What's on - Evening Activities

Tolkien 2019 is not just a daytime conference of talks and panels. Although that is the main programme, the event is an inclusive experience that will be running all day and into the evenings. We want to attendees to enjoy each other’s company throughout the whole event, and use the evenings to appreciate the fullness of the impact of Tolkien’s works, as well as let their hair down!

Evening entertainments are planned for each evening, and are included in the cost of Registration (except only the Banquet). There will be performances of Leaf by Niggle by the Puppet State Theatre, The People’s Orchestra will be playing themes from Tolkien adaptions, and expect to see a Masquerade and much more!


Evening activities

  • Wednesday - Leaf by Niggle
  • Thursday - The People's Orchestra
  • Friday - Banquet and Ceilidh
  • Saturday - Masquerade and Party

Exciting and unique evening activities as part of Tolkien 2019.

Join us to celebrate the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien



Tolkien 2019 starts officially from lunchtime on Wednesday, 6th August 2019, however we know that many people – including our volunteers and international travels – will be in Birmingham from the Tuesday. For those who are, we have booked the Bacchus bar from 7pm (although you’ll have to buy your own food and drink!) which in the same arcarde as the Macdonald Burlington Hotel where Tolkien 2019 takes place. The bar itself has vaulted ceilings and a variety of themed rooms – including mediaeval and Greek – so we are sure that attendees will enjoy the evening.



The Puppet State Theatre Company’s critically-acclaimed stage production of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Leaf by Niggle will join us on Wednesday, 7th August 2019.

The show has toured England, Scotland and Wales throughout 2016 and 2017 following its premiere in April 2016, and has received high praise from the critics. Included as part of attendees’ registration to Tolkien 2019 includes access to an exclusive performance of Leaf by Niggle, taking place in the same hotel as the rest of the event.

This storytelling show, created and performed by Richard Medrington, draws on Richard’s personal family history as an introduction to Tolkien’s original story. Surrounded by ladders, bicycles and heirlooms, Richard recounts Tolkien’s miniature masterpiece with a soundtrack composed by Karine Polwart and Michael John McCarthy.



The People’s Orchestra is a local charity that is open to all and will be performing two 45-minute sets for us on the Thursday evening. The music they will play we derive from a range of Tolkien-inspired music. The Orchestra is a registered charity working in some of the most deprived parts of the England, it raises the profile of a number of other charitable causes, and had performed as part of the Commonwealth Games. In 2016 the BBC listed is as one the UK’s most inspiring amateur orchestras as part of the series All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge. What they say about themselves:

The People’s Orchestra are one of the UK’s leading pro-amateur instrumental orchestras and we’re well known for our pioneering approach to music. We love what we do and we’re proud of our reputation for performing with warmth, imagination and expertise. Through all its work The People’s Orchestra seeks to reinvent orchestra performance, its artistry and engagement, and to showcase the art form’s impact on social change in our community.



The Friday evening kicks off with a banquet, which will be a full meat buffet with a hog roast. Vegetarian options will be catered for (and other dietary requirements), and we want to make sure that this is feast fit for a dwarven party! The banquet is not included within your registration and separate charge applies.

After the banquet we will reconfigure the room and hold a ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee), a traditional Scottish dance. It is the sort of fun you would expect to see in the Shire, and has become a popular staple of Tolkien Society events in recent years; this will go on to the early hours and all registered attendees can join in.



Our final evening activity is the masquerade and party. A Tolkien Society event wouldn’t be the same without costumes, from the stunning concepts worked on for months to the last-minute ideas created in minutes. Attendees will show off their creations and whilst the judges deliberate everyone can enjoy a Tolkien version of the BBC Radio 4 show Just a Minute.

Delegates who are interested in showing costumes in the Masquerade should submit their entry online.

Following the results, we will then move on to the Party. This will be a true birthday party of the Society’s 50 years and details will be revealed closer to the time, but is not to be missed!

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