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What’s On: Muddy Sussex Guide 1 April – 8 April

Bit of culture, bit of chocolate… it’s all good for you. And if you’re after more Easter Holiday suggestions, see my survival guide here

Hackney Colliery Band, Connaught Theatre, Worthing, 1 April


No, it’s not an April Fool, Hackney may have no coal mines but it does have a colliery band. If that’s not hard enough to get your head round, they use traditional brass instruments to play covers of the likes of The Prodigy and Kayne West. It’s all very tongue in cheek. Tickets are £19.50 (£16.50 concessions).

Jackie The Musical, Theatre Royal, Brighton, 5-9 April


‘Dear Cathy and Claire, my boyfriend kissed me, now I’m worried I might be pregnant…’ Ah, remember the Jackie photo stories, the quizzes, the ads that made you believe your only career path was as a secretary, and that famous problem page? Well, all this has been poured into a new retro musical. A recent divorcee revisits the mags of her youth in an effort to learn how to influence her future, backed by a 70s soundtrack. It’s on Tues to Sat with tickets from £14.
TYTC Youth Comedy Masterclass, Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, 1 April


Sample joke from six-year-old nephew this Easter: “What do you get if you cross an Easter egg with Christmas? A crack egg” – funnier than he realised. If you have a latent comic talent in your family and they’re 10+ sign them up for this workshop run by proffesional comedy double act Sarah and Lizzie Daykin. They’ll have them doing improv, writing sketches together and building characters. The workshop runs 10.00am – 4.00pm and costs £50.

Kids’ Filmmaking Club, Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Brighton, 4- 8 April

Duke of Yorks h-HO00003638

Brighton’s famous Duke of York’s cinema will be inspiring budding filmmakers this coming week with a club to help them make their own short films in groups. It costs £45 and is for ages 8 to 12. It runs from 9.00am -10am Mon-Thurs and 9.00am – 11.30am on the Friday when the results will be entered into a mini film festival.

Royal Opera House Giselle screening, various cinemas, 6 April

Giselle 11355529854_87267a7a8f_z

The Royal Opera House’s performance of Giselle is being streamed live to cinemas across the land next week. Rye, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Brighton, Uckfield, Crawley, Worthing, Littlehampton and Chichester are among those screening the ballet on 6 April Some have additional screenings later in the month.

Easter Eggstravaganza Raceday, Fontwell Park, Arundel, 1 April


Fontwell Park racecourse has free entry and free entertainment for under-18s this Friday. Besides the horse racing, there’s an egg hunt with a top prize of a family pass to Legoland Windsor, a fun fair, bouncy castles, face painting and a petting zoo. Adult entry costs from £12 for paddock admission in advance, £19 on the day.

Early Years First Aid, Made, Brighton

doctor-1015624_1280One of the things I get up on my soap box about is that first aid should be taught in schools. At least there are some good opportunities to learn as an adult and here’s one. Made, in Brighton, is hosting a Saturday course for three hours from 10am which teaches the kind of life-saving and everyday skills that are particularly helpful if you have children at home. You’ll learn how to deal with choking, burns, bleeds, fractures, to recognise the symptoms of meningitis, give CPR and more. The course costs £35 and if you can’t make this one sign up for 7 or 21 May.

Exhibitionism, The Saatchi Gallery, London, 5 April – 4 Sept


This will be one of the big exhibitions of the year in London. Two floors of the Saatchi Gallery near Sloane Square will be dedicated to giving Rolling Stones fans some satisfaction. It promises never seen before dressing room and backstage paraphernalia, rare instruments, original stage designs, iconic costumes, rare audio tracks and video footage, personal diaries, poster and album cover artwork and a ‘wraparound cinematic experience’. Tickets are £19 Mon-Thurs, £21 Fri-Sun and bank hols and there’s a rather unfriendly £3/3.25 online/phone booking fee but at least if you’re dragging under sixes with you they can get in free.

Family Easter Trail, Chichester, until 10 April


Fantastic Sussex chocolate is up for grabs at a charity egg hunt running in Chichester city centre throughout the school holidays. Simply pick up a child-friendly clue sheet from Montezuma’s on East Street at any time until 10 April, handing over a £4 entry fee which benefits Children on the Edge. The charity helps youngsters in poor communities of several countries I’ve visited on my travels like Moldova, Haiti, Thailand and India and Montezuma’s makes my favourite chocolate so this one gets a big Muddy thumbs up.

Extra kids’ classes, The Source, Hastings


I checked out this stonking new skatepark the other weekend and will be writing about it soon. In the meantime it’s worth knowing there are four sessions a week for under-11s and more have been added for the holidays, plus, it’s all indoors (with a café in the viewing area a good spot for adults) so the weather can’t spoil anyone’s fun.

The Marshes, Artichoke Gallery, Ticehurst 1 April – 25 June


The Artichoke Gallery in Ticehurst always seems to have some lovely works. The latest exhibition is The Marshes, with painting, sculpture, jewellery and ceramics along this natural theme on display (and for sale) until the end of June. Note, the gallery is closed on Mondays.


Courtney Pine, Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham, 9 April


Sax and clarinet legend Courtney Pine is bringing his whole band to Shoreham next weekend. I once, quite bizarrely saw him play back in the late 80s with Climie Fisher (remember them?) Back on more familiar territory, he’ll be playing a mix of jazz, calypso, ska and Afro-Caribbean music for his House of Legends show. Tickets cost £22.50

Funk the Format/Funk the Family, Hove, 28-29 May

Helen Farquarson- - cheeky baby stage

Tickets are now on sale for the Funk festival duo which cleverly brings family and adult-only one-days festivals to Hove on consecutive days. Both events champion soul, Latin, funk, reggae, disco, hip hop, house, jungle and jazz. Norman Jay MBE and Soul II Soul are headlining the Funk The Format festival while Vula (the voice of Basement Jaxx) is among the Funk the Family line up. Keeping the kids happy beyond the music will be free trapeze and diabolo workshops, archery, family yoga, breakdancing, Punch & Judy shows and more. I’ve heard good things from my brother who’s attended both events. Tickets costs £22 for adults, £18 for teens and £10 for Children (babies free). An Adult Weekend ticket for both festivals costs £45.


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