Reviews

(The Man Who Planted Trees reviews are here)

Praise for LEAF BY NIGGLE:

“Tolkien’s lord of small things … enchanting one-man show” ★★★★
Guardian

“exquisite … so beautifully told … completely seductive” ★★★★
Scotsman

“Simply told but intricately layered telling of Tolkien’s short story.” ★★★★
The Stage

“Absence of orcs can’t spoil this wizard show … As with all good short stories, this one expands in the imagination. Mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow, indeed.” ★★★★
The Times

“unhurried story-telling that brings a wistful charm to complex issues … vividly evocative soundscore by Karine Polwart and Michael John McCarthy.” ★★★★
The Herald

“Richard is an exceptional story teller … The overall effect is closest to wonder at a story well told. It is difficult to fault. … What it does best is to showcase the work of one of England’s finest twentieth-century writers with a sensitivity little known to a lot of modern adaptations.” ★★★★
Young Perspective

“a simple but charming theatrical experience … it will appeal to the child in us all.” ★★★★
The Reviews Hub

“rich and complex in the depth of themes that are universal and timeless … a particularly enjoyable watch for those with an interest in the life and works of Tolkien, but also offers much for the philosophically, creatively or spiritually minded.” ★★★★
TV Bomb

“With Medrington’s fireside manner and an atmospheric soundtrack by Karine Polwart and Michael John McCarthy, all under the careful direction of Edinburgh’s master storyteller Andy Cannon, Leaf By Niggle shines with style.” ★★★★
Edinburgh Guide

“Those who saw the hugely successful Man Who Planted Trees, which Puppet State toured at home and abroad for ten years, will know that Medrington can hold an audience. His calm, unhurried pace is like a salve on the soul, drawing you into another world with gentle wit and engaging banter … an intriguing, multi-layered story that leaves your pondering long after it’s finished.” ★★★★
The List

“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

“If the theatre is a form of communion of the performer and the onlooker, Leaf by Niggle is a bit more than that. It works and conveys true magic.” Magdalena Słaba
Polish Tolkien Society Review


Praise for THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES:

“A decidedly superior play … Utterly charming … One can only be grateful that such kinds of professional children’s theatre exist.”
StageHappenings.com

“This is a delightful puppet show for young and old — even if you don’t have (or know) any kids, don’t miss this show!
Arts Beat LA

“IT IS VERY, very rare to find something that appeals as effortlessly to children and adults as this magical show.”
Scotsman, 5 Stars

“Laughs, heartbreak, war, regeneration, scented breezes, sparkling wit, the best dog puppet ever. Perfect for children and grown-ups. Terrific.”
Guardian

“The Man Who Planted Trees is a consummate piece of storytelling and physical theatre, with, by turns, charming, funny and genuinely moving performances by the two – or, as Dog would point out, three – leads.” 5 Stars *****
All Edinburgh Theatre

“If you want a feel good production that will warm your heart, go and see this – five stars for sure!”
Fest

“In the words of my son Leo ‘that’s the best puppet I’ve ever seen’.”
Primary Times

“Treemendous!”
Broadway Baby

“Beautifully blending storytelling and puppetry, this performance is sensuous, humorous, emotional and thought-provoking. A stunning storytelling show!”
Three Weeks

“A charming and challenging story told with exceptional skill.”
Stage Whispers

“This is a fabulous production and beautiful tale told by two master story tellers who employ the use of puppets and simple stage props to tell the tale of an incredible man and his dog.  Suitable for audiences aged 5 – 100, this delightful multi-sensory show is an absolute MUST see.”
MeeToo

“My faith has been restored that kids entertainment does not have to be all poo and snot jokes […] The Man Who Planted Trees is a great story, brought to life by consummate theatrical storytellers, and should be seen by people of all ages. It’s a funny, tender, and meaningful work that you will carry in your heart long after the performance is through.”
In Search of LOLitanium

“As well as its clever presentation, I would give it five stars for side-splitting comedy as a highlight of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The great actor W C Fields said never work with children or animals.  Although the animal in this instance was a puppet dog and the children were a large part of the audience, the show Richard Medrington and Rick Conte, master puppeteers from Scotland’s Puppet State Theatre Company, have created has achieved a significant triumph for both.”
Aussie Theatre – Melbourne International Comedy Festival

“I cannot recommend going to see this highly enough.”
FastLaneDad

“The engagement of the children with every facet of The Man Who Planted Trees is palpable. The theatre is abuzz with a creative life-force that will spread, forest-like, into the wider world thanks to the seed planted this way on this day.”
Captital E, Wellington –  New Zealand Performing Arts Review & Directory

“It is invigorating to see home truths so sensibly and bluntly stated”
Auckland Arts Festival – New Zealand Performing Arts Review & Directory

“Puppet State Theatre’s adaptation of the French author Jean Giono’s 1953 story L’homme qui plantait des arbres is one of the most touching and effective pieces of children’s theatre I’ve seen for a long time. In fact, it’s the most completely satisfying piece of theatre playing in Sydney right now.”
Sydney Morning Herald

“Puppet State Theatre Company, has become a giant in the world of theatre for young audiences because of its clever combination of puppetry, storytelling, choreography and multi-sensory engagement.”
Culture Map Austin

“There are many large, expensive, star-studded shows on in Manchester over the festive period, but in just an hour with two talented performers, this show beats almost all of them for entertainment, humour, moving storytelling and sheer imagination and cannot be recommended too highly.”
The British Theatre Guide

“One of the most entrancing 60 minutes you will find in any theatre… A little gem of a theatrical experience.”
Wigan Evening Post

“A neatly packaged hour of amongst the finest theatre you’ll see.” ***** DigYorkshire.com

“A touching tale, full of the joys of spring and the wonder of nature.” [bm] Three Weeks

“A simple set and a simple structure enable a simple story to be told, with captivating results.” Helena S. Rampley, Science is a Lie – the real theatre blog

“Puppeteers Richard Medrington and Rick Conte of the Edinburgh State Puppet Theatre Company, with the help of Dog, an endearing, loud-mouthed button-eyed dog with a bit of a hearing problem showed what an award-winning team could do to breathe life into a simple story of tree planting.” Lim Ang Nei, Sunday People – Sunday Times Magazine, Malaysia

“I doubt whether there is a more enjoyable show on in London at the moment – for adults as well as children.” Rogues and Vagabonds

“Expertly put together and extremely entertaining … This is just a wonderful, enchanting piece of theatre for children or for adults.” British Theatre Guide

“Medrington’s voice is lilting and perfectly modulated, creating tension and pathos. Tempered by Conte’s jaunty puppet work with the dog, this is a multi-sensual and visually witty hour of children’s theatre.” The Stage

“For all the laughs to be had along the way, the ending is genuinely touching. In the performance I saw I noticed the middle-aged man in the seat next to me take out a hankie and wipe a tear from his eye.” Scotsman

“At the heart of the play though, is a deeply poignant narrative, taken from Jean Giono’s story of the same name. It really is what so many other narratives claim to be: touching, heart-warming and inspirational. Add to this already heady mix a beautifully constructed set and puppets, a few giant fans for wafting evocative scented oils around the audience… and it adds up to a flawless show for kids and adults alike. This really couldn’t come more highly recommended.” Rachel Jeffcoat at DigYorkshire.com

“This really is a show that appeals to all ages and is still a major highlight of the Fringe that can certainly withstand repeated viewings and still seem as fresh, funny and moving as ever.” The British Theatre Guide