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The Muddy Guide: What’s On, 29 April – 5 May

Something arty, something cheeky and something Purple – it’s this week’s Muddy Guide.

Purple Rain, various cinemas, 29/30 April  


The thinly veiled Prince biopic and all-round ’80s glam-fest is back in certain cinemas over the next few days in memory of the pop legend. Seems like only yesterday they were screening Labyrinth in the wake of Bowie’s death <sigh>. Worthing and Brighton are among places you can see the film.

An Evening with Terry Waite, Chequer Mead Arts Centre, East Grinstead, 3 May

Terry Waite

In January 1987 Terry Waite, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Envoy, was captured in Beirut whilst attempting to secure the release of hostages. He was held for five years, four of them in solitary confinement and despite his ordeal he tells his story with good humour and without bitterness. I got to interview him once and asked him what he thought his former captors would think of his internationally best-selling book. “I would hope,” he quipped, “they would think it was a bloody good read.”

Borde Hill Garden Sculpture Exhibition, Haywards Heath, 1 May- 30 September

Sculpture Banner 2 (1)

Borde Hill’s 17th annual Sculpture Exhibition transforms the historic garden of the Elizabethan house into an outdoor gallery with figurative and abstract works in bronze, resin, stone, metalwork, stained glass and ceramics. Highlights include an installation called Aquapoise by international sculptor Angela Conner, in the formal lily pool in the Italian Garden. All works will be available for sale should you have the cash and the space.

Hundred Watt Club burlesque, The Old Market, Hove, 30 April


The Hundred Watt Club returns with an intimate show at this intimate venue that encourages glamorous attire from its audience. The evening includes Marilyn Monroe tribute Laura Nixon and neo-burlesque from Lolo Brow (see what she did with her name there) and is compared by Sadie Sinner, the singing hostess. Over-18s only.

Coastal Culture Trail Cycle Tour, 30 April and later dates 


Dust off your wheels and use the lure of great art to get you pedalling the Sussex coast. Sustrans is leading a group over 25 miles of coastline and countryside, stopping for guided tours at three award-wining galleries – the Towner in Eastbourne, De La Warr in Bexhill and Jerwood in Hastings. It’ll be a fairly gentle ride, they promise, and suitable for over 12s. It will run again on 28 May and later dates.

Hastings Pier reopening, from 27 April


Image by Ramboll, Daniel Shearing

What Brighton has sadly never achieved for its West Pier, Hastings has done for its own with impressive haste. The pier, ravaged by fire in 2010, has been beautifully restored and began a phased reopening this week. An £11.4 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant and further fundraising means the renovated Pavilion building is now open with full bar and restaurant service plus there’s a traditional funfair. Also open is the new café and roof terrace at The Deck at Hastings Pier building. Madness will play at a gala celebration of the full re-opening on 21May and a series of big screen films are also planned.

The Cells, immersive art exhibition, Brighton Town Hall, 29 April


You’ve been sent to death row at the Old Police Cells in Brighton (yes, we don’t have the death penalty but bear with it…). You’re there have to one last party and experience an array of immersive artwork, plus The Little Wooden Bar Co. will be there to serve you your poison and help you make the most of your last night. At least that’s what the blurb says but frankly they had me at art and cocktails.


Stig of the Dump, Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, 8 May


This children’s classic might be touching 50 years old, but it’s still as popular and charming as ever. Stig and his friend Barney’s adventures take place on chalk downs, so there’s even a local reference. Suitable for six-year-olds and over.

BalletBoyz, Connaught Theatre, 9 May 


Now stop gazing at the picture and listen, There are only a few tickets left for Ballet Boyz’s Sussex appearance, can’t imagine why… so you need to get cracking if 10 fit men in tights is your thing. It’s co-produced by Sadler’s Wells so it’s all very cultural of course with a contemporary choreography on the theme of life and death – and if you have a partner suspicious of your new found love of ballet that’s what you tell them.

The Shepherd & Dog, Devils Dyke, 14 May


This glorious pub at the foot of Devils Dyke is famed for its mini-festivals and this month sees the opening of its beer garden, which is a favourite wedding venue and is where the pub’s events, like the Gin and Jazz Festival, take place. The re-opening sees the pub team up with Ridgeview, Blackdown, Downlands Brewery and Wobblegate so expect plenty of wine, sparkling wine, spirits, beer and cider to taste.


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