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What’s On in Sussex in Jan

Jan 2019

The Nutcracker, Moscow City Ballet, Chichester Festival Theatre, Thurs 3 – Sun 6 Jan 

Get over the back-to-work blues with a trip to this festive ballet. Moscow City Ballet and a full orchestra will be doing the honours. Tickets from a tenner.

Swan Lake, St Petersburg Classic Ballet, The Hawth, Crawley, Tues 8 Jan 

Another Russian ballet company are in Sussex performing the tragic love story of the Prince and the Swan Princess, with Tchaikovsky’s soaring score provided by a live orchestra. There are afternoon and evening performances. Tickets are £36.

Abigail’s Party, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Thurs 10 – Sat 19 Jan

If there were a Desert Islands Discs for TV, Abigail’s Party – the Mike Leigh play about the 70s drinks party from hell – would be in mine. Watch passive-aggressive host Beverly ply her guests with booze, ‘little cheesy-pineapple ones’ and Demis Roussos live on stage, with stars of Corrie, Emmerdale and Midsomer Murders in the leads. Tickets are from £20.25. Alright Tone?

Lantern light storytelling, Bodiam, Robertsbridge, weekends 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 and 26-27 Jan

Join Bodiam’s storytellers as they weave their spell with stories throughout the day by lantern light to capture your imagination. Free with admission.

NT Live, Antony & Cleopatra, Horsham, Wed 9 Jan / Tunbridge Wells 19 Jan and later dates at other cinemas

Originally 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. The Capitol, Horsham has an encore screening on Jan 9 and there are later dates at Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, East Grinstead, Uckfield, Chichester and more. Put your postcode in the website on the link below to find your nearest participating cinema.

Pre-dinner Seven Sisters Cocktail Tasting, Rathfinny Estate, Alfriston, Fri 11 Jan and Sat 19 Jan

To celebrate the launch of its Seven Sisters vermouth, Rathfinny invites diners to a complimentary introduction and tasting of its new cocktails before they eat in the tasting room restaurant. Enjoy a guided 20 minute tasting and select a pre-dinner cocktail of your choice. A £10 deposit per head secures your reservation and is deducted from your final dinner bill. There are also Sunday lunches coming up at the Flint Barns on Jan 13 and 20.

Twelfth Night, Minerva Theatre, Chichester, Tues 15 – Sat 26 Jan

Photo by Christoph Krey

A unique modern take on Shakespeare’s romantic comedy Twelfth Night in which the cast use nothing but costumes, props and instruments washed up on the beach following Viola’s shipwreck. Check out the trailer on the website. Tickets are £23

Bennett Wilson Poole, The Hawth Studio, Crawley, Wed 16 Jan

Experience a night of Americana at the Hawth as Danny Wilson, Robin Bennett, Tony Poole join forces . The trio will be pulling on influences from the 60s pop of The Byrds, The Beatles and The Beach Boys, through to the harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, with dashes of Petty and Springsteen. Tickets are £16

Night Owl Evening Roost, Arundel Wetland centre, Sat 19 Jan /Early Birds Opening Sat 26 Jan – Sun 27 Jan

Arundel Wetland centre is keeping the the gates open an extra hour at dusk to give visitors the chance to see the evening roost. Look out for little egrets, pied wagtails, starlings, snipe and marsh harriers come into roost and keep your ears open for the tawny owl’s call. Sunset is 4.30 pm and the event last till 5.30. Rather seeing the awakening? On Jan 26 and 27 it’s opening early at 8am just after sunrise. Free with regular admission.

The Northern Lights, South Downs Planetarium, Chichester, Jan 13 and 27

Chichester’s Planetarium has a look at the beautiful Northern Lights and an explanation of why they happen on two dates in Jan. Tickets are £7 adults, £5 under-16s.

Sandi Toksvig Live! National Trevor, Chichester Festival Theatre, Fri 18 Jan /Brighton Dome Thurs 31 Jan & Sun 3 Feb

Expect tall stories, funny facts, silly jokes, a quick fire Q&A and a quiz from stand up comedian and QI host Sandi Toksvig as she seeks to become, if not a national treasure then a national Trevor. Tickets from £10. She’s also coming up at Brighton Dome on Thurs 31 Jan & Sun 3 Feb (£21-£27)

The King & I, from the Palladium, various cinemas, (various Jan dates)

Photo by Matthew Murphy

The well-loved musical, loosely based on the true story of a British governess in the royal household of Thailand in the 1900s, is currently playing at London’s Palladium to rave reviews. It was broadcast to cinemas in Nov but a few are still repeating it in Jan including in Chichester, Uckfield, Rye, Hawkhurst and Tunbridge Wells. See the trailer here and find your nearest participating cinema via the link below.

Fairytales, Fantasies and Nightmares: the illustrated world of Arthur Rackham, Standen House and Garden, Sat 19 Jan – 19 March

In this visual exhibition delving between the covers of the house’s book collection, goblins, fairies and witches are spreading mischief as Standen celebrates the fantastical, mysterious and macabre illustrative world of Arthur Rackham. Free with admission.

Pop-up ice rinks, Brighton, Worthing, Chichester, Bewl Water, Tunbridge Wells and further afield until Jan/Feb

Gliding into action, are Brighton, Worthing’s, Tunbridge and Bewl Water rinks and a new Chichester one and there are other several others for day trips into Surrey, Hants and London. Check out the Muddy round-up.

Ballet Theatre UK presents… Beauty and the Beast, The Capitol, Horsham, Fri 11 Jan / Chequermead, East Grinstead, Sun 20 Jan

It’s one of the most enchanting love stories of all time, and it’s not just a Disney film. See Beauty and the Beast as a ballet on a Friday night in Horsham (£19.50 – last few seats!) or Sunday afternoon in East Grinstead. (£20 adults, £15 children.)

The Full Monty, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Mon 21 – Sat 26 Jan

In 1997, a British film about six out of work Sheffield steelworkers with nothing to lose (except, ultimately, their clothes…) became one of the most successful British films ever made. All the fun and poignancy is transfered into this stage production, adapted by Oscar winning writer Simon Beaufoy, which has won the UK Theatre Award for Best Touring Production. Tickets are from £12.

Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of Four, The Capitol Theatre, Horsham, Mon 28 Jan & Tues 29 Jan

When Mary Morstan arrives at 221B, Baker Street to request help to unravel the mystery of her missing father, Holmes and Watson enter a murky world of murder, corruption and stolen jewels. This was one of my degree set texts and I could show you my essay on its colonial context… but I’m guessing the play’s a lot more entertaining! There’s even a bit of romance. Adult tickets are £16 and it’s suitable for ages 11+

Circus of Horrors, White Rock Theatre, Hastings, Wed 30 Jan

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 £20 – 26.

Nish Kumar: It’s in Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, Thurs 31 Jan / Brighton Dome Fri 1 Feb 

Nish Kumar tends to sell out early but hurrah there are still tickets left for this Jan show in Bexhill. 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 £22.50. He’s also up at Brighton Dome on Fri 1 Feb (£23.50). Eddie Izzard and Jimmy Carr are among comedians coming up later in the year at the De La Warr. 

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.

When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Ourselves, National Theatre, London, Wed 16 Jan – Sat 2 Mar

Cate Blanchett makes her debut at The National alongside Stephen Dilane in this new play by Martin Crimp, based on Samuel Richardson’s novel Pamela. It explores desire, sexual violence and the complicated roles men and women play – blimey!. There’s also a series of talks with members of the production and the playwright throughout the play’s run though Cate isn’t on the menu I’m afraid.


Sleeping Beauty, The Capitol, Horsham, Fri 14 Dec – Sun 6 Jan

Picture by Stephen Candy

Heart FM’s Nicola Hume, Sean Smith from X-Factor‘s Same Difference and James Fletcher from Hollyoaks star in Horsham’s panto Sleeping Beauty, with funny faves Hywel Dowsell and James Fletcher back to cause havoc as Nurse Nora and Lester the Jester. Get a ticket in the bag – if you snooze you loose! Read the Muddy review.

Cinderella, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Fri 7 Dec to Sun 13 Jan 

It looks like the only Cinderella in Sussex this year and it’s on in Eastbourne. If you fancy a date with the ugly sisters, get booking.

The Rocky Horror Show, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Thurs 13 Dec – Sat 5 Jan

Think you could do the Timewarp again? You’ll be pleased to know that a high energy production of the musical is live at Brighton’s Theatre Royal for Christmas. With Trigger Happy TV’s Dom Joly playing the narrator and Strictly’s Joanna Clifton as Janet. Get out your fishnets and vamp it up! Tickets are from £13. See the Muddy review.

Aladdin, The Hawth, Crawley, Fri 7 Dec to Sun 6 Jan 

Photo by Paul Clapp.

Popular dame Michael J Bachelor is back in Crawley’s panto as Widow Twankey. Jason Gardiner from Dancing on Ice will be taking the boos as evil Abanazor while Eastenders’ Shaheen Jafargholi is hero Aladdin. Be quick. There’s limited availability on many nights already.

The Snowman and The Snowdog exhibitions, Nymans/ Brighton Museum till 2/6 Jan

Image © Snowman Enterprises Limited

National Trust property Nymans has an exhibition of original drawings from The Snowman and The Snowdog to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the classic tale by Sussex author Raymond BriggsThere’s also a snowdogs trail in the garden. There’s another The Snowman-related exhibition running at Brighton Museum with the tale reimagined by Michael Morporgo of War Horse fame.



The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst near Steyning, 1, 5, 27 Feb and other dates

Among courses coming up at The Artisan Bakehouse are Valentine’s Macron Making on 1 Feb (£95) and a Mediterranean Breads Workshop, 5 Feb, covering traditional Greek pittas, a Lebanese Maneesh, Italian pizza and Fougasse Provencale (£125). Then An Introduction to Sourdough with internationally renowned baker & author, Emmanuel Hadjiandreou will take place on 27 Feb (£150) all prices include lunch. Places are limited.

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+

Lost Voice Guy, Komedia, Brighton, Tues 16 and Wed 17 April

photo by Steve Ullathorne

…and 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, £16.

compiled by Debbie Ward

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