Leaves, Trees and New Growth

by Puppet State in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 22nd September 2020 we successfully raised £6,431 ( + est. £890.00 Gift Aid ) with 228 supporters in 35 days

Help us find ways to keep telling stories like 'The Man Who Planted Trees' & 'JRR Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle'

by Puppet State in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

One last thank you! (And how to keep in touch)

(The very brief version: 

Thank you again! You are amazing!

Keep in touch here and get fun stuff!)

(The longer version)


A year ago we were figuring out how we would arrange our particular Puppet-State-shaped rewards on this Crowdfunder platform. We hadn't yet filmed JRR Tolkien’s Leaf by Niggle in HD and were pacing up and down on another rainy summers day, scratching our heads and waiting for our early attempts at sourdough to rise. 

Soon, Niggle was in the can and we were ready to pitch our wares to you. Without knowing what was ahead of us, we stepped out in faith and were warmly met with support and interest in Puppet State's work, past and future.

So what's happened since then? 

We've Spent Your Support Wisely! 

Thanks to your kind  and generous support we’ve whiled away our most enjoyable chunks of this long and unusual year doing things like:

  • creating video message rewards with Oswald and Dog (and the politician from The Man Who Planted Trees got in on the act too)

September 2020 Video Messages from Oswald and Dog. Photo montage of Dog in the office, Oswald at the desk and being filmed talking to camera.

  • exploring the possibilities of green screen technology both on film and via zoom 
  • using our carport in winter as a recording studio, (and as a festive social space for hot drinks with blankets on knees)

December 2020, Carport Studio and Social Grotto. Photo montage of green screen with Oswald being filmed, Richard and Rick wearing winter coats and hats. Carport lit up with fairy lights.

Text on a photo montage: Spring Summer 2021, Very Many John Muir Development Zoom Meetings. 3 screen shots from zoom featuring Richard Medrington, Elspeth Murray, Andy Cannon and Rick Conte. Some photos include the team smiling, holding up mugs, puppets and/or making faces.

What Happens Next? 

Keep in Touch!

If you already signed up to receive news from us in future and you will be hearing from us before long. It is, after all, August and in Puppet State land, things tend to happen in August. (Hint: more opportunities to enjoy our work and engage with us online!)

If you're not sure, or you didn’t tick ‘yes’ to ‘marketing’ when you signed up (and to be honest can you remember if you did or not?), you can use our groovy new signup page here to give permission for us to send you the occasional email (including about where the John Muir project will eventually emerge in the world)… with the added bonus that NEW signups will receive a video message from our very own wistful West End actor Oswald, the under-qualified Puppet State admin assistant. 


Click here to sign up to our newsletter and you are welcome to share it with your pals as well, if you think they can handle it. 

With our very best wishes to you and yours from all of us at Puppet State, 

Richard, Rick, Elspeth, Andy, Dog and Oswald

(Yay! You read all the way to the end. You really are amazing!)


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This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£1 or more

Whatever you can afford

A few quid in Dog's basket. A contribution to his sausage roll fund. He will love you forever.

£10 or more

Watch 'The Man Who Planted Trees'

Filmed at the 2019 Fringe - and in far higher quality than the footage previously filmed way back in 2007 - this footage captures the live atmosphere of our favourite venue, the Scottish Storytelling Centre. All the ups and downs of the efforts of Elzéard Bouffier - and his faithful dog, Dog - to bring hope to a barren landscape. Sadly no smellivision but we hope the story itself will evoke the smell of the French countryside. View till 21 Sept.

£10 or more

Watch 'JRR Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle'

In agreement with the Tolkien Trust, we are offering access for 1 week only to a filmed performance of our adaptation of 'JRR Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle'. Filmed in August 2020 at the Scottish Storytelling Centre following social distancing guidelines, this footage brings you up close to the objects and artefacts that inspired performer Richard Medrington to weave Tolkien's miniature masterpiece with his own family's stories. View from 25-31 August

£15 or more

'The Man Who Planted Trees' AND 'Leaf by Niggle'

Access to view The Man Who Planted Trees from 21st Aug - 21st Sept and JRR Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle from 25th until 31st August. We know many of you have seen these shows several times - some have even worn out your vintage 'The Man Who Planted Trees' DVDs. Now you can watch both these gems again and again from the comfort of your own home!

£18 or more

'The Man Who Planted Trees' & Live Post-Show Q&A

Watch The Man Who Planted Trees, filmed at the 2019 Fringe, along with an online audience and stay for some live post-show chat with seasoned performers Richard Medrington and Rick Conte who have been touring together with this production since 2006. Your chance to put them on the spot and ask about their experience of traveling the world and living this evergreen story over the last 14 years. Screening 21st August 7pm, Q&A 8.15pm on Zoom.

£20 or more

20 of 50 claimed

'JRR Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle' & Live Q&A

Along with an online audience, watch JRR Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle, filmed under social-distancing guidelines at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, and stay for some live post-show discussion with performer Richard Medrington. Featuring guest Tolkien expert, Senior Lecturer in Fantasy and Children's Literature and Co-Director, Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic, Dr Dimitra Fimi. Screening 7pm 25th August 2020, Q&A 8.30pm.

£30 or more

'Trees' and 'Leaf' with Live Q&A Double Bill

Get the full experience of watching both shows and also participate in 'The Man Who Planted Trees' with Live Q&A on 21st and 'JRR Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle' on 25th with continued access until 31st August. Get your fill of inspiring storytelling and insider insights with this bumper reward.

£40 or more

2 of 5 claimed

Rare Book Collectors' Special

The very rare first printing of Leaf by Niggle in June 2016 said that our premiere was at the "Edinburgh Festival Theatre". This was corrected in the second printing to “Festival Theatre Edinburgh”. Future collectors will want the one with the mistake! Comes with a signed, first edition copy of 'Sea Above, Sky Below', the novel Richard mentions in the introduction to the show and was inspired to complete by re-reading Leaf by Niggle.

£50 or more

Generosity of Spirit

There's nothing in it for you at all except knowing that you're following your heart and reaching towards the future with us during this time of uncertainty.

£150 or more

3 of 20 claimed

Personalised Message from Dog or Oswald

Mark a special occasion, friendship or show your thanks to your family or colleagues for all they've put up with lately with a personalised message from Dog from 'The Man Who Planted Trees' or our admin monkey Oswald to keep or share. And if you claim this reward you also get access to the other viewing experiences and Q&A involvement.

£500 or more

1 of 2 claimed

Bespoke Puppet State Online Masterclass

Tap into the amazing skills embodied in the Puppet State Theatre Company team and enjoy an online workshop experience for you and up to 10 other adults. We will meet online to discern your interests in puppetry, storytelling or creative writing and deliver a zoom workshop with follow up package to suit your needs.

£1,000 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Personalised Post-Lockdown Performance

Bring the magic of live theatre, Tolkien's inimitable storytelling and Richard Medrington's fireside manner to your large living room or other suitable venue and enchant your guests with a live performance of JRR Tolkien’s Leaf by Niggle within 50 miles of Edinburgh with up to 30 guests within COVID-19 safeguards at the time of the show.

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