Six writers have been specially commissioned to create and perform brand-new pieces inspired by place as part of Didsbury Arts Festival 2017, which has been going since 2009 and whose theme this year is “roots” (more here).
From the Gates of Hell to a grand railway hotel gone to the dogs, and from a Victorian villa with unique stained glass windows to an Art Deco block of flats with a mysterious safe, Elizabeth Baines, Sarah Butler (pictured), Sarah-Clare Conlon, David Gaffney, Nicholas Royle, whose latest book, Ornithology, is just out with Confingo, and Adrian Slatcher invite you to take a tour of local places and people, past and present. This is Re/Place(d) – Stories that are right up your street.
Each writer will read their site-specific short stories against a backdrop of archive and contemporary film footage, some provided by the North West Film Archive, courtesy John Newton, and edited by Steve Hanson, plus specially curated not-the-usual-suspects Manchester-relevant music. The event takes place at The Old Parsonage, one of the oldest buildings in Didsbury, and close by St James’s Church (the oldest building) and the amazing Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden.
Re/Place(d) – Stories that are right up your street is a follow-up to 2015’s popular Re/Place project for Chorlton Arts Festival and is supported by Arts Council England. The day before the performance event, a creative writing workshop (Friday 30 June, 3-5pm, also The Old Parsonage) will be led by micro fiction experts and two of the project’s artists, Verbose host Sarah-Clare Conlon and David Gaffney, whose latest book, All The Places I’ve Ever Lived, was published last month. Tickets for the workshop are £5 each and need to be booked here.
Didsbury Arts Festival continues until Sunday 2 July, with the literature strand featuring Man Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson in conversation with Re/Place(d) project collaborator Nicholas Royle.