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What’s On 14 – 21 July

14 - 21 July

Fiddler on the Roof, Chichester Festival Theatre,  10 July – 2 Sept

TV comedian and actor Omid Djalili stars as Tevye, alongside Tracy-Ann Oberman of New Tricks, EastEnders and Friday Night Dinner as Golde in this brand new production of the well-loved musical. In a small village in Imperial Russia in 1905 Tevye, a poor dairyman, and his wife, Golde, are blessed with five witty and beautiful daughters. The matchmaker Yente is busy making marriage plans for them all but they have their own ideas. If I Were A Rich Man, Tradition and Matchmaker are the hit songs you’ll recognise. The original record-breaking Broadway production won nine Tony Awards! I’ll be seeing it next week to watch out for my review.

Pirate Day, Hastings Pier and Old Town, Sun 16 July

Arr, me hearties, Hastings Pirate Day is back. From 10.ooam on Sunday there will be a pier full of family-friendly activities and entertainment, with at 1.00pm the highlight of a skydive from the Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team. Also on the cards are a storytelling show inside a 50ft inflatable whale, a treasure trail, Pirate Circus Skills workshop, live music and a swashbuckling stunt show featuring Cap’n Jack Sparrow’ (steady on, I don’t think it’s actually Johnny Depp!). Elsewhere in the town are pirate films all day at The Palace bar/restaurant, free BMX and skateboard hire and a BBQ at The Source skate park, free music and more at The Stade and stalls and activities for youngsters at Warrior Square Gardens Treasure Island.

BBQ afternoon at Chapel Barn, Bolney, nr Haywards Heath, Sun 16 July

This special grade II listed rustic barn hosted the Muddy Award winners’ drinks. Check it out for yourself this Sunday afternoon, from 2.30pm when they’re laying on a barbecue and bar including local wines and beers. Relax in the 750-year-old barn, the garden or by the lovely lakes. There’s space for kids to play and four-legged friends are welcome. It’s £14 per person for the BBQ lunch. Reserve a place by email or just turn up on the day. Check out too the curry masterclass and Mad Hatter’s tea party coming up!

All or Nothing, Theatre Royal Brighton, until Sat 15 Jul

Mods became synonymous with Brighton, so where better to see the new touring musical about the Sixties phenomenon when working-class free spirits wore slim fitting suits and rode sexy Italian Vespas or Lambrettas and the band that encapsulated the movement. This musical celebrates the story and music of The Small Faces with hits like Whatcha Gonna Do About It, Lazy Sunday, Tin Soldier, Sha La La La Lee, Itchycoo Park and of course All Or Nothing. I’ve seen a couple of thse band biopics rencelty and they work well – part story, part gig. Tickets are from £20.

Walled Garden Music Fest, Brightling Park, Robertsbridge, Fri 14 – Sun 16 July

I have a walled garden. Sadly it’s not big enough to host a music festival unless you count my mate with a guitar. 550 acre Brightling Park however is and it’s welcoming ABC, Toploader, Howard Jones, Beverley Craven and Tom Bailey of Thomson twins fame. Adult tickets are from £50 up.

The Wheel House, Steyne Gardens / Broadwater Green Worthing, Mon 17 July / Sat 22 July

As part of Worthing’s brilliant Summer of Circus, free, family-friendly show The Wheel House will be performed outdoors, combining acrobatics with a clever rolling theatre set. It’s a post-apocolyptic love story with the performance taking place inside and outside the wheel with the audience walking alongside. It will be at Steyne Gardens on Mon 17 July and at Broadwater Green on Sat 22 July with two afternoon performances on each day. See my full round-up of outdoor theatre across Sussex this summer here.

Wimbledon and Opera, Brighton’s Big Screen, Brighton Marina, 3 – 16 July

The big screen at Brighton Marina is showing what’s left of Wimbledon fortnight for free from 3 – 16 July in a pop-up ‘park’ with astro turf, bean bags and deck chairs. I caught a Murray match there last Fri night then had a cocktail at nearby Mal Maison so not a bad way to end the week.  There is also some CBeebies for kids on selected mornings and on Fri 14 July, there will be a live screening of Turandot from the Royal Opera House Check out my full Sussex big screens feature here.

Romeo & Juliet, Open Air Theatre, Leeds Castle, Kent, Sat 22 Jul

Leeds Castle’s wonderful timetable of open-air theatre and cinema has kicked off and includes on Sat 22 July Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet performed in the romantic setting of the Pavilion Lawn with the castle as a backdrop. See my full round-up of outdoor theatre in Sussex and nearby here.

Norman Knights Tournament, Arundel Castle Sat 15 – Sun 16 July 

12th century Knights and Crusaders meet in a combat tournament on the upper grounds of Arundel Castle, set beneath the Keep from the same era. A tented encampment will include a variety of crafts and demonstrations of the period plus a falconry display, story teller and have-a-go-archery (for the over eights). There’s also an International Jousting & Medieval Tournament Week coming up for the start of the school hols Tues 25 July – Sun 30 July. Arundel do these reenactments well, mixing with fun authenticity and they’re included in the usual admission price. See my review of a similar event at the castle here

Go West, Winter Garden, Eastbourne, Fri 21 July

80s rockers Go West will be donning their vests again (or perhaps not) to belt out We Close Our Eyes, Call Me, Faithful, King of Wishful Thinking, Don’t Look Down and more. Go and get a nostalgia trip at Eastbourne’s Winter Garden. Tickets are from £25 and they’re selling fast.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Connaught Theatre, Worthing, 15 – 16 July

If you’ve got children of a pre- or infant school age, you will know this gorgeous, award-winning book written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. The play adaption of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt comes to Sussex on the back of a West-End and international tour. Watch actors wade through the gigantic swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud in pursuit of a bear. Tickets are £13.50 each or £40 for a family of four.

Come Rhyme With Me, The Writers’ Place, Jew Street, Brighton, Fri 14 Jul

I’m loving the title for this night of rhyming, rice and peas from New Writing South with a menu of performers chosen for their wit, wisdom and ability to move you. The idea is poets, lyricists and musicians entertain you while you tuck into a Caribbean dinner provided by the fab Bus Stop restaurant in Brighton (see my review here). It kicks off at 7.00pm and tickets are £15 including a meal, or £7 for the event on its own.

Creepy Crawlies Weekend, Drusillas Park, Sat 22 – Sun 23 July

Slither, slide and creep down to Drusillas Park and meet some amazing mini monsters. The Discovery Centre, open between 11.00am and 4.00pm, will be swarming with weird insects, slimy molluscs and scary spiders and experts from the British Tarantula Society will be available to answer your questions (in my case, “how far can I get away from you and how quickly?!”) A fun day out for the less faint-hearted!

Pop-up cinema, Preston Manor, Brighton, Fri 14 – Sun 16 Jul

Indie chain Picturehouse and San Miguel are hosting a pop-up screening at Preston Manor, Brighton with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Stand By Me and Moulin Rouge Fri 14 – Sun 16 July. Next month it will be back with Hairspray, The Warriors and later The Big Lebowski over 25 – 27 Aug. Deckchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis and intruiging sounding cardboard ‘bumbox’ seating will be for sale. Bring a picnic and buy beer and wine on site. See my full round-up of outdoor cinemas in Sussex and nearby here.

The Tiger That Came To Tea, Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Fri 21 – Sun 23 July

Everyone’s favourite tea-guzzling tiger is back. Direct from a West End season this musical play adapted and directed by David Wood, based on the book by Judith Kerr. It’s packed with sing-a-long songs and clumsy chaos. He drinks all the water in the taps you know… It’s aimed at ages 3+  and there are two performances each day. Tickets are £14.


Bring Your Own Baby comedy, Komedia, Brighton, 13 Sept, 10 Oct, 14 Nov

I heartily approve of any activity that keeps parents and babies happy without the adults in the party being made to behave like infants themselves and here’s a great idea that does just that. Bring Your Own Baby has been running a while in London and now it’s popping up at Brighton’s Komedia on certain dates. The idea is you come along to a proper adult, sweary daytime stand-up show and have a good laugh while your under 12-month-old is distracted by toys, lights and the like, none the wiser about any filth beyond that they are filling their nappy with. Last week’s event sold out in advance so book now for Sept, Oct and Nov. Tickets are a tenner.

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