By Mairi Therese Gilfedder
Leaf by Niggle is a one man show which tells a short story by JRR Tolkein (that’s right, from Lord of the Rings fame!). The action
switches between the actor reading the Tolkein story, and
commenting on the artefacts from his grandparent’s attic. In the
Tolkein story Niggle is trying to paint a picture, but he’s also putting off a journey he has to make. He’s painting on canvas and he wants to make one leaf perfect. The story of Leaf by Niggle was awesome, there’s a lot of symbolism in it: Tree makes paper, makes pencils, makes memories. The actor punctuates it by sharing memories of his grandparents in the war.
However, the show as a whole didn’t work for me. I couldn’t see the links between the two stories. It would be like me telling you a story about the Owl and the Pussycat, and then abruptly starting to teach you BSL and then going back to the Owl and the Pussycat. And again. And again. As a person with a learning disability I found it really hard to follow. Also, the stuff in the attic didn’t feel relatable. When Richard was reading the story he was really engaging, but when he was showing the artefacts he was really deadpan.
I went to a signed performance and as someone with a hearing
impairment who is currently learning BSL, it was fantastic. The venue was easy to get into as well.
To be honest, although I liked the story, I wouldn’t recommend it.
*** 3 STARS
Mairi Therese is reviewing on behalf of get2gether, all of our reviewers have lived experience of disability and are reviewing from their unique perspective. Find out more about Mairi Therese here