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The Muddy Guide: What’s On 3 – 9 June

Just what is going on with the weather? Predictions are it’s going to get better but meanwhile, fear not, there are plenty of good reasons to get out of the house yet stay indoors this week. If you’re looking for more family-orientated fun, check out my newly updated Half Term Guide.

The Bodyguard, the musical, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne 7- 18 June


The award-winning musical based on the blockbuster film, is hitting Sussex with  X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke as Rachel. You know the story, former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect pop superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker and they end up getting it on. The Whitney hits Queen of the Night and I Will Always Love You that appeared in the film are joined by a host of others from her back catalogue. Tickets costs from £26. Note that Burke is not performing some of the matinees.

Rufus Wainwright, Brighton Dome, 4 June


There are just a few seats left for Rufus Wainwright at Brighton Dome. The much-acclaimed American-Canadian singer-songwriter and composer has collaborated with artists ranging from Elton John to Mark Ronson, Joni Mitchell to Burt Bacharach, written operas and performed a Judy Garland tribute. I’ve seen both his famous folk singer parents Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle perform in years gone by – thinking I should make it a hat-trick. Tickets cost from £47.50

Lewes Short Story Club, Waterstone’s Bookshop, 5 June


This is a new friendly get-together for lovers of the short story – a form that has somehow in the UK, unlike the US, always been something of a poor relation to the novel. The meets are monthly around the large table in Waterstone’s window with three stories read aloud and discussed, like an informal book club. Being a short story fan myself I’ve been to a previous session and can tell you it’s a throughly enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning over tea and cake from the nearby counter. The theme this month is Latin America with tales from Argentina, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. The shop is also giving participants 30% off any book purchase. The session runs 10.00am – 12.00pm and if you don’t make the start simply grab a chair when you arrive. See you there.

Vivien Leigh: Public faces, Private Lives, Nymans, until 4 Sept

Vivien Leigh Archive material;

Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra

The iconic star of Gone With the Wind and many more classics is celebrated with a newly opened exhibition in National Trust property Nymans – one-time home of her favourite costume designer Oliver Messel. His sets and costume designs for the star have been curated and lent by the V&A, which recently acquired Leigh’s personal archive. The exhibition includes over 100 pieces from costumes and sketches to photographs and scripts, even letters from her husband Laurence Olivier. The standard admission charge (£11.50 adults) applies.

Nyetimber sparkling wine tasting, Boyd’s Grill & Wine Bar, London, 7 June


Sussex wine producer Nyetimber is the featured supplier at a tasting event at Boyd’s in London. The bar is in a lovely heritage building in Northumblerland Avenue, just off Traflagar Square. The event starts at 6.30pm and costs £25 per person for four glasses plus four ‘small plates’ (think tapas) of paired food, with a member of the Nyetimber team on hand to explain more about the wines.

Bluebell Kitchen’s Cake and Scones workshop, Arlington Bluebell Farm Shop, 8 June


If you’re a fan of the sweet fare at Arlington Bluebell Farm Shop near Hailsham, here’s your chance to learn how to recreate it at home. This workshop will teach you how to make some of the popular cakes and scones the farm sells. The event runs from 2.00pm to 5.00pm and costs £50 which includes recipes, refreshments, and afternoon tea in the garden.

The Audience, various cinemas, 9 June


If you haven’t yet seen this cracking play from the National Theatre here’s your chance to catch it locally with a screening to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday. Over the last 60 years the Queen has met with her 12 prime ministers in private weekly audiences. This is an imagined account of what she’s discussed with Churchill, Thatcher and the others, drawing on real history and character traits. I saw it in the first round of live broadcasts and found it both humorous and poignant, with, as you’d expect, a superb performance from Helen Mirren. A Q&A with Mirren and director Stephen Daldry is included. Adults tickets are £14.50. 

1966 World Cup Remembered Supper Club, Haywards Heath, 10 June


There are still a few tickets left for this fun dining event I flagged up a couple of weeks back. It’s 50 years since we last held the World Cup aloft and Repast Supper Club, which specialises in historically slanted dining, has produced an internationally themed menu to mark the occasion. There’ll be a course each from the four countries that made the semis/final that fateful year – Russia, Portugal, Germany and of course, England. Tickets are £35.


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