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The Muddy Guide: What’s On 8 – 15 April

Bounce through bluebells, prepare a pizza, laugh out loud or camp it up in Crawley. There are a few more current kids’ happening for the Easter hols left in my Survival Guide too – I’ve shuffled them to the top to make things easier.

Rich Hall: 3.10 to Humour, Connaught Theatre, Worthing, 12 April


The gravel-voiced comic from Montana is a big favourite in the Muddy house, I’ve seen him perform several times and it’s always a treat. You may have seen Rich Hall on QI but you’ve missed out if you haven’t heard his comic country-style songs. Some of the best are improvised by drawing in details of audience members. Catch him locally for one night only. Tickets costs £17.50

Dogs Don’t Do Ballet, Connaught Theatre, Worthing, 8-9 April

CROP dogs-960

By complete contrast, here’s something at the Connaught for youngsters. Ballet Black brings to life the best-selling children’s book about Biff the dog who instead of chasing sticks takes to practising pirouttes in the park. Tickets are £12 each or £40 for a family of four.

Vegetarian Feast Night, Limes of Lindfield, 14 April


If you’re vegetarian and tired of the inevitable goats cheese tart served up in less adventurous venues, get down to Limes of Lindfield where there’s a vegetarian feast on the second Thursday of each month. This time round there will be no less than 11 Asian-inspired dishes, including Thai pancakes, stuffed noodles and curry. In fact, the menu’s more than vegetarian – it’s vegan and gluten-free. Tickets for £35 including vegan wine matched to the dishes sounds very good value, in fact I’m kicking myself I can’t make this month’s.

Deborah Frances-White Rolls The Dice, Komedia, Brighton, 9 April


I love a comedian rifting off an interesting true-life story, which is why I have a ticket for this gig. She’s had a show on Radio 4 of the same name using snapshots from her life. Intriguingly this tour covers how she was adopted at birth, raised as a Jehovah Witness and later began a round-the-world treasure hunt for her birth mother. Tickets cost £12.

Wood-fired sourdough pizza-making masterclass, The Hearth, Lewes, 10 April


Popular Lewes pizzeria The Hearth will be sharing its tricks of the trade in a hands-on day long pizza-making class aimed at beginners and improvers. You’ll ‘feed’ your sourdough starter, knead and ‘open’ your dough (hopefully that means you get to toss it about Italian-style) and learn about baking techniques. The course runs from 10.30am to 5.30pm and costs £100 for which you’ll also get to take home a kit with Hearth’s sourdough starter, a bag of heritage flour, a dough scraper and a worksheet, plus, of course, you get to eat what you make.

Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse, various cinemas from April 12


I’ve seen several West End theatre productions screened at my local cinemas but this is a bit different. The horticulturally-themed Monet to Matisse exhibition at the Royal Academy is being shown as a curator-guided tour. As well as the artists of the title, the works of Van Gogh, Sargent, Pissarro and more will be covered. Many Sussex cinemas are getting involved. Find your nearest through the link.

Bluebell Walk and Farm Trail, Arlington, until 8 May


The woods are turning pretty colours and that means you can now follow the Arlington Bluebell trail from Bates Green Farm between 10.00am and 5.00pm daily until 8 May. Something of a growing tradition for the last 40 years, it now covers seven possible trails over three farms, one wheelchair accessible. There’s also the opportunity for kids to watch cows being milked in the afternoons. On Fridays and Saturdays, when the farm shop is open, stop in for home-reared beef, lamb and poultry, plus sausages, pies tarts, bread and cakes and cooking ingredients chosen by the farm’s professional cook and food writer.

Tap Takeover, various pubs, Brighton, 8-10 April


The hipster beard count will be high in Brighton this weekend as 10 pubs and 10 partner breweries hook up for what is being billed as the South Coast’s biggest ever craft beer festival. In line with the pint downing will be special menus, live art, tutored tastings, bands and DJs, so it might be worth checking out even if, like me, you can’t stand the stuff. Get a wristband in advance for discounts.

Circus Zyair, Fontwell Park Racecourse, 8 – 11 April (other Sussex venues later)


Circus Zyair is raising its heated big tent on Fontwell Park Racecourse, providing a final hurrah to the Easter holidays. Expect motorbike stunts and high-wire high-jinks from an international cast. Shows are at various times of day and there are different priced tickets, from £6.99 for all on the first day and £7.99 on Saturday up to £18 adults, £14 children for top seats at other times. The fun moves on to Hastings 19 – 26 April and Crawley 28 April – 3 May.

Beginning Nature Photography, Woods Mill, Henfield, 9-10 April


If you’re wowed by Sussex scenery but frustrated by your inability to record it, get yourself onto to this two-day Sussex Wildlife Trust workshop which promises to kick-start your nature photography skills. You’ll learn all about depth of field, metering and composition and try out your new techniques around the Woods Mill reserve. It costs £126 (£90 for SWT members).



Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Hawth, Crawley, 18 – 23 April

Simon Green as Bernadette, Duncan James as Tick, Adam Bailey as Felicia - Priscilla Queen of the Desert - The Musical - Photo credit Paul Coltas

The ever-fabulous Priscilla is back, telling the tale of three drag queens who take a road trip across the Australian outback. I saw it on a previous run and I warn you not to expect the witty, bitchy dialogue of the cult film, but instead get set for a feel-good jukebox musical of mainly ‘80s hits and increasingly outrageous costumes. Duncan James from Blue is starring. I once touched him bum – no, really. OK, he actually crushed my hand against the back of a seat with it as he bent over to talk to someone at a function. The glamour! Most of the tickets left for the show are around the £40 mark.

The Treason Show, Adastra Hall, Hassocks, 16 April (other locations 8,9, 15)

CROP Treason xmas2012-01-500x700

This satirical sketch show is a Brighton regulars but later this month the team are heading just over the hills to Hassocks as part of the new and thriving Ha Ha Hassocks comedy schedule that’s the brainchild of local café The Purple Carrot. I caught the show recently and as you can imagine there were plenty of Trump jokes, but there was also a smattering of local fare including a song about the delights of a night out in Haywards Heath. Buy your tickets at the café or online from £13.50 (more for a food and wine deal). The show is also on in Shoreham the day before and in Brighton 8-9 April).


Bookish Supper Club Fashion Special, Hove, 19 April  

Bookish super club 21 April a5556b06-36f5-4aec-9c5d-a04221b2e26f

At the time of writing there were still a few seats left for the Bookish Supper Club’s fashion special. Tuck into food and wine while hearing the secrets of the fashion industry from Artist David Downton and journalist and Director of London College of Fashion who have written a new behind-the-scenes book. I’ve been to a previous Bookish event and found it a friendly affair. I even got chatting to a man who’d punched Benedict Cumberbatch – for artistic purposes, in Sherlock. Tickets cost £26.

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