Didsbury Arts Festival

Didsbury Arts festival is a volunteer led multi arts festival celebrating creative culture in Didsbury, through working with local, national and international artists. 

We are a biennial festival. The next edition will take place from 24th June - 2nd July 2017. The festival theme will be Roots. If you would like to join the 2017 team, please get in touch.

All Day

Transient Roots
Louise Wallwein

Various, Didsbury, Manchester, M20

Transient Roots is a poetic audio trail tracing the artists experience of growing up in care around Didsbury. Follow the trail of 10 poems and experience the writing in the location they reference.  

Transient Roots Map only


Louise Wallwein has written a new cycle of poetry honouring the houses that were once her homes. The audience will be able to follow the trail, listen to the poetry and reflect on the care experience and history, while taking a journey into the artist's childhood. The audio poems can be discovered by the audience who will receive a map and a route to follow where they will encounter temporary plaques placed outside each house, like a digital blue plaque with a QR code. These can be scanned with a phone to reveal a poem in audio or text form that reveals a hidden narrative reflecting some aspect of the artists experience of that location. During the 10 days of the festival these will only be able to be accessed in the site specific locations, but later they will be available online. 

"East Didsbury is the place where I did most of my growing up in my teenage years. Didsbury contains this hidden history. I grew up in at least seven children’s homes there. When I was born I was placed in the Catholic Children’s Rescue Adoption nursery on Parrswood Road. My adoption failed and I was returned to care aged nine.

My roots are in Didsbury but as a careleaver it is difficult to make a claim to my roots. When you grow up in care your roots are not allowed to settle too deep. You are easily uprooted and shifted around. However, I still remember each children’s home I lived in Wingate Drive, Marymount, Broome House etc.  All the houses have now been sold off and are private dwellings. I would like to claim, celebrate and honour that careleaver heritage for me and for Didsbury itself."

Louise Wallwein 

Maps of the route will be made available to download here and can be collected from Didsbury Library from 24th June 2017.

About the Artist

LOUISE WALLWEIN was brought up in 13 different children’s homes and wrote her first play at the age of 17. A renowned poet, playwright and filmmaker, her explosive work detonates her audiences’ imaginations. Louise has written, performed, and collaborated all over the world, bringing to life characters that exist in the margins of society.

Among many writing residencies, Louise was the 2006 Poet in Residence of Queensland. Her works include the BBC Radio Play “Dirty White Girl”, the plays “Skid 180”, “Melting Ice” and “Tagged”, as well as the one-woman show “Low Flying Aircraft”, performed on the wing of a World War II Shackleton aircraft.

Louise’s acclaimed show GLUE will tour later this year and will feature in the BBC/ Hull 17 Contains Strong Language Poetry Festival. This will coincide with a book launch. Glue has also been commissioned as BBC Radio 4 afternoon play.

"Louise is an explosive artist"

John McGrath, Artistic Director, Manchester International Festival


Ongoing  Transient Roots1005062 10151403446161853 1904548387 n


Didsbury Arts Festival has commissioned this work as part of its 2017 festival for which the theme is ‘Roots’celebrating Didsbury’s rich history, creativity and cultural diversity. This work will be one of 6 new works commissioned for the festival on this theme with support from Arts Coucil England.



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