Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Spirited Away’ Stage Adaptation Premieres in London’s West End, Featuring Japanese Cast, English Subtitles

Courtesy of Toho Co. Theatrical Department
Kanna Hashimoto, center, who plays the leading role of Chihiro in the stage adaptation of “Spirited Away,” is seen at the curtain call during a performance in London.

LONDON — The stage adaptation of “Spirited Away,” the popular anime film directed by Hayao Miyazaki, opened in a London’s West End theater district on Tuesday.

The stage play originally premiered in Japan in 2022 and is directed and adapted by British director John Caird. The Japanese cast performs in the Japanese language, with English subtitles displayed at the top and sides of the stage.

The play will run through Aug. 24.

West End is considered a sacred place in the theater world, alongside Broadway in New York. It is extremely unusual for a performance originating from Japan to be performed in the Japanese language overseas for nearly four months.

On Tuesday, Kanna Hashimoto, 25, performed as the protagonist Chihiro in the matinee, and Mone Kamishiraishi, 26, in the evening show, both of which were nearly sold out. There were standing ovations at the end of the performances.