What’s On in March in Sussex
Fat Tuesday, various venues, Hastings, Fri 1 – Tues 5 March
Venues across Hastings are welcoming music acts from across the UK for the town’s take on Mardi Gras. Besides 250 free live gigs by 40 bands over five days, starting with acoustic sets on the Saturday, there’s also a family-friendly umbrella parade on the Sunday 3 March. In preparation, you and yours can join an umbrella decorating workshop run by Radiator Arts the day before, 11.00 – 16.00 at The Stade Hall and Ore Community centre. You’ll need about an hour to pimp your brolly.
The Noise Next Door At Sea, Ropetackle, Shoreham-by-sea, Sat 2 March
Brilliant improvisers The Noise Next Door are doing an afternoon family show at the Ropetackle with a chance for you and yours to chip in on what ridiculous scenarios unfold on stage. Tickets are £10. Highly Muddy recommended.
Chichester Festival 2019 – book from Sat 2 March
Chichester Festival Theatre’s new season has just been announced for Valentine’s Day, so show yourself some love and start making a wishlist. Shadowlands, Macbeth, This is My Family and Oklahoma! are among productions. Stars include Hugh Bonneville, John Simm, Dervla Kirwan, Sheila Hancock, Josie Lawrence, James Nesbitt and actors from the West End and RSC. Also new for 2019 will be a spiegeltent for shows in October. Tickets will go on general sale online on Sat 2 March at 9am (phone and in person Tues 5 March).
Pancake Day, The Macs’ Farm, Ditchling, Sat 2 March
Pick your own eggs ready for Shrove Tuesday, meet the chickens and farmers, walk the farm trail and listen to live music. There’s also storytime for kids and a bar for grown ups, cakes, sarnies and, of course, pancakes. £4.50 adults, £3.50 children over three years.
Sooty’s Magic Show, Capitol Theatre, Horsham/ Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Sat 2 March/ Sun 3 March
Izzy Wizzy let’s get busy! Sooty’s Magic Show is still going strong and it’s coming up at Horsham and Eastbourne on Sat 2 and Sun 3 March. Sweep and Soo will be there too of course with the mayhem supervised by TV’s Richard Cadell and circus and ultraviolet acts performing. Apparently there will also be a flying car and a levitating sausage – oooer. Tickets are £13 (children £11).
Girls Go Glamping early bird offer, Hale Farm, Chiddingly, 50% off in March for bookings from May
Grab your besties and enjoy the countryside in style with special VIP overnighters coming up on selected dates from Canvas & Stars. Their Girls Go Glamping getaways at Chiddingly near Lewes involve furnished bell tents with beds and a hot tub session with Prosecco, fluffy robes and collagen eye masks. As the sun goes down, hang out together round a firepit under the stars, then, get a continental brekkie delivered to your tent door next morning. There’s 50% off on selected dates from May. You could even upgrade to the new double-decker canvas ’Cosmic Loft’.
Alien, 40th anniversary screening, BFI Southbank, London and selected cinemas, from 1 March / Horror Saturdays, Depot, Lewes, from Sat 2 March.
Still one of the classic si-fi films and with a cracking female lead, Ridley Scott’s Alien is back on the big screen for its 40th anniversary. It’ll make you feel old, or queasy, or both. It starts at London’s BFI Southbank on 1 March 2019 for an exclusive two-week run, before screening at selected cinemas across the UK. Muddy’s nearest has sold out already – check yours to see if you get lucky. Meanwhile, for more scares, Depot in Lewes is screening a classic horror the first Sat of every month, with The Shining up on 2 March, Carrie in March and The Exorcist in May.
Hijack – International Women’s Day, Komedia, Brighton, Sun 3 March
A day of fun for children to celebrate International Women’s Day, jam-packed with activities dedicated to challenging gender stereotypes, including an interactive story installation, zine making and DJ Xandice Armah spinning some inspiring tunes. The free event is aimed at ages 4 to 11 and runs in two hour sessions at 10 am and 1pm.
Circus of Horrors, The Hawth, Crawley, Mon 4 March
An amazing amalgamation of bizarre and fantastic acts and a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack are all woven into a sensational shock-horror story in this adult circus show. With gore and bad language this is not one for kids! Tickets are £25.
Pancakes alfresco, Woolbeding Countryside, West Sussex, Tues 5 March
Coinciding with Shrove Tuesday this event usually sells out early. It’s a chance to cook pancakes alfresco over a campfire, so they won’t stick to your kitchen ceiling. Organised by the National Trust, it runs 16.30 – 17.30. Parental supervision is required but everything’s provided. £5.
Trial by Laughter, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Tues 5 – Sat 9 March
Have I Got News for You team captain and Private Eye editor Ian Hislop is also a playwright and this is his latest work, co-written with Nick Newman. William Hone was a satirist who stood trail in 1817 for blasphemy and libel, but, as this play shows, his only crime was to be funny. The opening night at the Devonshire Park Theatre is followed by a Q&A with Newman and producer David Parfitt (who won an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love). Tickets from £21.
The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst, March public opening, Tues – Fris, 5 – 21 March
From 5 to 21 March The Artisan Bakehouse will be open to the public on Tues, Weds, Thurs and Fris for handmade breads with seasonal lunches and afternoon teas (noon – 17.00). Besides its bread made on site (including gluten free options) there will be salads, homemade soups and hot pots. It does get booked out though so do phone ahead. Look out also for Mothers’ Day bouquet making and lunch events. Further ahead, book now for an introduction to sweet and savoury pastry making on 21 May and a chocolate masterclass from Noble & Stace on 22 May.
Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, Thurs 7 March
The new York trio have been around since the mid 90s and now with a new Album out they’re taking their blend of rock n’ roll, funk, blues, soul, hip hop, jazz and latin on tour. They’ll be stoppingin at Worthing on 7 March. Tickets are £27.
Fabulous Fizz Friday, International Women’s Day All-Weather Racing, Lingfield Park Racecourse, Surrey, Fri 8 March
Celebrate International Women’s Day at Europe’s busiest racecourse – Lingfield races, just over the border in Surrey – with your best girlfriends and bubbles. Tickets to Fab Fizz Friday are £20 and for that you also get a complimentary ticket to Ladies’ Day on May 3. Also, check out our Facebook comp.
International Women’s Day lunch, The Tasting Room, Rathfinny Estate, Alfriston, Fri 8 March
To mark International Women’s Day, The Tasting Room restaurant at Rathfinny Estate is holding a casual lunch hosted by the vineyard’s co-owner Sarah Driver. Every diner will receive a complimentary glass of the estate’s still white wine, Cradle Valley and Sarah will be on hand to chat to each table individually about her work with both Rathfinny and her charity, The Driver Youth Trust, which focuses on literacy.
Brendan Cole: Show Man, The Hawth, Crawley, Fri 8 March/Assembly Halls, Tunbridge Wells, 10 March
Former Strictly bad boy Brendan Cole is brings his new Show Man tour to Sussex with all the fave dance styles and some chat besides. He comes to The Hawth, Crawley on 8 March and Assembly Halls, Tunbridge Wells on 10 March.
AniMalcolm, EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge, Sun 10 March/ Connaught Theatre, Worthing, Sat 16 & Sun 17 March
The award-winning Story Pocket Theatre brings David Baddiel’s bestselling book AniMalcolm to life in a new musical comedy combining physical performances, music, puppetry and a script full of laughs. It’s at EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge School on Sun 10 March, Connaught Theatre, Worthing, Sat 16 & Sun 17 March, then The Hawth Crawley, 1 April, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Thurs 4 and Fri 5 April. Full dates here.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, The Hawth, Crawley, Tues 12 – Sat 16 March
This family-friendly Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber favourite comes to Crawley as part of a UK tour. It’s been brought bang up to date with new direction and modernised choreography by Gary Lloyd. Union J’s Jaymi Hensley stars as Joseph. £18-£40, with discounts for families of four and groups of 10 or more.
Reigning Women season, The Old Market, Hove, 11, 12, 18 March and other dates
The Old Market in Hove has a Reigning Women season in March. Among upcoming events, it’s putting celebrating women over 50 on both sides of the camera on 11 March; stand-up Kiri Pritchard-Mclean will be performing her show Victim Complex on Tues 12 March, while Mon 18 March sees a screening of Skate Kitchen (15), a film about a New York based female skater crew that was a hit at the Sundance festival.
The Cat In The Hat, Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Tues 12 – Sat 16 March
The team behind The Twits and George’s Marvellous Medicine return with Dr Seuss’s The Cat In The Hat. The classic picture book is retold with original songs, circus skills and some seriously groovy staging. For children 3+. Tickets from £16.50. Families £50.
Caroline’s Kitchen, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Tues 12 – Sat 16 March (& Worthing 3 – 6 April)
Following a hit London run, this sharp, state-of-the-nation comedy is coming to Sussex. Caroline Mortimer is a well-loved TV cook but when the camera turns off the truth comes out and when an unexpected guest disrupts a night of celebration there is more to spill than the wine. A comedy that pokes fun at modern relationships, starring Caroline Languish, Aden Gillett, and James Sutton. Tickets from £18 at Eastbourne; from 24.50 at Worthing.
Bring Your Own Baby comedy, Komedia, Brighton, Tues 12 March
Great idea – something you can enjoy with a baby that doesn’t involve being made to behave like an infant yourself. It’s a proper adult, sweary daytime stand-up show with toys, lights and the like to distract under 12-month-olds. You enjoy comedy without having to book a babysitter and they’re none the wiser about any filth beyond that they’re filling their nappies with. Advance tickets are £11 and there’s a discount for groups of over six. It’s also up on 9 April.
A brand new stand-up show from warm and witty TV favourite Lucy Porter. As seen on QI and Live at the Apollo and heard on Radio 4’s News Quiz and The Now Show. The comedian will be musing on what we inherit – like dodgy knees and global warming – and what we can pass on. Tickets are £15.
The Woman Behind Lady Chatterley: An Afternoon with Annabel Abbs, Alfriston, Sun 17 March
Alfriston’s Much Ado Books presents an afternoon with the author of Frieda, The Original Lady Chatterley – a novel that charts the life of the woman who inspired DH Lawrence’s most famous work. Abbs’ novel was picked for the Times Historical Fiction Books of the Year shortlist in 2018 and this year marks the 90th anniversary of the publication of Lady Chatterley. £5 including light refreshments and a discount voucher for the novel.
Suzi Ruffell, Ropetackle Arts Centre, Komedia, Brighton, Mon 18 March/ Shoreham-by-Sea, Thurs 28 March ( & Crawley 1 May)
Suzi Ruffell smashed it at Edinburgh 2018 with her show Nocturnal with sell out gigs and five-star reviews. She’s impressed Muddy too with her previous work. Now on tour the show rocks up at the Komedia on 18 March and Ropetackle Arts Centre on Thurs, 28 March. Tickets are £12. She’s also coming up at The Hawth in Crawley on 1 May.
Dominic Chapman pop-up at The Cat Inn, West Hoathly, Wed 20 March
Dominic Chapman, who has had a string of appearances on The Great British Menu, is creating a special menu at cosy Muddy Award-winning The Cat Inn at West Hoathly on 20 March. The event is £70 including wine.
Vienna Festival Ballet presents Coppelia, Capitol Theatre, Horsham, Thurs 21 March
The ever popular story of an eccentric toymaker and his beloved doll who comes to life is often a first introduction to ballet for children. Based on an original E.T.A. Hoffmann tale, the colourful performance covers and enchanting evening with mischief, frivolity and a lovers‘ tiff. £22.50
NT Live, encore, Antony & Cleopatra, Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Sat 23 March
Late last year this was broadcast live from the National Theatre with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo playing Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra in his historical tragedy of politics, passion and power. There’s another chance to catch it as Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells has an encore screening on Sat 23 March.
VegfestUK, Brighton Centre, Sat 23 & Sun 24 March
It’s 10 years since VegfestUK launched in Brighton and since than it’s become a national touring event. Brighton’s is the first Vegfest of the year and while the focus is firmly on vegan lifestyles, it’s a great place just to have a good meal. Apart from food, expect 230 stalls offering ethical products, live cookery demos, kids’ areas and live music. There’s also yoga and wellness, lectures and an Animal Think Tank by prominent campaigners.£8 for one day, £13.20 for two days booked in advance. Under-16s free (when accompanied by adults).
Lee Mead: My Story, Capitol Theatre, Horsham, Sun 24 March
West End leading man Lee Mead will be spilling the beans on his whirlwind life since he played Joseph in the Andrew LLoyd Webber musical. Wicked, Legally Blond, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and more followed and now he plays Lofty Chiltern in Casualty and Holby City. Join Lee accompanied by a grand piano and pianist for backstage tales and that lovely singing voice. Tickets are £25.50 and there are also a few £47 VIP tickets still left for a meet and greet before the show.
Dara O’Briain, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, Thurs 28 March
It’s been four years since O’Briain has performed in Eastbourne and a few tickets remain for this stop on his Voice of Reason tour. In it, he draws on the ordinariness of everyday life and mulls over the rise of The Nerd. Tickets are £24.
Rich Hall’s Hoedown, The Hawth, Crawley, Sat 30 March
Never has there been a better time to be an American comedian in the UK. In this show QI regular and Muddy favourite Rich Hall dismantles the tenuous relationship between the two countries and dissects Trump’s America but ends up in a celebration of Americana with improvised comic ballads and foot-stomping tunes. Tickets are £18.50. (Photo by Matt Stronge).
Mothers’ Day tea and lunch, Herstmonceux Castle, Hailsham, Sat 30/Sun 31 March
Treat mum to a castle this Mothers’ Day… well, at least a meal at one. An Afternoon Tea with Prosecco for £20 on Sat 30 March and a three-course Mother’s Day lunch for £25 (£15 for children) on Sun 31 March at the treats on offer at Herstmonceux Castle. The price includes entry into the gardens and grounds. Looking ahead, an Easter bunny hunt and a tea dance are coming up in April.
Mothers’ Day Baking at Saddlescombe Farm, Devil’s Dyke, near Brighton, Sun 31 March
Get kneading and make bread or pizzas in a traditonal clay oven at this National Trust site. Top them as you wish and eat in the lofty surrounds. There are morning and afternoon sessions. The Dough? £12 for adults, £6 for children. Booking essential.
LAST CHANCE TO CATCH
Brighton Science Festival, various venues, Sat 16 Feb – Sat 2 March
The February instalment of Brighton Science Festival involves heaps of family-friendly makes, workshops and experiments. Get involved in a STEM day specially for women and girls; an art workshop on seahorses; a Minecraft fossil dig; forensic science crime solving; beach surveys; Blue Planet III-inspired comedy and more.
Rye Bay Scallop Week, various eateries, Sat 23 Feb – Sun 3 March
One of my fave foods has a festival all to itself with special menus, cookery demos and live music and even a scallop pub quiz. The Ship Inn, The Gallivant, Webbe’s at the Fish Cafe, Globe Inn Marsh, The Mermaid Inn, The Thai House, Landgate Bistro, Muddy Award winner the White Dog Inn and many more will be involved.
South Downs Dark Skies festival, various locations, Fri 15 Feb – Sun 3 March
Wrap up warm and get out for this annual celebration of the South Downs being designated a dark sky site. There are several guided stargazing events and tie-in activities, many of them free or low cost at locations including Herstmonceux, Chichester, Midhurst, Lewes and Brighton. See Muddy’s Sussex round-up here.
The Girl on the Train, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Mon 17 – Sat 22 June
The book by Paula Hawkins was a total page turner, then came the film and now there’s a stage play to complete the trio. Starring Samantha Womack (Eastenders, Game On, Kingsman) critics are raving about the show, and even if you already know the story of unreliable narrator Rachel Watson and her obsession with her past life and people she’s glimpsed from the train, apparently there are still plenty of surprises in the play. Tickets from £13.