The Muddy Guide: What’s on 20 – 28 April

Theatre royalty, dainty dames, giant crabs and some dinosaurs lumbering onto the horizon and that’s just for starters. They’re all in this week’s Muddy Guide so get out there people!

Forty Years On, Chichester Festival Theatre, Fri 21 April – Sat 20 May

Forty Years On, a comedy looking at Englishness, nostalgia and identity at a time of social change, is set in the South Downs and now it’s being performed near them. The play, from the wonderful Alan Bennett, is on at the Chichester Festival Theatre starring Richard Wilson. In 1968 in a public school the Headmaster is retiring and his final task is to appear in the school play – the trouble is the script shows its not quite the celebration of school tradition he expected. Tickets are from £10. £5 for youth prologue tickets.

Cinderella White Rock Theatre, Hastings, Mon 24 April

See a performance of Cinderella around Easter not Christmas and with definitely no call for booing and “it’s behind you!” This show at The White Rock Theatre, Hastings is from the Vienna Festival Ballet so the dames are a little more dainty. Tickets are from £17.00.

Claws, Sea Life Brighton, from 22 April 

Sea Life Brighton is unveiling its latest attraction, Claws. It features shell-dwelling freaks like Japanese spider crabs with a leg span of a whopping 1.3 metres which could grow to the size of a car and a brightly coloured peacock mantis shrimp which can move its arms with such force it can boil water! Sounds downright creepy – yet strangely compelling!

Record Store Day, various independent record shops, Sat 22 April

Love music? Hot foot it down to your nearest indie shop for Record Store Day this Sat 22 April. It’s the 10th anniversary of the event, which sees special limited releases, giveaways and in-store gigs. Eastbourne, Lewes and Brighton are among places with stores pulling the stops out. See my separate feature here

The Garden Show at Firle Place, Fri 21 – Sun 23 April 

Is your garden in need of a little TLC? Buy it a present at this annual spring show which has amazing plants, gardening paraphernalia, arts and crafts and food. There’s also a pirate treasure and egg hunt at 2.00pm on Sat and Sun to keep kids amused along with side shows, activities and birds of prey demos. The show is open 10.00am – 5.00pm (last entry 4.00pm), it’s £7 entry for adults, £3 for children (under 5s free).

Twelfth Night, NT Live encore screening, Connaught Studio, Worthing, Sat 22 April 

Missed the NT Live Twelfth Night earlier in the month? There’s another chance to catch it at Worthing this weekend. The wonderful Tamsin Greig plays a female Malvolio in this National Theatre production of Shakespeare’s gender-bending comedy romance. Viola is shipwrecked and takes a new post disguised as a boy. A tale of mistaken identity and unrequited love ensues involving Viola and a string of other characters.

Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year exhibition/workshop, Mall Galleries, London, 26-29 April

 Drop into The Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year exhibition at London’s Mall Galleries between 26 – 29 April to see professional shots of everything from Park Lane hotel meals to street markets to hunger relief programmes. In addition, on Wed 26 and Thurs 27 April, take Instagramming your dinner to whole new level with help from a free workshop to coincide. Aspire Photography will help you get the most from your shots with a lecture then a food styling session. Contact 01524 782200 or [email protected] to register.  Admission to both the exhibition and workshop are free

Naomi’s Wild & Scary, Brighton Dome, Sun 23 April

I HATE big spiders, if, however, you have children who love Naomi’s Nightmares of Nature on CBBC and you can stomach such creatures yourself then don’t miss the chance to catch her on a nationwide tour packed full of fun and surprises and appearances from a carpet python, alligator snapping turtle, a giant centipede and a tarantula <shudder> Catch it at Brighton on 23 April. The age guideline is 5+. £19.50, (£15.50), £65 for families.

Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, The Hawth studio, Crawley, Wed 26 April

Ben Guest Photographer; Dyad Productions

Performer Rebecca Vaughan embodies everywoman Jane – and several other characters – in this original take on the classic Bronte novel. It’s from the same creators as I, Elizabeth which I heard great reports of the other year. You know the tale – feisty governess Jane Eyre is struggling to think, live and love beyond the stifling expectations of duty, class and convention. You may balk at her calling her man ‘master’ but in other ways it’s an early dip into feminism. Tickets are £15. If you’re quick you may even catch it before at The Stables in Hastings on Thurs 20 April.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, Connaught Theatre, Worthing, Fri 21 & Sat 22 April

Ahh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The iconic children’s book with the holes was first published in 1969 and has sold more than 43 million copies worldwide.  I bet author / illustrator Eric Carle can hardly believe his luck. As a new generation gets to love the story this critically acclaimed production hits Sussex, with a menagerie of 75 lovable puppets, to recreate The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and of course The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Tickets are £16 each or £58 for a family of four.

Richard Herring, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Sun 23 Apr

Creating a kind of comedy greatest hits, Richard Herring has picked his favourite routines from his 12 one-man shows and is cramming them into 90 minutes of stand up for your delectation. From his deconstruction of the genealogy of Christ to him proving that racists are less racist than liberals, via err ‘some of the best knob jokes in the business’.  Tickets are £19.15



Adventures in Moominland, Southbank Centre, London, until Sun 23 Apr


You’ve gotta love the Moomins and until 23 April you and yours can check out this new exhibition and take a wondrous journey through Moominland. Clamber through forests, huddle in caves or set sail on the high seas to try and find the Moomin family. Tickets cost from £13.50.

The Glass Menagerie Duke of York’s Theatre, London until April 29

I reviewed this last week (see my verdict here) and you have until 29 April to catch it yourself. There’s some great acting in this production of the moving Tenneesse Williams play about thwarted dreams and awkward matchmaking set in 1930s America. Tickets cost from £15.


Dinosaur World, The Capital, Horsham, 1-2 May

Jurassic larks come to Horsham when this live interactive stage show crashes into town. Grab that compass and pith helmet and watch as remarkably lifelike dinosaurs tread the boards. Every child’s favourite flesh-eating giant, the Tyrannosaurus Rex makes an appearance, plus others that only they know about; including a Triceratops, Giraffatitan and Segnosaurus. Suitable for three years upward. £13.50 – £16

Yoga Weekend, Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, 5-7 May

This huge and idyllic winery should soon be producing a million bottles of fizz a year, so visit before it gets famous. The weekend kicks off with post-travel yoga and meditation followed by a meal using local ingredients before retiring to en suite rooms in the converted flint barn. (We’ve stayed there, it’s lovely). More yoga, optional wine tasting and a healthy dinner followed by star gazing led by astronomer Jane Green take place on Saturday; with a final yoga session on Sunday morning. £425 – £475

The Buddy Holly Story, White Rock Theatre Hastings 2-6 May /Theatre Royal Brighton 5-10 June

Few stories are as bittersweet as that of Buddy Holly who was both hugely successful and tragically killed at an early age. The multi award-winning West End show of his life story is the most successful rock and roll musical of all time and you can catch it in Sussex. If you’ve just missed it at Crawley, book now for Hastings in May or Brighton in June. All the feel-good hits will be in it Raining In My Heart, That’ll Be The Day, Everyday, Peggy Sue and more – sounds like eating a box of chocs in one go.

Chas and Dave, The Hawth, Crawley, Thurs 31 Aug

Somehow Chas and Dave have turned from a novelty act to achieving credible cult status – not doubt with a cry of ‘Gertcha’.  If you’re fan of the Cockney duo catch them at The Hawth in Crawley this Aug. Tickets are £27.50 and are already limited as the gig was recently postponed from April due to illness.



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