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Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui / Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon: Pluto

Image of robot and boy fighting

In a genre-defying show honouring the Japanese art form of manga, sensational visual effects, impactful storytelling and performances of physical grace enliven this iconic Astro Boy tale.

Depicting a universe where people and robots both coexist and find themselves in conflict, Pluto engages audiences with far-reaching themes that ask what it means to be human. Starring skilled Japanese actors alongside dancers and elaborate puppet creations, the arresting staging is characterised by scale, energy and graphics faithful to the original comic book.
A striking 2003 reinterpretation of Astro Boy for the modern age, by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki, Pluto is directed by Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in his first full-length theatre production.

Approximately 3 hours/including an interval
Age guidance 14+
Performed in Japanese with English surtitles

Presented by the Barbican. Produced by Bunkamura TBS. Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, Performing Arts Japan for Europe, and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation


‘Transports the audience into a futuristic space‘
Sankei Shimbun (Japan)


a woman talking to a robot

Long Read: The Making of 'Pluto'

We speak to Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui about the process of translating manga for the theatre, the impact of manga on the creative process and get an insight into rehearsals with the Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon.

With thanks

Japan Foundation
Great British Sasakawa Foundation logo

Barbican Theatre