Studio Ghibli’s Film Turned into Live Adaptation

By: Heather Huffman

Princess  Mononoke will be transformed into a live adaptation by a theater in London. Whole Hog Theatre, a theater in Leamington Spa, United Kingdom has transformed Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film, Princess Mononoke into a play.

The theater specializes in adaptation and has always been fascinated by its possibilities and challenges. It strives to produce work that explores the outer limits of imaginations. The challenge of staging the unstageable and the bold concepts, physical storytelling and explorations into puppetry, which permeate their work, is about raising the expectations of the worlds which can be created onstage.

The theater will stick with Miyazaki’s story of the young warrior Ashitaka. 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, also known as Princess Mononoke.

Whole Hog Theatre aims to create a faithful adaptation which the audience leaves feeling the same as they did the first time they watched the film. They will use recycled materials, costume and props in order to honor the film’s ecological ethics and have as little impact on the environment as possible.

The company has a sold-out showing for the week of April  2-6, 2013.  The theater is small and has decided that if they are able to raise £5,000, roughly $8,000 USD, they will perform the show more times.

As of November 26, 2012, they have already raised nearly £6,000 with 23 days left. The company hopes to raise even more so that their adaptation can be seen by others.

Check out the Whole Hog Theater at