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What’s On this week in Sussex

Oct 11 - 19

Lewes Light Festival, various Lewes locations, Fri 12-Sun 14 Oct 

Lewes will be brightening up the weekend with a series of illuminations and installations all over town, some inspired by the local environment and stories. Lighting designers, electricians, historians, creatives, students and more are involved in the festival. The event runs 7pm to 10.30pm each day. Take a guided walk from the Town Hall or pick up a map to guide yourself, also look out for tie in music gigs in pubs.

Frankie Vah by Luke Wright, The Old Market, Hove, Thurs 11 Oct 

Young Luke Wright is a brilliant performance poet who often gets into character for his verse, so it was only a matter of time before he stretched the format into a full acted piece. In this show he both narrates the story of, and performs as, Frankie Vah, a fictional 80s punk poet, full of political fury and losing sight of those closest to him as he rises. I’ve seen this show and it’s sickeningly clever but not his most accessible work, so best seen if you already enjoy performance poetry. Tickets are £15 and there’s a support act.

Toyah: Acoustic, up close and personal, Trading Boundaries, Sat 13 and Sun 14 Oct

80s popster Toyah will be turning the world upside down at Trading Boundaries this weekend. The punk princess turned TV presenter has continued recording, plus acting on stage. She’ll be mixing storytelling with gig as she celebrates, can you believe it? Her 60th birthday. Tickets are £35.

Shoreham Wordfest, various venues, Shoreham-by-sea, until 20 Oct 

Shoreham Wordfest continues with children’s events on Sat 13 Oct. Author Sophy Henn will be at at Shoreham Library from 10.30am for stories, crafts and book signing for 4-7 year olds (get free tickets in advance). There’s also a family-friendly verison of Romeo and Juliet with exciting fight scenes at the Ropetackle in the evening. On Sun 14 Oct the Wordfest Literary Walk leaves at 10.30am from Hightrees/Bramber roundabout on the Shoreham to Steyning road for a gentle two-hour stroll along the River Adur with readings and poetry. Full programme of events on the link.

Rain Man, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Mon 15 – Sat 20 Oct

Starring Gavin & Stacey’s Matthew Horne and Downton Abbey’s Ed Speleers and based on the Oscar-winning film with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman, it’s the funny and tear-jerking story of self-centred salesman Charlie Babbitt who finds out he has a long-lost older brother, Raymond – an autistic savant, who has inherited the family fortune. Charlie sets out to get ‘his half’ of the cash via a road trip that ends up bringing the men together. Tickets are from £13.90.

Joe Pasquale: A Few of His Favourite Things, Capitol Theatre, Horsham, Wed 17 Oct

Joe Pasquale burst on to our TV screens 30 years ago on ITV’s New Faces. Now he’s on his 30th anniversary tour encouraging audiences to release their inner child and laugh at a few of his favourite things. He’s dropping into Horsham on the 17th. Tickets are £20.

Vintage Sundays: Spaced, Picturehouse Cinemas, Brighton and London, various Oct dates.

Tying in with the release of the Neil Armstrong film First Man, Picturehouse Cinemas has a space related retrospective. It’s your chance to catch the likes of Alien (Oct 14), Apollo 13 (Oct 28) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (4 Nov) on the big screen again. The nearest Picturehouses are Brighton and London.

Blood Brothers, The Hawth, Crawley, Tues 16 – Sat 20 Oct

When I was in my 20s I went through a musical binge stage and this was one of my favourites. It’s still going, quite a <cough> few years later and it’s now on tour. Willy Russell (also of Shirley Valentine fame) penned this tragi-comic tale which follows twins separated at birth and living very different lives. West End star Linzi Hateley stars as the boys’ birth mother Mrs Johnstone. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll get some serious ear-worms. Tickets are from £30 and there’s already limited availability on some nights.

The Midnight Gang, Chichester Festival Theatre, Sat 13 Oct – Sat 3 Nov

Chichester Festival Theatre has a major new stage version of David Walliams’ children’s book The Midnight Gang. Adapted by Byrony Lavery with music and lyrics by Joe Stilgoe, it tells the story of a group of young patients at a spooky hospital who each night escape their beds and go on an adventure. Tickets are from £10.

Phill Jupitus: Juplicity, Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne, Thurs 18 Oct

Comedian, performance poet, improv expert and long-standing Buzzcocks team captain Phill Jupitus is bringing his new stand-up show Juplicity to Sussex. He warns of ‘adult themes and situations, delivered childishly’ as he drops in on the Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne on Thurs 18 Oct. I saw his show last year and I’m still singing “Owls Are Bastards” in the shower…

The Case Of The Frightened Lady, Connaught Theatre, Worthing, Mon 8 to Sat 13 Oct

John Partridge formerly Christian Clarke in EastEnders, who was excellent in La Cage Aux Folles earlier this year, leads a star cast in the role of Inspector Tanner joined by Deborah Grant from Not Going Out, Phillip Lowrie from Corrie; Scarlett Archer from Emmerdale; Matt Barber from Downton Abbey and Robert Duncan, best known for Drop The Dead Donkey. In this murder mystery Inspector Tanner is called to investigate a ruthless murder at the ancestral home of the Lebanon family but nothing is quite as it seems… Tickets are £26 – £30

Swan Lake & Emerald Storm, Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Weds 17 – Thurs 18 Oct

After sold out performances last year, the Russian State Ballet is back for one-night-only at the Assembly Hall on 17 Oct. The following day, don’t miss Emerald Storm – thunderous rhythms of Irish Dance brought soaring into the 21st century on 18 Oct.

Giants of Steam Autumn Gala, Bluebell Railway, 12 13 & 14 October

Get down to Bluebell this weekend for a rare opportunity to see the Union of South Africa before she retires in 2019, along with Bluebell’s own locos in action and extra trains departures to travel on.

Jason Donovan and the Amazing Midlife Crisis, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Thurs 18 Oct

He’s certainly got a good line in self-deprecating humour. Celebrating his 50th birthday and with a wealth of tantalising tales under his belt, this autobiographical show will zigzag back and forth through Jason Donovan’s life, with stories about Neighbours, Ten Good Reasons, Kylie, Joseph, I’m A Celebrity, Strictly and more. The show includes an audience Q&A.


Celebrity Dusty Duck Trail, Mon 17 Sept to Mon 29 Oct

The Wetlands mascot Dusty Duck has some celebrity friends visiting. Follow the trail to find 14 Giant Dusty Ducks designed by the world famous Aardman animation studios and dressed by celebs, including Steve Backshall’s Explorer Dusty, Smarked’s (Sam and Mark’s) Tiger Dusty and Joanna Lumley’s absolutely fabulous Patsy Dusty. The trail is free with admission. AS always there’s plenty going on besides with guided boat safaris, the chance to hand feed ducks and geese plus adventure playgrounds for the young and younger.

Octoberbest, Brighton & Hove, Fri 5 Oct to Sun 21 Oct


Bargain feasting alert! 25 of the city’s top eateries are involved in this year’s Octoberbest, offering special £20 menus and deals until the end of the month. They include independent favourites like 64 Degrees, The Coal Shed, Cin Cin, Silo, Plateau, Bincho Yakitori, Pascere and Pike & Pine. I’m out of the blocks already on this one with a set menu at The Salt Room this week. Get booking!

Battle Festival of Arts and Music, Battle, throughout October

Ceilidh Liberation Front

The fifth annual festival in this historic town includes an adaptation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute by Opera Anywhere, set in 1950s London (7 Oct); dancing with London’s Ceilidh Liberation Front (12 Oct) and Leviathan (19 Oct), in which multi-award winning choreographer James Wilton re-imagines Moby Dick with a cast of six and a blend of athletic dance, martial arts and capoeira! For children 2-8, Oskar’s Amazing Adventure is a mix of storytelling, physical theatre and puppetry about a puppy’s search for friendship (6 Oct). Later in the month there’s a whole weekend dedicated to world-class classical music (26-28 Oct), including a recital from Russian pianist Roman Kosyakov and travel-themed family concert Around the World in 80 Minutes.

Music and Comedy nights, Hotel Pelirocco, Brighton, various dates

There’s always a fun option for a night out at quirky Hotel Pelirocco on Brighton’s Regency Square. Among the gigs and DJ sets coming up for October are vocal trio Beach Belles singing pop, soul and Motown on Oct 18, Funny Fursday monthly comedy club on 25 Oct and Sophisticated Mischief’s Halloween party on 27 Oct. Check out the events page on the website for more.

Curious House workshops/ discounted rooms at The Bell, Ticehurst, various dates

Feel like getting creative now that the nights are drawing in? Curious House at Stonegate is running day retreats from painting to design to screen printing, many geared to impressing at Christmas. Workshops include Create your own Charleston-inspired lampshade (Thurs Oct 18); table runner screen printing (Fri 19 Oct) and lino cut printed crackers (Fri 9 Nov). These workshops are £95 plus £15 for materials, including a light lunch. There’s also a wreath-making workshop on Fri 14 Dec for £75 plus £15 materials. Course participants can get an enticing discounted room at The Bell in Ticehurst for £70 single occupancy or £85 for a twin/double for Sun to Thurs nights.

2-for-1 Touch of Luxury package, The Beauty Island Sanctuary, Worthing, 1 Oct – 24 December

Hide from autumn with this timely offer of a four hour pampering sesh with a partner or friend. The package includes a glass of Prosecco on arrival; 90 mins private use of the spa zone with hydrotherapy pool and sauna; relaxing fruit footbath with non-alcoholic cocktail (20 mins); 24K Gold Body Ritual with Relaxing Massage and Gold Sugar Scrub (60 mins); Waterfalls of Gold moisturising and firming facial (55 minutes). The total for two guests is £160 on Mon or Tues or £175 on Sun. It goes on right up to Christmas so it will also help you prep – or recover from – the party season!


Godfather season, Lewes Depot, Tues 23 Oct, Mon 29 Oct & Wed 7 Nov

Lewes cinema, Depot Lewes, Lewes Depot Cinema, independent cinema lewes, independent cinema sussex

Here’s an offer you can’t refuse. Lewes Depot is inviting you to see the Godfather trilogy over successive weeks with part one on Tues 23 Oct, two on Mon 29 Oct and three on Wed 7 Nov. Book now to bag it on the big screen.

MUDDY DISCOUNT Bluebell RailwayHallowe’en Scream Train 24 – 28 Oct / Dystopia Station 29 – 31 Oct 

Bluebell has scare-ish and scary Halloween rides this October, one for kids, one for hardier teens and adults. Youngsters can meet Brigid the witch and her hapless sidekick Brian the wizard for fiendish fun and games, tricks, treats and more on the Scream Train from Sheffield Park to Horsted Keynes station and back. Meanwhile 14+ passengers can brave the Dystopia Station immersive experience with a return ride from either Sheffield Park or East Grinstead joined by characters in the middle of a frightening epidemic. Tickets are £16 for the Scream Train, £30 for Dystopia Station. Under 18s must be with an adult. Use the code MSH18 for a 50% Muddy discount on child fares!

Star stand-up, Eastbourne Hippodrome, various Oct/Nov dates 

The Hippodrome has a great line-up of comedy looming to cheer us up in the longer evenings. Book now for Phill Jupitus on 18 Oct, Rich Hall on 10 Nov and Jeremy Hardy on 22 Nov.

Find more ideas here

Things to DoThis Week

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