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The Muddy Guide: What’s On 15 – 21 April

Retro record fun, classic novels at the theatre, Feng Shui lunching and DJ-ing for the under eights. It can only be The Muddy Guide.

Record Store Day, various Sussex shops and Brighton Dome, 16 April 


Saturday 16 April is Record Store Day, the annual vinyl love-in that spawns a host of indie music events. Eastbourne’s The Vinyl Frontier will have live performances and DJ sets in store, Future Audio in East Grinstead will have limited editions to purchase, and Union Music Store in Lewes is hosting live music on a stage outside from midday, with Harveys on tap. In conjunction with Resident Music in Brighton, The Dome is stretching its regular SPECTRUM showcase for local bands to run from noon till late, with wristband entry so you can come and go as you please. The line-up includes Tigercub, Gang, Normanton Street, Yumi And The Weather, Calico, Via Tirana, Della Lupa & Barnacles, Bobbie Johnson and Squid. I really rate Normanton Street, a genre-bending band who mix hip hop with some gorgeous soul vocals. Tickets covering the lot are just £8 – bargain. Find more events near you on the Record Store Day website.


Alan Gardener / Shadowlands, Connaught Theatre, Worthing, 18/19 April


Pink-haired and aptly named Alan Gardener has created 32 award-wining RHS show gardens. Now the man best known as Channel 4’s The Autistic Gardener, will be discussing plants, people and life on the spectrum as he makes a personal appearance at the Connaught. Standard adult tickets cost £16.50 Tearjerking CS Lewis biopic Shadowlands has meanwhile moved down the coast and is on at the Connaught on 19 April. See a Muddy review here (full-priced tickets from £24.50).


Bookish Supper Club Fashion Special, Hove, 21 April  

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

Just 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.

Jane Austin’s Emma/ Omid Djalili, The Hawth, Crawley 16/15 April


You may have seen the film with Gwyneth Paltrow but have you ever seen Emma on stage? Probably not, but there’s your chance – Hotbuckle Productions, known for their innovative adaptations, are bringing Austen’s tale of match-making and meddling to The Hawth Studio. Standard adult tickets cost £14.50. For something complety different. Catch TV comic Omid Djalili at the Hawth the night before. (tickets £24).

Family Film Night: The Good Dinosaur, Fishers Adventure Farm Park, Wisborough Green, 16 April


A Pyjama party with a difference – this one takes place in a barn! Snuggle down in your onsie with popcorn and hot chocolate for a screening of The Good Dinosaur on the farms’s brand new screen. The soft play area will also be open late for young fidgeters. Tickets cost £5

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 dancefloor-filling hits and increasingly outrageous costumes. Duncan James from Blue is starring. Most of the tickets left for the show are around the £40 mark.

Lunch with introduction to Feng Shui, South Lodge, Horsham, 18 April 


Sussex holistic medical practioner and Feng Shui expert Richard Creightmore will talk about he Chinese theory of balance which is said to optimise health, wealth and luck. Meanwhile you can enhance your wellbeing with a three-course lunch with a glass of wine. This is billed as a ‘ladies’ lunch’ but presumably is open to all. Tickets are £35 each.

Of Mice and Men, Theatre Royal, Brighton, 19-23 April

Kristian Phillips (Lennie) and William Rodell (George) in Of Mice And Men (4)

John Steinbeck’s classic tear-jerking tale of a couple of ranch hands drifting from job to job in the Great Depression is in town,  courtesy of the Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Birmingham Repertory Theatre.  It’s a story about friendship, longing for a sense of home and the misunderstandings that can arise around people with what we’d now call learning difficulties. Watch out for my review.

Petworth Park Revealed: The Naked Landscape, 16 April – 6 Nov

The house and upper pond at Petworth House and Park, West Sussex. The deer park at Petworth was landscaped by 'Capability' Brown.

This year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of landscape gardener extraordinaire Capability Brown and some of his most famous works are right here in Sussex. One of his masterpieces, Petwork Park, is kicking off commemorations this week by opening up Colonel Wyndham’s room on the first floor of Petworth House for an exhibition with a view, exploring the incredible scale and impact of Brown’s work. It covers not only Petworth but also Uppark and Sheffield Park Garden elsewhere in Sussex. There will be the opportunity to create your own reconstruction of the landscape and also to see archaeological finds resulting from three years of investigations at Petworth Park. Normal admission charges apply.

Travels With My Aunt, Chichester Festival Theatre, 18 April – 4 June


A retired bank manager meets his bohemian aunt at his mother’s funeral and is drawn into a cross-Europe adventure. But how is she paying for all this and why does she have so many male friends around the globe? The Graham Greene novel has been turned into a musical starring Patricia Hodge as the wayward aunt. It’s on at the Minerva Theatre and tickets are £19  for under 16s or £29-£39 for adults.

Clergy House anniversary celebrations, Alfriston, April 16

Alfriston Clergy House, a fourteenth-century Wealden hall house in a cottage style garden in East Sussex.

The Medieval thatched Clergy House, which dates right back to 1350 was the very first property to be saved by the National Trust. It will be celebrating its 120th birthday with expert tours and talks and a children’s quiz and trail. An extra upstairs room has been recently opened, there’s also a cottage garden and orchard for a wander.

My Mini Disco: Stick it On, Komedia, Brighton, April 17


I love the concept of Brighton-based Stick It On – a kind of karaoke DJ experience, if you will. Amateurs get their fifteen minutes of fame on the decks at a party, with help from professionals. Now here’s something even more novel; they’re bringing a children’s version to the Komedia as part of My Mini Disco. The afternoon fun is for kids up to eight and there’ll be healthy snacks, a play area and face painting, plus a bar for the grown-ups. Advance tickets cost £8, or £25 for a family of four.




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