The 23rd WhatsOnStage Awards ceremony was held in London, and the Studio Ghibli film “My Neighbor Totoro” won the most awards with five, including the award for Best Direction.
The project began when composer Joe Hisaishi, who worked on the music for the film, suggested a stage adaptation, and director Hayao Miyazaki agreed. Hisaishi served as the executive producer, and the project was produced by the famous British theater company Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and Japanese television in collaboration.
The stage adaptation, performed at the Barbican Theatre in London from October 8th of last year to January 21st of this year, sold out all 133,000 tickets and received high praise, including five-star reviews from The Guardian and many other critics.
by Manuel Harlan © RSC with Nippon TV
Felim Macdermot, who won the award for Best Direction, spoke of his joy at the ceremony, saying, “It was a show that was created as a team, guided by the spirit of the original work.
Despite the pandemic, the Barbican Theatre continued to try new things, and the cast nurtured the show with their outstanding ensemble, completed with the audience’s help.
I want to receive this award as an individual and a team.” The awards also recognized excellence in scenic design, lighting design, musical Direction, and sound design, with the most nominations in nine categories. The highly anticipated Lawrence Olivier Awards in April are also around the corner, and further awards are expected.
My Neighbour Totoro The 23rdWhatsOnStage Awards – Award list
◆Best Direction- Phelim McDermott
◆Best Musical Direction/Supervision- Bruce O’Neil and Matt Smith
◆Best Set Design- Tom Pye and Basil Twist
◆Best Lighting Design- Jessica Hung Han Yun
◆Best Sound Design- Tony Gayle