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The Spirited Away stage show looks absolutely transcendent

All the creatures are rendered as gorgeous puppets

chihiro comforting haku Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage

The new theatrical production of Hayao Miyazaki’s beloved classic Spirited Away is currently underway, and new photos from the production look dazzling. The play, directed by Les Misérables director and honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company John Caird, comes from Toho Stage, which celebrates its 90th year of productions in 2022.

The show is currently running at the Imperial Theater in Tokyo until March 29, before touring Japan until July. But if you’re unable to make the journey to Japan, however, closer looks at the gorgeous puppets and sets have been released to the public. Each of the fantastical creatures in Spirited Away comes to life courtesy of puppet designer and builder Toby Olié.

no-face in the spirited away play Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage
chihiro and the turnip spirit in the elevator Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage
a frog from spirited away Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage
kamaji in spirited away Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage
no-face in spirited away Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage

Chihiro, the heroine of Spirited Away, is played by two actresses in Toho’s production: Kanna Hashimoto, in her stage debut, and Mone Kamishiraishi. Most of the roles are double cast. River spirit Haku is portrayed by both Kotaro Daigo and Hiroki Miura. Meanwhile the actresses behind Yubaba and Zeniba, the twin witches, are Romi Park and Mari Natsuki — the latter who also voiced the characters in the original film.

haku in the spirited away stage play Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage
chihiro and the soot sprites Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage
chihiro in the giant bath tub in the spirited away stage production Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage
yubaba in the spirited away stage production Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage

The photos recreate some of the movie’s most iconic moments, from Haku comforting Chihiro among the flowers to Chihiro riding the bus with No-Face. Of course, this is done with all the adjustments for the stage, meaning that the lush flower bushes are actually actors adorned with blossoms among other and invisible Chihiro is covered in a sheet.

Kamaji and Chihiro in spirited away Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage
Chihiro crying and haku comforting her in the flowers Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage
haku with an “invisible” chihiro Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage
chihiro sitting on the bus with no face Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage
chihiro riding dragon haku Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage

This adaptation was announced in 2021, with a blessing and full support from Hayao Miyazaki himself.

“We, Hayao and I, both liked John’s vision; he is a person we can trust,” said Miyazaki’s longtime producer partner Toshio Suzuki in a statement. Once the Japan tour finishes, Toho hopes to bring the play to other parts of Europe and Asia.

chihiro’s family driving Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage
lin in the spirited away stage show Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage
chihiro and a group in the spirited away stage production Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage
a group number in the spirited away show Photo: Courtesy of Toby Olie/Toho Stage

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