Leaf by Niggle

“Tolkien's lord of small things ... enchanting one-man show” ★★★★ Guardian.
“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.
"If you use even a tiny amount of your imagination, a picture forms in your head and then, a story starts forming too. I really really loved it. I would give it 5 stars." ★★★★★ All Edinburgh Theatre, Junior Review

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.


Puppet State Tweets

The Man Who Planted Trees is glad to be part of #LittleFeet at @YorkTheatre this Wed, Thurs https://t.co/kkiqjTNq5v https://t.co/K5ATGSCds6
- Tuesday Jun 7 - 3:38pm

#LeafbyNiggle is being published as a book for the first time! It's been published alongside other #Tolkien short... https://t.co/h9ZC7Zv1E7
- Sunday Jun 5 - 9:28pm

Super thrilled about @HarperCollinsUK publishing #LeafbyNiggle w/ our show artwork by @iainmcraig @RedBridgeArt :-) https://t.co/xANo23rLck
- Sunday Jun 5 - 9:22pm

Tickets now available for our @edfringe dates! https://t.co/iMXa7i8MCT #LeafbyNiggle #Tolkien @ScotStoryCentre @MadeinScotShows
- Sunday Jun 5 - 9:14pm

#postshow #LeafbyNiggle set in the sunshine @Woodend_Barn #Banchory today. #Glorious! https://t.co/VHNaPCHUIt
- Saturday Jun 4 - 10:46pm


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



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 Tickit.me
7. Winner of the 2012 CSPA Sustainable Production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe