Stage production of Princess Mononoke coming in 2013

Princess Mononoke is a magical film. In fact, all of Studio Ghibli’s movies are magical. The sheer beauty and sense of wonder committed in the animation is breathtaking, with worlds created by the vastest of imaginations.

What may take even more ambitious imagination is turning such a beautifully animated film into live-action, and even more so, a live-action stage performance. The idea is not unheard of; Disney’s classic The Lion King has been successfully turned into a stage production that many have gone to see and enjoy, but Studio Ghibli movies as a whole feel more ambitious to realise.

So it is with interest and excitement to discover that 1997’s Princess Mononoke would be translated onto the stage. It’s certainly a wise choice of the Ghibli range, one that is very mature and grounded of the selection of fantastic films.

Whole Hog Theatre recently announced that in collaboration with Studio Ghibli they would be taking Princess Mononoke and adapting it for the stage in 2013 to be performed at the New Diorama Theatre in London.

On their official website they explained the plot, describing that: “Young warrior Ashitaka is a marked man. Cursed by a demon god while defending his village, he must leave his home forever to seek a cure. In the forbidding forests to the west, he is forced to reconcile the warring human forces and the animal deities of times past. In the midst of this bitter and bloody conflict, he meets the wolf god Moro and her human child San: Princess Mononoke.”

They went on to elaborate on the production saying: “Using giant puppets made from recycled materials, visceral, physical storytelling and original live music, Studio Ghibli’s epic ecological fable is retold for the stage.”

It would certainly be interesting to see realised on the stage, as well as how well the original live music will work as opposed to using the beautiful original score for the film. With all these pieces coming together in an interesting and exciting manner the only question is: When can I see it?

Well… you can’t. Not yet at least. When Whole Hog made their announcement tickets were all sold out after 72 hours. Fear not, however, as on their website they ended their post on the production by saying: “We would love to take it further and are doing everything we can to bring Princess Mononoke to wider audiences.”

With the announcement of this project and the reports from sources such as MTV, more and more interest has of course been generated, this led to them more recently saying on their official Facebook page that: “We’ve been inundated with requests for information about tickets for Princess Mononoke recently – maybe something to do with the fact that we got a mention by MTV a few days ago! We have no more information about tickets to release as yet. As soon as we have any news we certainly won’t keep it a secret – we’ll be announcing on Twitter, Facebook and our website so keep checking back. It’s getting to the stage where we can’t answer all individual enquiries as there are so many so I hope this status will do as a response! CA”

It is almost a definite that the Princess Mononoke stage production will return after their initial run from the 2nd-6th April 2013, especially with such vested interest from the general public. It is almost certain that Whole Hog has a very lucrative product on their hands, being one of the first stage adaptations of Ghibli works that just encompass universal admiration and adoration through their genius and brilliance.

Only time will tell when the production will return with more showings and more tickets, until then Ghibli fans, keep checking for updates. This is definitely a show you cannot afford to miss.

Princess Mononoke originally came out in cinemas in 1997. It was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. Whole Hog Productions will show a stage adaptation at the New Diorama Theatre in London in April 2013. Below is the trailer for the original movie.

Sources: Whole Hog Theatre | Facebook | MTV

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