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RSC’s Totoro breaks Barbican box-office record

Published: 23 May 2022
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Ambitious international collaboration”: My Neighbour Totoro

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s world première of the adaptation of My Neighbour Totoro has broken the Barbican's box office record for ticket sales in one day—20,300 were sold at a cost of just over £1 million.

The 1988 animated feature film by Hayao Miyazaki will be brought to the stage by its original composer, Joe Hisaishi, in an adaptation written by playwright Tom Morton-Smith in collaboration with Improbable and Nippon TV.

Griselda Yorke, RSC executive producer, said, “it’s fantastic to see audiences returning to theatre and booking with confidence following the last two years of uncertainty and it’s equally brilliant to see so many young audiences booking through our TikTok £10 tickets scheme. My Neighbour Totoro is a universal story and we can’t wait to welcome audiences to enjoy our show.”

Toni Racklin, head of theatre and dance at the Barbican, added, “we’re absolutely blown away by the response from the public to tickets going on general sale. We knew this ambitious international collaboration would be an exciting prospect, and for so many tickets to be sold in one day is truly tremendous.”

The production will be performed on the Barbican stage for a 15-week season from Saturday 8 October until Saturday 21 January 2023. Casting is to be announced.