Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

My Neighbour Totoro @ Lyttleton Theatre...

Last week Roger and I went to see the Royal Sharespeare Company's dazzling staging of Studio Ghibli's celebrated 1988 animated feature film My Neighbour Totoro at the Barbican Theatre in London's glitzy Barbican Centre.
Based upon Hayao Miyazaki’s simple original story; two sisters move with their father to the countryside, in postwar Japan, and see other worlds emerging out of it. But OMG, what a show! It richly deserves it's five-star reviews. For 2 hours 50 minutes (that seemed to flash by in an instant) we were transported to a long-forgotten realm of spirits using puppetry, great acting and magical music. The piece punches a huge emotional impact too. I was in tears. Disney, it ain't.
The sisters Satsuki (Ami Okumura Jones) and Mei (Mei Mac) are played by adults and appear cartoonishly excitable at the start but they win us over. As the magical realism floods the stage Mac, who plays the younger sister, almost seems to transform into an infant before our eyes. Her fall into the camphor tree in which she meets Totoro is a magnificent set-piece. It combines a multilayered set with swirling movement and mime. The relationships between the two girls and with their father (Dai Tabuchi) is always funny yet often touching.
Phelim McDermott's direction is as sublime as ever; clever, witty, and full of joy. Tom Morton-Smith's writing is funny and inciteful. Joe Hisaishi music (who composed the original film score) is heartfelt and effortlessly propels the action forward.
And the catbus...  the catbus is brilliant... a giant inflatable with laser eyes.
If you can find a ticket (it runs until late January).. go!

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