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Leaf by Niggle play continues to popular acclaim
Leaf by Niggle, April 2016, Puppet State Theatre Company

The stage play of J.R.R. Tolkien’s short story Leaf by Niggle is continuing its tour of Scotland following criticial acclaim.

The production by the Puppet State Theatre Company has been supported by Creative Scotland and the Tolkien Trust and premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre Studio on Thursday 14th April before touring Scotland.

The tour has been greeted positively by critics. Mark Fisher at The Guardian was most complimentary about both the actor and the author: “Medrington tells the story with little embellishment, trusting Tolkien’s words – and the unruffled clarity of his own delivery – to do the work. Enhanced by the sharply defined spaces of Gerron Stewart’s lighting and the timeless folk melodies of Karine Polwart and Michael John McCarthy, it leaves you with a sense of mystery.”

Thom Dibdin at The Stage said “Deceptively simple, Richard Medrington’s take on JRR Tolkien’s short story, Leaf by Niggle, finds layers of meaning and hope in a tale that is big in regret and disappointment” while R.G. Balgray at The Reviews Hub reiterated the same theme by calling it a “simple but charming theatrical experience”.

Anna Burnside at the Scottish Daily Record was keen to point out that “there are no elves, dragons, runes, magic rings or any other mystical creature or plot devices” but Kelly Apter at The List was keen to defend bhe story by saying that “Tolkien knew a thing or two about imparting tales too, and Leaf By Niggle is an intriguing, multi-layered story” and that, “Medrington doesn’t tie it up neatly for us, leaving the audience to not only question Tolkien’s story, but what might lie in our own family history.”

The tour continues:

  • Friday, 20th May – Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline
  • Wednesday, 25th May – Theatre Royal, Dumfries
  • Thursday, 26th May – CatStran, New Galloway
  • Friday, 3rd Jun – Eden Court, Inverness
  • Saturday, 4th Jun – Woodend Barn, Banchory
  • Friday, 10th Jun – Eastgate Theatre, Peebles
  • Saturday, 30th Jul – Universal Hall, Findhorn

For more information about the venues – and how to book – visit the Puppet State Theatre Company’s website.

About the Author: Shaun Gunner

Shaun is the current Chair of The Tolkien Society. Elected in 2013, Shaun regularly speaks about adaptations of Tolkien’s works whilst passionately believing the Society needs to reach out to new audiences. In his spare time can be found in the cinema, playing video games and Lego, or on Twitter.