frankness and disarmament. Meanwhile, Satsuki knows very well that adults lie about bad things, and you won’t lie about them anymore.
There is fear in the play, but it is mixed with dread and delight, especially when huge, furry characters loom from the dark background of the stage. The scene where Mei enters the deep and dark forest looks even more Alice in Wonderland From what happened in the movie, it’s as if she got into an old wooden drawing of a fairy tale. The departure of soot from the cottage turns into a calm, thoughtful dance of hairballs in the air. It’s the theatrical long equivalent of all the pillow shots in the movie snails on blades of grass and leaves in streams.
The sounds of thunder, wind and heavy rain add to the experience. So does the orchestra, which appears in the back of the stage, often playing the variety Joe Hisaishimovie result. Don’t be afraid to be louder than the movie sometimes to add escalation in moments of crisis. Sometimes a soloist (Ai Ninomiya) sings in English and Japanese, urgently when a child is missing and the darker dance of the play is performed to the sound of deep water.
I heard a back sigh during the later scenes of the play, when the characters are most melancholy, and that’s how it should be. But in the end, what seemed like the whole audience applauded with a standing ovation, with tricks and jokes until the last curtain.
I watched one of the play’s preview performances – Press Night on October 18th. I paid for my ticket, which wasn’t cheap (£85), although I was lucky to get a perfect seat at the booths near the event. Don’t get into this Totoro Expect a digital age miracle like the Hatsune Miku concert. Do Go for great acting, stage and co-imagination and copious amounts of stage fur. The biggest compliment you can give to the play is that you can imagine it being the theater Totoro Which Miyazaki would make of himself.
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