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Didsbury Arts Festival Highlights Revealed

Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, writer Jackie Kay, Shameless actor David Threlfall, and classical pianist, Kathryn Stott, will contribute to some of the highlights of Didsbury Arts Festival 2011.

The annual showcase of local talent, now in its third year, will take place from Saturday 24 September to Saturday 1 October, with over 200 events and exhibitions. Organisers are now putting the finishing touches to an exciting programme that will represent a huge range of arts from music, theatre, dance and comedy to visual arts, crafts and writing – all taking place at Didsbury venues.

Didsbury Arts Festival Logo

Carol Ann DuffyCarol Ann Duffy, who became Britain’s first female Poet Laureate in 2009, will be joined by Lancaster-based violinist, Jane Lawrence, for an evening of poetry and music to pay tribute to the Didsbury-based poet, Linda Chase, who died in April.

A tireless promoter of the arts, Linda was a huge supporter of DAF and was involved in several events in last year’s Festival. A Tribute to Linda Chase will take place at Didsbury’s Emmanuel Church at 7 pm, Wednesday 28 September. Funds raised from ticket sales (£5 payable on the door) will go to Poets and Players, a group co-founded by Linda to showcase new writers alongside more established artists.

Kathryn StottNelson GoernerMeanwhile, internationally-acclaimed pianists, Kathryn Stott and Nelson Goerner, will headline an exceptional night of music-making at Emmanuel Church at 7.30 pm, Friday 30 September.

Considered among the most outstanding classical musicians of their generation, the pair will be joined by an impressive line-up, including Hungarian classical guitar duo, the Katona Twins, principal oboist of Manchester Camerata, Rachael Clegg and Didsbury-based soprano, Jill Taylor.

The concert is being held in aid of Nordoff Robbins, the national music therapy charity. Funds raised from ticket sales will help boost the group’s work in transforming the lives of vulnerable children and adults through music. Tickets (£15) are available from Montrose Properties. Call: 0161 445 7000, or visit their office on 20a Lapwing Lane, Didsbury.

Back by popular demand, Didsbury’s Got Talent promises to be another likely crowd-puller during Festival week. Fifteen finalists entertained a 300-strong audience at Ivy Manchester Church, Didsbury, when the event was last held as part of DAF 2009.

This year’s grand final will be held at Parrs Wood High School on Saturday 1 October, with finalists battling it out before an illustrious panel of judges, including actors David Threlfall and John Thomson and Didsbury Magazine Director, Salim Uddin-Khandakar.

Jackie KayOther highlights during Festival week will include a reading by the poet and novelist, Jackie Kay and the announcement of DAF’s first ever short film competition winner. Plans for the Festival’s spectacular opening weekend events on the streets, in the Parsonage Gardens and Fletcher Moss Park are still being kept tightly under wraps! Rumour has it there will be a ‘Parade of Artists’ as well as exotic animals and circus performers. You’ll just have to wait and see!

Organised by a group of enthusiastic local residents, the aim of DAF is to celebrate the arts and the wealth of talent, diversity and the vibrant community that make Didsbury so special.

Last year’s Festival was hugely successful with more than 10,000 people flocking to events. Since its launch two years ago, the area’s week-long celebration of the arts has now become an annual fixture on the local calendar . DAF Director, Maria Stripling, said: “This year’s programme will include some real comedy and theatre gems and a few surprise events as well as musical and visual arts programmes of a very high standard.”

Full details of the DAF 2011 programme will be available in August. Visit the Festival website at: www.didsburyartsfestival.org

All enquiries to: info@didsburyartsfestival.org