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What’s On in Sussex in October

October 2018

Your starter for ten on what’s coming up for Oct. Look out for weekly updates and our Half Term guide.

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!

Nish Kumar: It’s in Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves, The Capitol, Horsham, Wed 10 Oct  

Nish Kumar hits Horsham on 10 October and tickets are selling fast! The comic is no stranger to TV having been seen on Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News For You, Joel & Nish Vs The World and more. Now you can see him on your doorstep somehow drawing laughs out of the theme of mankind’s propensity for self-destruction (the title is taken from Terminator). Tickets are £21.

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.

Harvest Food and Wine Pairing, Wiston Estate, Washington, Fri 5 Oct

Lovely Wiston Estate, where this year’s Muddy Award winners’ drinks were held, is hosting food and wine pairing events. Enjoy a talk about the estate, a tractor trailer ride visit to the winery, then a tutored tasting of four sparkling wines with local produce from the likes of Charlie’s Trout, Noble and Stace chocolates, The Artisan Bakehouse and more. The 5 Oct event will start at 6.30pm. Tickets are £30. Regular tours are also available. Select which you want from the drop down menu on the link.

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.

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.

Phill Jupitus: Juplicity, Bognor Regis/Shoreham-by-sea/Eastbourne, Fri 5/Thurs 11/ 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 Alexandra Theatre, Bognor on Fri 5 Oct; The Ropetackle, Shoreham on Thurs 11 Oct and Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne on Thurs, 18th Oct. I saw his show last year and I’m still singing “Owls Are Bastards” in the shower…

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.

Eddi Reader, Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, Mon 22 Oct

Remember Fairground Attraction of Perfect fame? The band was a wonderfully acoustic antidote to mainstream pop. Now lead singer Eddi Reader (who’s had a Hollywood debut since) is coming to Worthing. Tickets are from £25.50.

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.

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.

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!

Halloween Hocus Pocus, Borde Hill Garden, nr Haywards Heath Sat 20 – Wed 31 Oct

Borde Hill always has plenty on in the school holidays and October half term is no exception. There’s a spellbook trail; spooky story-telling; Halloween crafts; wand making; owl, reptile and creepy-crawly meets; magic shows; face painting and balloon modelling and a Pumpkin Glow carving contest. Check dates for different activities, there’s a small extra charge for some on top of admission.

DJ 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 for October are Alternative 80s, punk and 2-Tone from DJs Just Lust on Fri 5 Oct; Live Music from Rachel De Cock on 7 Oct; 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.

Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage, White Rock Theatre, Hastings  Tues 23- Sat 27 Oct

Dirty Dancing on stage, Dirty Dancing on tour, Dirty Dancing review, Dirty Dancing theatre review

Think you could manage to see Dirty Dancing one more time? Of course you could – especially when it’s a show this good! The stage version, lift, watermelon and all is coming to Hastings for a week. Tickets are from £34.50. I saw it when the tour kicked off in Brighton and it’s a cracking show, pleasingly true to the film. See the Muddy review here.

Bluebell RailwayHallowe’en Scream Train 24 – 28 Oct (with MUDDY DISCOUNT)/ 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!

Autumn/winter classes, Sew In Brighton, Hove, various Oct/Nov/Dec dates

Learn how to replicate your favourite clothes, make a bra that actually fits, create a kimono robe, get help on your own projects or simply learn to stitch from scratch on Sew In Brighton’s new season of courses. Book in advance for a discount.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Canvas making courses, Halland near East Hoathly, Fri 12, Sat 13 Oct, Fri 9, Sat 10 Nov

Victoria’s Studio

If you paint, finding affordable, well-made canvases can be tricky. Learn how to make your own with the help of artist Victoria Albuquerque in her studio which has fabulous heritage Sussex countryside views and a cosy wood burner. Her workshops are £25 per person plus the cost of the materials. Groups will be limited to a maximum of six people. They run on
Fri 12 Oct 14:30 – 17:00; Sat 13th Oct 9:30 – 12:00; Fri 9 Nov 14:30 – 17.00 and Sat 10 Nov 9:30 – 12:00.

Harry Hill Kids’ Show: How To Be Funny – for Kids! Theatre Royal Brighton, Fri 26 Oct

Get set for half term by booking this show, aimed at helping kids with an interest in comedy to improve their skills by offering hints, tips and anecdotes. TV’s Harry Hill will be sharing his dos and don’ts as well as offering kids who fancy themselves as a bit of a joker the chance to express their own comedy skills. Tickets are £16.00.

Terry Pratchett’s Mort, Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Tues 23 – Wed 24 Oct

Death comes to us all – except in Terry Pratchett’s fourth Discworld novel, it offers Mort a job. Don’t miss seeing the book come to life (and death) at the Trinity Theatre.

Phantasmagoria, Proud Country House, Stanmer Park, Brighton, 27 Oct

Proud Country House. Photo by Jim Carey

In an event running 9pm to 3am on Sat 27 Oct, Proud Country House will transform into a Halloween nightclub, with artists and performers taking you on a spooky Victorian-slanted tour of the house with weird and wonderful ghostly surprises around every corner. Tickets are from £25, or upgrade to VIP for unlimited Prosecco.

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.

Evita, Theatre Royal, Brighton Tues 30 Oct – Sat 3 Nov

Photo by Pamela Raith

Dont cry for me… I’ve got tickets for Evita but if you haven’t and you want some you need to get on it quick. The latest production of the well-loved Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is coming to Brighton at the end of Oct. Watch Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, journey from humble beginnings to extraordinary wealth and power via some famous tunes.

The Wider Earth, The Natural History Museum, London, Tues Oct 2 – Sun 30 Dec

Exciting news – there’s a theatre being opened in the Jerwood Gallery at the Natural History Museum for the European premiere of award-winning drama The Wider Earth, a play about the young Charles Darwin. Puppets, an original score and cinematic animations make this theatrical event a great draw for kids plus they’ll learn a helluva lot in the process.

New national exhibitions, shows, music and films, London and local cinemas, various dates

Get your cheat-sheet to the season’s best new national art, theatre, music and film, from London to your own armchair, curated by Muddy’s cultural Kerry Potter. See round-up here.


Snailspace, Brighton, Sat 15 Sept – 18 Nov

Remember the Snowdogs? Well the street art concept is back and this time it’s giant snails invading the streets of Brighton. 50 sculptures have been decorated by artists and will later be auctioned to raise money for Martlets hospice. Celebrity sponsors with personalised creations include Peter James and Fatboy Slim. Follow the snail trail by picking up a map or downloading the app. If you’ve kids it’s a great free activity to have in hand for half term.

The Everyday and Extraordinary, Towner Art Gallery Eastbourne, Sat 29 September – 6 January

CRAGG, Tony AC 1992

This new touring exhibition, conceived by the Towner and Birmingham Museums Trust, looks at how found or everyday objects have been used in art works. It examines how Surrealists used ‘the everyday’ to invoke humour and satire and how Pop Artists directly appropriated items from popular culture. Entry is free.

Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures, Brighton, newly opened 

New Brighton attraction Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures is inspired by the Jules Verne novel and challenges groups of audiences to help Fogg make his way around the world in 80 days – with a few trials and tribulations along the way. It’s an indoor immersive experience blending theatre and escape room and has been brought to life by the design team behind Star Wars, Episode VII, Skyfall and The Miniaturist. With adult and family versions of the experience it’s suitable for ages 7+ Standard tickets are from £34.50.



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

Moonwalk 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!


Tom Allen: Absolutely! Eastbourne Hippodrome, Nov 7 and Brighton, Dec 1

Tom Allen is one of of my fave comedians at the moment, I love his arch camp wit and original style. I’ve seen him do short sets twice this year and now I’ve booked for his full show. You’ve two more local chances to do the same. He’s at Eastbourne Hippodrome on Nov 7 (rescheduled from 29 Sept) and Brighton Dome on Dec 1.

Festival of the Dead, Prizm, Brighton, Tues 16 Nov

Definitely not as grim as it sounds, this immersive event, which sold 60,000 tickets last year, blends carnival with circus, theatre and clubbing. The new 2018 production follows one man’s journey into the underworld of giant creatures and creations, including The Vulture and ‘El Diablo’ – a huge, mechanical skull backdrop full of hidden surprises. All this happens as DJs spin a club soundtrack, professional face painters do their work and crowds dress to be part of the show. 10pm-3am. From £19


FareShare Sussex 15th Anniversary Fundraising Dinner, Silo, Brighton 22 Nov

Brighton’s multi-award winning zero waste restaurant Silo is marking 15 years of the food redistribution charity’s FareShare’s work in Sussex with this special evening. FareShare saves hundreds of tonnes of food from going into landfill and redistributes it to 120 charities and community groups across the county including children’s breakfast clubs, homeless shelters and domestic violence refuges. Some of this produce will be combined with local seasonal food at Silo to create a five-course dinner, with matching tipple suggestion from Davenport Wines, and a complimentary glass on arrival. 6pm-9pm. £38.50

The Scummy Mummies, Komedia, Brighton, Tues 11 Dec

Yes, it’s not till December but they sold out well ahead last time they were in Sussex. Helen and Ellie are heading to Brighton promising a great pre-Christmas comedy night out for pooped parents. Expect scummy carols, yuletide sketches, stand-up and Santa stories. Tickets are £15.


Compiled by Debbie Ward

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