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Didsbury Arts Festival #2

September 26, 2010
Hieronymous the Hippopotamus, Didsbury Arts Festival

Hieronymous the Hippopotamus, Didsbury Arts Festival

We headed out fairly today, for a Sunday, and by noon found ourselves in a growing crowd outside Didsbury Library, awaiting the arrival of Hieronymous, the animatronic “hippochondriac” hippopotamus. As far as children’s entertainers go, Professor Daphne and Professor Park were clearly entertaining. The children in the crowd were either enthralled or terrified by their attempts to diagnose the state of health of the hippo. There was a moment of tension when Professor Park had to delve into the depths of its throat to discover the problem – relief all round when a frog was a retrieved. A frog in the throat. Boom! Boom! But then cries of shock from the children (and some game adults in the crowd) when Professor Daphne checked the species of the frog, and discovered it to be BLUE…ARROWED…POISONOUS FROG… Cue much theatrical chucking around of the frog – and then a song to make it all better. Highly entertaining for the children, but I can’t take too many songs with forced ryhme schemes! Still, the actual hippo was quite amazing – and hats off to the two performers who performed as if they were on the stage at The Globe, rather than in front of Didsbury Library on a cold, grey autumnal Sunday morning.

Hieronymous the Hippopotamus, Didsbury Arts Festival

Hieronymous the Hippopotamus, Didsbury Arts Festival

Hieronymous the Hippopotamus, Didsbury Arts Festival

Hieronymous the Hippopotamus, Didsbury Arts Festival

Hieronymous the Hippopotamus, Didsbury Arts Festival

Hieronymous the Hippopotamus, Didsbury Arts Festival

Hieronymous the Hippopotamus, Didsbury Arts Festival

Hieronymous the Hippopotamus, Didsbury Arts Festival

Next up was Mystic Monty. Now again, magicians and soothsayers just aren’t my bag. And I don’t really get grown-ups who dress up in a fairly ridulous manner and perform in an over-the-top “I’m a Children’s Entertainer” kind of way. However, despite my initial reservations there was something very charming about Mystic Monty, in a Victorian fairground kind of way. His side-kick, a kind of half decayed/half mummified donkey in a dress, was bizarre to say the least, but at least he had an original act. Still, once again, the children saw it on a very different level – and I suppose that’s what counts…

Mystic Monty, Didsbury Arts Festival

Mystic Monty, Didsbury Arts Festival

Then, it was off to Fletcher Moss Park to the Creative Space. First off was Nicholas Royle, reading one of his short stories “Pink”. Interlaced with many Didsbury references, he had his audience captivated – no mean feat when you’re reading without a mic, to a crowd that’s probably 50% children. Such is the power of good literature.

Nicholas Royle - Fletcher Moss Park, Didsbury Arts Festival

Nicholas Royle - Fletcher Moss Park, Didsbury Arts Festival

Nicholas Royle

Nicholas Royle

Next up were the Tibetan Buddhist Monks, with The Sacred Sounds of Tibet. It was a lovely experience, if only for a few minutes, to escape the sounds of the city and be almost transported to somewhere a little bit more magical. The Monks were dignified performers and were another act who completely captivated the audience members, both young and old(er).

Tibetan Buddhist Monks, Didsbury Arts Festival

Tibetan Buddhist Monks, Didsbury Arts Festival

Tibetan Buddhist Monks, Didsbury Arts Festival

Tibetan Buddhist Monks, Didsbury Arts Festival

Tibetan Buddhist Monks, Didsbury Arts Festival

Tibetan Buddhist Monks, Didsbury Arts Festival

Tibetan Buddhist Monks, Didsbury Arts Festival

Tibetan Buddhist Monks, Didsbury Arts Festival

Tibetan Buddhist Monks, Didsbury Arts Festival

Tibetan Buddhist Monks, Didsbury Arts Festival

The Hippo and Mystic Monty rolled into the park, having travelled along Wilmslow Rd – can only imagine what they must have looked like! This time there was a much larger crowd, and many more children who were very appreciative of both acts.

Mystic Monty, Didsbury Arts Festival

Mystic Monty, Didsbury Arts Festival

The DAF Hippo

The DAF Hippo

There was also a bit of Art in the Park going on, with children being encouraged to contribute to an oil painted scene of Fletcher Moss Park. It didn’t surprise us one little bit to see middle Ms Manning picking up a piant brush and get stuck straight in – we’ll leave you with Ava. After all, a Didsbury Life blog probably wouldn’t be a Didsbury Life blog without an appearance by at least one of the Manning girls…

Art in the Park with Ava

Art in the Park with Ava

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