What’s On in Sussex in February
Here’s your starter for ten on What’s On in Sussex in February. Look out too for Muddy’s weekly and school hols updates coming up…
Horrible Histories, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Thurs 31 Jan and 1 & 2 Feb
Everyone’s favourite history teachers are back! With not only actors but 3D special effects this time, The Horrible Histories team promise people from the past will hover at your very fingertips. On
both Wed 30 and Thurs 31 Jan and 1 & 2 Feb at different times you and yours have a chance to see Awful Egyptians and/or Terrible Tudors. Tickets are £13-25 per show. It’s also coming up at Worthing in early May.
Pub in the Park, Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, tickets on sale Feb 1 (event in July).
It has just been announced that, Pub in the Park, a celebration of the best food and music the country has to offer, is returning to Dunorlan Park, just over the border in Tunbridge Wells this summer on 12 – 14 Jul. It’s Michelin-starred chef and TV regular Tom Kerridge’s food and music festival, which started in his stomping ground of Bucks and is now in eight UK destinations. Tickets go on sale 1 Feb but hurry, they tend to sell fast.
State Ballet of Siberia, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Mon 4 – Sat 6 Feb
One of Russia’s leading ballet companies, the State Ballet of Siberia, will be in Brighton for three days performing The Nutcracker (6 Feb), Swan Lake (5 Feb) and la Fille Mal Gardee (4 Feb) – a comic tale of romance and rivalry and one of the oldest ballets still regularly performed. Tickets are from £13.
Someone Like You – The Adele Songbook, The Hawth, Crawley, Thurs 7 Feb
Katie Markham was hand-picked by Adele herself to appear as a tribute act on The Graham Norton Show and now she’s taking the award-winning singer-songwriter’s music on tour accompanied by a six-piece band. All the hits are belted out, plus some of those by Adele’s musical heroes, including George Michael and The Cure. Tickets for the show at The Hawth are £22. She’s also coming up in Brighton in June.
Understanding child behaviour and mental health, Cumnor House school, Danehill, Fri Feb 8
Cumnor House at Danehill near Haywards Heath has been pioneering a mental health programme for schools. On Feb 8 it is hosting Professor Samuel Stein, consultant in child, adolescent and family psychiatry, along with mental health campaigner and author Hope Virgo, to talk about why children behave in certain ways and how to support their mental health. The evening runs 7 – 9pm and is free to all but you’ll need to book a place.
The Noise Next Door At Sea/REMIX, Connaught Studio, Worthing, Sat 9 Feb
Brilliant improvisers The Noise Next Door are doing an adult show and a family show in Feb – with a chance for you or yours to chip in on what ridiculous scenarios unfold on stage. Tickets are £8.50 for the family show at 2pm or £13.50 for the 16+ show at 7.30pm. They’re also coming up at the Ropetackle in Shoreham on 2 March. Highly Muddy recommended.
NT Live, Antony & Cleopatra, Uckfield/ East Grinstead / Chichester Wed 6/Sat 9 Feb
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. East Grinstead, Uckfield and Chichester have encore screenings on the 6th or 9th of Feb. Put your postcode in the website on the link below to find your nearest participating cinema.
Rain Man, The Hawth, Crawley, Mon 11 – Sat 16 Feb
Starring Adam Lilley and Hollyoaks and Corrie‘s Chris Fountain 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 £19.50.
Bring Your Own Baby comedy, Komedia, Brighton, Tues 12 Feb
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 12 March and 9 April.
Noble and Stace chocolate masterclass, Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst, 13 Feb, 26 March, 4 June
To coincide with Valentine’s Day or Mothers’ Day you or a loved one can learn how to create fresh cream truffles, caramel truffles and solid chocolate tablettes under the expert tuition of Mike Noble from the eye-wateringly good Sussex chocolatiers Noble and Stace. They’ve tied up with the Artisan Bakehouse at Ashurst for masterclasses on Feb 13 and March 26 and later on 4 June. Each day includes a two course lunch with wine for £115. Looking ahead, you could also get creative with a weekend of pastry creation with Viennoiserie & Enriched Doughs workshops on 22 and 23 – 24 March. Places are limited so be quick!
Flint Barns Wine Club: Rathfinny Loves, Rathfinny Estate, Alfriston, Thurs 14 Feb
This Valentine’s Day sees the first Flint Barns Wine Club, focusing on tipples loved by the Rathfinny team. You’ll be welcomed with the first, then guided through a four-course menu, each course paired with a different wine. Tables are communal so it’s a good option if you prefer a less lovey-dovey V-Day night out. Tickets are £65. Fancy staying over? Call off the taxi and enjoy 10% off a Flint Barns bedroom when you book the Wine Club.
Tom Gates, Live on Stage, The Capitol, Horsham, Thurs 14 Feb – Sun 17 Feb
My nine-year-old nephew saw this coming up and campaigned hard to go. He might just have tix for his birthday… The books are best sellers and now our hero is on stage in an adventure about his efforts to climb out of trouble and make the school trip. This first live version of the stories is by the team behind the productions of Gangsta Granny and Horrible Histories, so should be good. Tickets are from £19.50 – £21.50 and selling fast for the weekend slots.
Vintage afternoon tea/Valentine’s Chocolate Delight, The Beauty Island Sanctuary, Worthing, until March 31
Is this the most relaxing afternoon tea in Worthing? Certainly sounds like it because it’s served in the Beauty Island Sanctuary’s private spa area with its hydrotherapy pool and herbal sauna. You can book exclusive use of the area for two hours with afternoon tea and a glass of Prosecco for £45 per person. It’s currently served daily 11am – 7pm. There’s also a Valentine’s Chocolate Delight package with chocolatey-themed treatments available to book up to the end of March. What’s more, for Feb there are mix and match deals with selected treatments 2 for £45 of 3 for £69.
An evening with Stacey Dooley, Brighton Dome, Thurs 14 Feb
My other half wouldn’t mind spending Valentine’s Day with Stacey Dooley but that’s another story… The Strictly winner, originally known for her documentaries, will actually be spending the night with a whole crowd of people in Brighton Dome as she tells stories and talks issues including gender equality, identity and sex trafficking. Yes, you’ve guessed it, she’s got a book out, and you can get a signed copy after. Tickets are from £17.50 and it’s down to limited availability.
Premiere of Great in Britain: The Movie, Adastra Hall, Hassocks, Fri 15 Feb
A movie premiere in Hassocks? Yes, really. Musical comedy Great in Britain: The Movie (15), starring Larry Lamb, Peter Bowles, Jason Fleming and the guys from Right Said Fred, will get its very first outing at village film clubs including the Star Cinema film club in Hassocks. There may not be a red carpet but there will be Prosecco. Tickets are £4.50.
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.
Rob Lowe, Stories I Only Tell my Friends: Live, Brighton Dome, Sat 16 Feb
Rob Lowe – yes the Rob Lowe, of ‘Brat Pack’ and West Wing fame is coming to Brighton. Having published two New York Times best-selling memoirs, Rob is taking his tales on the road in an honest, hilarious peek behind the curtain at Hollywood, fame, fatherhood, marriage and more. Obviously, you read your Muddy and have tickets already… but if you haven’t, there are a few restricted view seats left in the side sections of stalls and circle for £33. Valentine’s present to self?
Brendan Cole: Show Man, Theatre Royal, Brighton, 16 Feb (also Crawley and Tunbridge Wells in 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 Theatre Royal, Brighton for a matinee and evening performance on Sat 16 Feb; The Hawth, Crawley on 8 March and Assembly Halls, Tunbridge Wells on 10 March.
Brighton Science Festival, Hands on Half Term, various venues, Sat 16 Feb – Sat 2 March
The February half term 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.
Greatest Showman half term workshop, The Hawth, Crawley, Mon 18 – Fri 22 Feb
Got a child who can’t stop singing Greatest Showman tunes? Well they can really let rip at this half term workshop ending in a performance inspired by the movie. Junior places have already sold out but there are a few places left on 12 – 18s sessions. It runs 10.30 – 15.30 daily for a total £110.
Ghost The Musical, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Tues 19 – Sat 23 Feb
Here’s a perfect bit of soppy fun for you just after Valentine’s Day. Put Unchained Melody on and get that potters’ wheel revolving because Ghost is coming to town. It’s a musical version based on the hit Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze film. Molly and Sam’s happiness is cut short when Sam is killed. With the help of a dodgy local psychic, ghost Sam tries to warn Molly she’s in danger. Did someone say “ditto?” <sob>. Tickets are from £13. I saw the show a couple of years back and it’s surprisingly good, with music by The Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart.
Robert White, the Tank Top tour, The Capitol, Horsham, Tues 19 Feb
It’s down to the last few tix for the Britain’s Got Talent finalist and only gay, Aspergic, quarter-Welsh comic on the UK comedy circuit, as he brings his fast-paced comedy to town on his Tank Top tour. £20.50, recommended for ages 16+
Joan Collins – Unscripted, Assembly Hall, Worthing, Wed 20 Feb
Dame Joan reveals stories and secrets from her long career, through the 80s shoulder pads era of Dynasty and beyond. She’s usually got a good line in healthy cynicism, so should be a fun night. Tickets from £32.
TV news workshop, DC3Workshop Space, Eastbourne, Fri 22 – Sat 23 Feb
Animazing in Eastbourne do some great stuff for the school hols and here they are again in conjunction with the arty Devonshire Collective. In this two-day workshop for ages 11-17 participants will learn about equipment, interview techniques and try different production roles as they record pieces at Heritage Eastbourne venues, then get involved in editing, graphics and more in the studio. Particularly good for those with their eyes on a TV career or running their own YouTube channel. It’s 10-4 each day and great value at £36.
Lucy Porter: Pass It On, The Hawth Studio, Crawley, Fri 22 Feb (also Brighton 14 March)
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. She’s in the smaller studio room at The Hawth so grab a ticket quick and get one of your Feb Friday nights sorted. £17.50. She’s also coming up at Komedia, Brighton on Thurs 14 March.
Gin tasting/gin and room offer, The Bell, Ticehurst, Fri 22 Feb
For one night only, The Bell is offering a deal of a tasting of six gins, a two course dinner, a room and breakfast for £175 (classic doubles) or £225 (lodges). Delayed Valentine’s night away? (call 01580 200300). Or, enjoy the gin tasting on its own for £25 including nibbles.
Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids, The Old Market, Hove/ gig at Rose Hill, Sat 23 Feb
Psst here’s something for Half Term that adults can also enjoy. Beatboxer extraordinaire SK Shlomo gave up astrophysics to perform his amazing vocal pyrotechnics. I’ve seen him in action and he’s really impressive. In this show he gets children involved and teaches them some tricks. I took my nephews the other year and they produced their own mini iPhone beatbox video on the seafront afterwards! Tickets are £9 and there’ll no doubt be the chance to buy a signed CD afterwards. He’s also doing an adult gig at The Rose Hill, Brighton the same night alongside Tilda Allie (£6.92)
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.
Ticket release for Charleston Festival, Firle, Mon 25 Feb
This 17 – 27 May sees the 30th Charleston Festival. To get in first on the most popular events however, it’s best to be poised at keyboard or phone on 25 Feb when it goes on sale. A stellar line-up includes Alan Bennett, Melvyn Bragg, Simon Callow, Lionel Shriver, Andrew Motion and Costa Book of the Year award winner Bart van Es.
TV chefs at The Cat Inn, West Hoathly, 26 Feb and 20 March
Steven Edwards from Etch in Hove – a former winner of Masterchef the Professionals, is creating a special menu at lovely Muddy Award-winning The Cat Inn at West Hoathly on 26 Feb. Then, on 20 March, Dominic Chapman, who has had a string of appearances on The Great British Menu, will be doing the honours at the cosy pub. Each event is £70 including wine. Before then, enjoy a curry special with a pop-up from Zari Indian restaurant for £35 on 24 Jan.
Lunch with Kate Mosse, Chichester Festival Theatre brasserie, Wed 27 Feb
Kate Mosse – that’s the top author not the model – will be meeting fans for lunch next month. On Wed 27 Feb, in the Chichester Festival Theatre brasserie, she’ll be talking about her latest hit novel The Burning Chambers, the inspirations behind her fiction and her work at CFT. You’ll have a chance to quiz her over coffee and receive a pre paperback publication signed first edition. It’s £39.95 including a two-course lunch.
National Trust snowdrop spots, Nymans, Sheffield Park and Petworth, Jan & Feb
In January and February we rely on plucky snowdrops to cheer up the winter landscape. Nymans, Sheffield Park and Petworth are among the best spots to catch them.
Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Sat 2 Feb onwards
This is going to be maaassive! The V&A is showing the largest House of Dior exhibition ever staged in the UK, tracing the history of Christian Dior and the six artistic directors who succeeded him. The exhibition is based on the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, and there will be a new section exploring Dior’s fascination with British culture. A highlight will be the dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, on loan from the Museum of London.
LAST CHANCE TO CATCH
Worthing Ice Rink , Steyne Gardens, Worthing, 17 Nov – 24 Feb
Worthing’s rink is in a giant marque with regular sessions for over-fours, while toddlers can get on the ice in special quieter weekday slots. There are children’s skating courses and private lessons by arrangement. You can warm up with hot drinks and snacks in the café and even use the venue to host a children’s party.
Lost Voice Guy, Komedia, Brighton, Tues 16 and Wed 17 April
Britain’s Got Talent winner Lost Voice Guy is coming up on two dates in April. I once saw him in a room above a pub in Brighton – now he’s famous and headlining at Komedia – get your tickets now for £16.
Shakespeare’s Globe comes to Brighton Open Air Theatre, tickets released for July
One of my fave days of last summer was spent with a hat and a picnic watching actors from The Globe at BOAT. They’re back again with the same format whereby audience cheers decide which play gets performed on the day, with a choice of The Comedy of Errors, Pericles and Twelfth Night. Tickets have just been released. Book now for 10 – 13 July. £17.50 or £45 for a family ticket.