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What’s On in Sussex in July

July 2018

Here’s your starter for ten on what’s on in Sussex and nearby in July. Watch out for weekly updates with more events added and for the school holidays guide later in the month.


Me & My Girl, Chichester Festival Theatre, Mon 2 July – Sat 25 Aug

When Chichester Festival Theatre put on Half a Sixpence it got rave reviews and transfered to the West End, so excitement is high for its next retro musical offering. Matt Lucas and Caroline Quentin star in the tale of a cockney barrow boy who inherits a fortune and the Duchess intent on transforming him, Pygmalion style. The Sun Has Got His Hat On and The Lambeth Walk are the well known numbers. It’ll surely warm the cockles. Look out for the Muddy review. Tickets are from £10.


The Legends of the Dining Room, The Gallivant, Camber, near Rye, Tues 17 July

Restaurant with rooms The Gallivant is bringing top chefs to town for extra special meals under its new Legends of the Dining Room series. On 17 July it will be the turn of Phil Howard of Elystan Street who previously held two Michelin stars for 17 years at his restaurant The Square. The evening featuring a four course menu will be hosted in the Gallivant’s newly relaunched dining room at a cost of £60 per head.


Brighton Cocktail Week, various Brighton and Hove locations, 6 – 15 July

I love a good cocktail and here’s a chance to make a city safari sampling discounted drinks in some great bars and restaurants. Buy a £10 wristband and enjoy £5 cocktails at over 40 participating venues. There are also some special events – Metro Deco, has a summer feast with cocktails called A Storm in a Teacup, Blackdown Distillery is holding a Negroni masterclass, La Choza in Hove has five chefs and five mixologists working together and La Cave a Fromage is ringing the changes by matching cheeses not to wine but cocktials.


Enchanted Horsham, Horsham Park, Fri 27, Sat 28, Sun 29 July

Want to see a unicorn? Well, I have it on good authority they will be trotting about in Sussex this July. It’s part of Enchanted Horsham, a three day family-friendly Summer wonderland event where bands, street theatre, circus workshops, a vintage funfair, mermaid tales and life-size puppets are all part of the fun. After dark things will get really magical, with unicorns and dragons’ eggs waiting to be discovered and the gardens illuminated with projections and fire. You can even set yourself aglow by donning some UV face paint and joining a silent disco.


Luna Beach Cinema, beside the Palace Pier, Brighton, Thurs June 14 –  Sun July 15

 You have till mid July to get a day or night in at the Luna Beach Cinema just to the to east of Brighton’s Palace Pier. The big screen is showing feature films and all the key action from Wimbledon and the World Cup. July’s movies are Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Romeo and Juliet, Quadrophenia, The Greatest Showman and Dirty Dancing. For Alfresco big screens across Sussex see my round-up here.


Free Music Festival, The Bell in Ticehurst, Sun 22 July

Just as the schools break up for summer, The Bell in Ticehurst is hosting a FREE family-friendly music festival, featuring great local bands and artists. Staged on the amphitheatre in The Bell’s gardens, this summer Sunday promises to be the perfect laid back afternoon of great music featuring some amazing talent. From chilled out jazz and acoustic sets to full on high energy bands rock up between 1.30pm – 8.00pm to catch it. There will also be entertainment for the kids and snacks from the pub’s chef. Call 01580 200300 for more info.


Hitchcock Season, Duke of Yorks cinema, Brighton, Sundays 8 July – 12 Aug

If you want some respite from the sun then treat yourself to a Hitchcock masterpiece this month – Picturehouse Cinemas are putting on a season of the director’s work. It kicks off with Carey Grant in North by Northwest on 8 July, then it’s Jimmy Stewart in the brilliant Rear Window on 15 July, Strangers on a Train on 22 July, the Daphne du Maurier classic Rebecca on 29 July, Psycho 5 Aug and Vertigo 12 Aug. Tickets are £8 (£5 members). If you’re in London over coming weekends the same season is running at Picturehouses there.


Yoga Beach Brunch, Italian Gardens, Eastbourne, Sat 7 and 14 July

Grab your yoga mats and picnic blankets because 2016 Muddy award winning yoga teacher Eva and African supperclub host Lerato have joined forces for two yoga brunches this month. On Saturday 7 and 14 July at 10 am join then in the beach-facing Italian Gardens in Hollywell, Eastbourne. The menu includes the likes of summer cherry tomato and strawberry salad in chicory cups and Moroccan spiced roasted aubergines with almonds. Tickets are £20.


Sleeping Beauty youth auditions, The Capitol, Horsham, Sun 15 Jul

Boys and girls aged 8-18 are invited to audition for a part in this year’s pantomime, Sleeping Beauty, at The Capitol, Horsham. Auditions will be held on Sun 15 July with 24 slots for young actors to appear, working in two teams. No prep is needed for the audition as it will take the form of a workshop but you will need to register by Fri 6 July. Application packs can be downloaded from the website.


Hastings Fringe, various venues, throughout July 

Hastings Fringe takes over the town throughout July. There will be more than 60 performances to be held over 10 venues across Hastings & St Leonards including theatre, spoken word, cabaret, music, film and visual arts. A drunk Macbeth on 8 July and an evening combining Vivienne Westwood and Elvis on 19 July are among the more unusual options.


 25th Annual Garden Weekend, Parham House, Pulborough, Sat 7 – Sun 8 July

Besides specialist nurseries this mini festival for the green fingered includes live music and local food and drink. There will also be talks from top garden designers. Tickets are adults £11, children £6, families £16.


La Boheme, Trading Boundaries, Sheffield Green, near Fletching Sat 7 July

This moving opera will be performed in Trading Boundaries’ atmospheric candlelit venue by Opera D’Amore. The impressive cast have performed internationally as well as with English National Opera, Glyndebourne and The Royal Opera House. Dining tickets for £125 include a two course meal.


Pirate Day, Hastings Pier and Old Town, Sun 15 July

Arr, me hearties, Hastings Pirate Day is back. The event draws hundreds of thousands of pirates – it’s even in the Guinness Book of Records! The procession this year starts from 2pm through the Old Town with costumed families, drummers, flag bearers and more.  Activities will also take place on the pier and look out for cannibals on the Stade, and mermaids on the beach.


The Last Stand Up, Three Bridges Football Club, Fri 6 July

Crawley Comedy Club has a new night coming up in Three Bridges with Jeff Innocent, Maff Brown, Rob Rouse and Emmanuel Sonubi on hand to make you laugh. Tickets are £13.75 but for a limited time you can get 20% off with promo code LOCAL20. Look out for the club’s monthly events.


Summer tearoom opening, The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst, near Steyning, selected dates until 6 July 

The Artisan Bakehouse, in a lovely garden setting near Steyning, is open to the public from 5 June until 6 July every Tues, Weds, Thurs & Friday 12 – 5pm serving award-winning lunches, freshly baked warm bread, cakes, scones and afternoon teas. If you want to have a go at creating something tasty yourself, take a look at its workshops coming up – they sell out early so get thinking Christmas (yes, really!) now.


Matt Haig, Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea, Tues July 10,

Matt Haig, author of The Humans, The Radleys, How to Stop Time and other acclaimed novels is in town to talk about his new non-fiction book about combating anxiety in a technological world – Notes on a Nervous Planet. Tickets are £8 and available from Ropetackle or Muddy Award-winning City Books in Hove.


Towner Film, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, Sat 7 Jul to Thurs 30 Aug

In honour of the centenary of the 1918 Suffrage Act, each week throughout summer Eastbourne’s Towner gallery will be putting on a feature film directed by a female filmmaker they love. Among those coming up are Holly Hunter in The Piano, Nora Twomey’s Oscar nominated animation The Breadwinner, which tells the tale of a young girl forced to dress as a boy to provide for her family under Taliban rule, and the animated adaptation of Majane Satrapi’s memoir Persepolis which recalls her youth as a punk loving teenager in Iran.


Dinosaur World Live, Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, 13-15 July

This interactive family show brings life-like beasts to the stage, so if your child would like to tickle T-Rex under the chin get get some tickets in the bag.


Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again party, The Picturehouse, Uckfield Fri 27 and Sat 28 July 

What's On in Sussex, What's On East West Sussex

Celebrate the launch of Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again with a Seventies-tastic party at the Picturehouse, Uckfield. Dine on ABBA-themed dishes and cocktails then turn Dancing Queen.


Live @ the Sky Bar, BA i360, Brighton, every Fri + i Drop abseil Jul 7 and later

Live entertainment at 450ft is now included with every Friday night flight on the BAi360 at 6pm, 6.30pm, 7pm and 7.30pm. If you’re more daring, don’t forget clambering out of the pod on a rope at 450ft is now a monthly thing with the next iDrop Abseils July 7 then 4 Aug. Not for all the money in the world would you get me out there!


Mark Steel, Hever Festival, Kent, Wed 25 Jul  

The star of Radio 4’s Mark Steel’s In Town is back to assure us that Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright. Alright, that is, despite Trump, Brexit wranglings and a PM seemingly clinging on by her fingernails. If you’re a fan of Steel, you know what to expect – some cerebral observations about the world. I’ve seen him several times and it’s always a top night out. It’s advised for ages 14+


Milkshake Live; The Magic Storybook, The Capitol, Horsham, Sun 22 July

Bob the Builder, Little Princess, Noddy, Fireman Sam, and more will be singing songs and sharing stories with youngsters at this stage version of Channel 5’s Milkshake!  There are two afternoon performances at noon and 15.30. Tickets are £16.



ABBA: Super Troupers, Southbank Centre, London until Sun 29 July

Photo by Victor Frankowski

I was ridiculously excited about this exhibition with a difference and it didn’t disappoint (see my review). It’s led by a tour guide and narrated by Jarvis Cocker. Nine immersive rooms – including a mock up of Brighton’s Grand Hotel where ABBA stayed when they won Eurovision – plus personal notes, memorabilia and iconic costumes are included. You need to book a timed slot and tours last about an hour. The money, money, money? Tickets are £25.

Edinburgh Comedy previews, Caroline of Brunswick, Brighton, various dates Thurs 14 June – 31 July

What's On in Sussex in Feb, What's On in Sussex, Things to Do n Sussex, what's on in Sussex for Half Term

Want to see a topic comic for £4?! The months leading up to Edinburgh Fringe are a great time to catch some bargain comedy as TV and radio types warm up their acts ready for month-long stints up north. The grungy stairs of the Caroline of Brunswick lead you up to a small room where the likes of Nish Kumar, Zoe Lyons, Paul Sinha, Lucy Porter, Hal Cruttenden, Robin Ince, Adam Hess and Seann Walsh will be performing this June and July. Tickets at just £7, or £4 in advance.


Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London, from Tues 12 June

It’s the 250th year of the Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition and this year, Grayson Perry RA and his committee of fellow artists have handpicked over 1,300 artworks in an array of mediums. This is always great fun and this year it could look very different.

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, V&A, London, from 16 June

I once rocked up to Frida Kahlo’s former home in Mexico City and couldn’t get in because I’d spent too much time up the road looking round the house where Trotsky got the ice pick. (The two were lovers – small world!) So here’s my chance – and yours – to see what I missed. It’s the first exhibition outside of Mexico to display her clothes and intimate possessions.

Sussex Days: Photographs by Dorothy Bohm/ Virginia Woolf: an exhibition inspired by her writings, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, 23 May – 2 Sept / 26 May – 16 Sept

Dorothy Bohm, Point to Point Race Sussex, © Dorothy Bohm Archive.jpg

Muddy Awards Best Gallery finalist Pallant House has a new free exhibition on the internationally celebrated photographer Dorothy Bohm (now aged 93) bringing together for the first time her black and white photographs of Sussex in the 60s and 70s.  Steam fairs at Horsham, racing at Goodwood, the seafront at Brighton and racing at Parham are included. Meanwhile Tate St Ives’ Virginia Woolf exhibition is also visiting Pallant this summer. It features over 80 female artists, with works from 1854 upwards that represent central ideas of Woolf’s writing.

Michael Jackson: On The Wall, National Portrait Gallery, London, 28 June – 21 October

I’ll be moonwalking down to the National Portrait Gallery for Michael Jackson: On The Wall. The exhibition marks what would’ve been MJ’s 60th birthday and features artwork inspired by Andy Warhol and Grayson Perry among others. Shamon!

Deanland photo/art exhibition, 35 North, Brighton, Sat 9 June onwards

John Brockliss and Alexander Johnson have collaborated to produce an exhibition of documentary photographs and artworks produced over 18 months in Sussex and inspired by a little-known former WWII RAF fighter base near Ripe in the South Downs. A new 88 page hardback book which tells the Deanland story in depth is also available at the gallery and from Waterstones. It features a foreword by Antony Penrose, director of the Lee Miller Archives recounting his memories of the airfield.

There But Not There, art installation, Arundel cathedral & St Nicholas Church, Arundel, 10 May –  11 Nov

93 transparent silhouettes of fallen WW1 soldiers have taken their position on the pews of Arundel Cathedral and nearby St Nicholas Church as the town hosts the largest ever installation by There But Not There. The charitable project commemorates the service of WW1 soldiers whilst raising money for Help For Heroes: Hidden Wounds and others. Each silhouette represents the shadow of a real WW1 soldier who never came home and bears a plaque with a name. They will be there until Armistice Day.

Worthing Museum & Art Gallery, Dressed to Impress: Netsuke and Japanese men’s fashion, until 25 Aug

WMA has teamed up with the British Museum for the first time for a special exhibition exploring Japanese men’s fashion during the Edo period (1615-1868). The BM has brought items out of storage for the summer in a rare display of clothes, accessories and prints spanning 200 years. Entry is free.

In her Shoes, Uppark House and Garden, South Harting, near Petersfield, 5 May to 2 Sept

Mary Ann Bullock practices her signature

The National Trust’s Uppark House is commemorating the centenary of the granting of women’s right to vote with an exhibition about five intriguing women who shaped its history. Among them teenage Emma Hart was rumored to have danced on the table for the Prince Regent before becoming famous as Lord Nelson’s mistress Lady Hamilton. Mary Ann Bullock’s story is more the stuff of romantic fiction. In the 1820s Uppark’s owner Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh, then in his seventies, fell in love with her when he heard her singing in the dairy. They married, and the 20-year-old bride went to Paris to learn the social skills required for her new station in life. Free, but normal admission prices apply.

Antony Gormley, Kettles Yard, Cambridge – until 27 Aug

I once walked across a dried up salt lake in Australia wearing a fly net to visit some Antony Gormley sculptures. These aren’t quite so far flung (or fly covered) but you do need to get up to Cambridge. Kettles Yard there has  ‘SUBJECT’ – highlighting many of Antony Gormley’s interests, including exploring our relationship to space and our sense of self.

Kettles Yard


Byline Festival, Pippingford Park near Uckfield, Fri 24 – Mon 27 Aug 

I was at the debut of this journalistic-themed festival last year and I’ve booked again for this August. It mixes debate and workshops with music, comedy and more, in a low-key, good value event, with free camping. The line-up so far includes visits from John Cleese, Hugh Grant, Gary Lineker and Andy Hamilton plus the Cambridge Analytica whistleblowers in debate, while Pussy Riot, Badly Drawn Boy, The Priscillas and The Blow Monkeys provide the music. There are kids’ activities too and camping is free. Tickets are currently from £39 for a day, £95 for the full festival, with deals for families besides.

Star stand up, Eastbourne Hippodrome, various autumn/winter dates

The Hippodrome has a great line up of comedy to cheer us up after the summer. Book now for Tom Allen on 29 Sept, Phill Jupitus on 18 Oct, Rich Hall on 10 Nov and Jeremy Hardy on 22 Nov.


Find more ideas here

Things to DoThis Month

2 comments on “What’s On in Sussex in July”

  • Jill Tattersall July 6, 2018

    Brilliant and as always very helpful summary. Thank you.

    • debbieward July 6, 2018

      Thank you Jill, glad to be a help. Keep an eye out for the weekly what’s ons too which top up with extra events.


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