We are delighted to be touring a new show for you!

“exquisite … so beautifully told … completely seductive” ★★★★ Scotsman “intricately layered telling of Tolkien's short story.” ★★★★ The Stage “Absence of orcs can’t spoil this wizard show.” ★★★★ The Times. "vividly evocative soundscore by Karine Polwart" ★★★★ The Herald "shines with style." ★★★★ Edinburgh Guide "a salve on the soul" ★★★★ The List “an exceptional story teller … difficult to fault” ★★★★ Young Perspectives “a simple but charming theatrical experience” ★★★★ The Reviews Hub "rich and complex … universal and timeless" ★★★★ TV Bomb

JRR Tolkien’s Leaf By Niggle premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre Studio Thu 14 to Sat 16 Apr followed by Sat 23 Apr at Macrobert Arts Playhouse, Stirling and Fri 29 & Sat 30 Apr at Tron Theatre, Glasgow.

Dates in May and June include:
Sun 8 May Howden Park, Livingston.
Fri 13 May The Kirkgate, Cockermouth.
Sat 14 May Brewery Arts, Kendal.
Wed 18 May Mull Theatre, Tobermory
Fri 20 May Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline
Wed 25 May Theatre Royal, Dumfries
Thu 26 May CatStrand, New Galloway
Fri 3 Jun Eden Court, Inverness
Sat 4 Jun Woodend Barn, Banchory
Fri 10 Jun Eastgate Theatre, Peebles
Sat 30 Jul Universal Hall, Findhorn

Full tour date listings and links to venue booking pages are on our Touring page.

Niggle is a painter. Not a very successful one, partly because he has so many other things to do. For some time he has been obsessed with one particular canvas - a curious picture of a tree with a vast landscape stretching out behind it. The painting keeps getting bigger and bigger, but Niggle has a journey to make ...

In 1939 Tolkien was despairing of ever bringing his great work The Lord of the Rings to a conclusion. One morning he woke up with the story Leaf by Niggle complete in his mind and wrote it down. This poignant story, about an artist on a curious journey, is often seen as an allegory of the writer's own creative process and life.

Surrounded by ladders, bicycles, easels and heirlooms, Richard Medrington (Jean from The Man Who Planted Trees) recounts Tolkien’s miniature masterpiece, with a soundtrack composed by Karine Polwart and Michael John McCarthy.

Interview With Dog

Admittedly, these audience members were talking in 2008 about this being the one show you should see “this year” but we feel their enthusiasm for The Man Who Planted Trees still speaks volumes in terms of our 2013 run.


Blog Posts

JRR Tolkien’s ‘Leaf by Niggle’

Our new show is reaching completion and we are excited to be sharing it with you. Here’s a quick primer on the main what, when, who and why of it. Leaf by what? Yes we often have to repeat the name of the show. Leaf by Niggle is the same title as the short story we


The Man Who Planted Trees Fringe 2013 Media Release

  THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES – MEDIA RELEASE – FRINGE 2013 Tue 30 Jul – Fri 16 Aug 3pm £10/£7.50 Scottish Storytelling Centre, Venue 30, 43-45 Royal Mile   Box office: 0131 556 9579 For adults and children 7+   Puppet State Theatre Company celebrated their 7th anniversary of touring this show in May 2013 after a 7-week, 52 date tour



Puppet State Tweets

Post-show #leafbyniggle @TronTheatre we were blown away by the wise, insightful comments from young, old, diehard Tolkien fans & newbies.
- Saturday Apr 30 - 10:02am

Richard's #podcast with @DJChadderton of @BritTheatreGuid about #LeafbyNiggle & #TheManWhoPlantedTrees...
- Friday Apr 29 - 10:14am

“Niggle’s journey feels quite close to the bone for me, and very relevant to our times." says @IAMKP @TronTheatre
- Wednesday Apr 27 - 3:14pm

“Since I first read Leaf by Niggle I have had this urge to share it. The story seems to offer different things...
- Wednesday Apr 27 - 11:38am


Upcoming Shows

York Theatre Royal
8th Jun 2016
More Info Visit Venue
The Atkinson
16th Jul 2016
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Horse and Bamboo Theatre
17th Jul 2016
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Howden Park Centre
8th May 2016
More Info Visit Venue
The Brewery
14th May 2016
More Info Visit Venue
The Kirkgate
13th May 2016
More Info Visit Venue

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From Flickr

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The Man Who Planted Trees has won:
1. Eco Prize for Creativity, 2007
2. Total Theatre Award for Story Theatre, 2008
3. Victor Award IPAY (International Performing Arts for Youth) Showcase, Cleveland Ohio, 2009
4. Best Children’s Show at Brighton Fringe, 2009
5. Manchester Evening News Theatre Award for Best Studio Performance, 2009
6. Highest rated and reviewed show of the 2012 Edinburgh Festivals at
7. Winner of the 2012 CSPA Sustainable Production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe