Stage play of Miyazaki Hayao's 'Spirited Away' showing in London

The stage adaptation of Japanese anime film "Spirited Away" is being performed at a London theater.

The show kicked off at the theater in the West End on Tuesday. The production is presented in Japanese with English surtitles.

The film, directed by Miyazaki Hayao, was released in 2001 and became a huge hit. It tells the story of a girl who inadvertently sets foot in a mysterious world of deities. The stage version was first put on in Japan in 2022.

In one of the shows in London, the audience looked mesmerized by the costumes and performances of the unique characters. At the curtain call, the crowd gave the actors a standing ovation.

Hashimoto Kanna, who plays Chihiro, the main character, said that unlike in Japan, laughter erupted in various scenes. She also said she is happy to be welcomed with warm cheers.

Kamishiraishi Mone, who also plays Chihiro, said that when she said, "Arigato gozaimashita," meaning "Thank you very much," she really felt the cast had come from Japan and done the work in Japanese.

Toho, which produced the play, says it expects about 300,000 people to watch the show in London over about four months. The company also says it is rare for a Japanese-language stage play to have a long run overseas.