What’s On in Sussex in September
Artisan Bakehouse autumn public opening, Ashurst, 4 Sept – 28 Sept, and workshops, various dates
Feast on expertly made treats at Artisan Bakehouse at Ashurst near Steyning every Tues, Weds, Thurs and Friday from 4 Sept to 28 Sept. It’s open from 12am to 5pm on these dates for seasonal handmade lunches, puddings, cakes and cream teas with freshly-baked warm breads and scones. It’s best to book ahead to ensure a slot. Also check out the workshops coming up, including a chance to make festive macrons that’s sure to sell out in advance.
Julie, National Theatre Live, various cinemas, Thurs 6 Sept
This new version of August Strinberg’s play Miss Julie remains shocking and fiercely relevant in its new setting of contemporary London. Vanessa Kirby and Kofi Abrefa star in this production. Jean and Kristina clean up as a celebration thrown by Julie heaves above them. Crossing the threshold, Julie initiates a power game with Jean – which rapidly descends into a savage fight for survival. Use the link to find your nearest participating cinema.
Friendsfest, Preston Park, Brighton, Fri 7 Sept – Sun 16 Sept
“Oh – My – God!” as Janice would say, the actual sets from Friends are popping up in Brighton! Yes, you can look round Monica’s, Joey and Chandler’s and Ross’s apartments and Central Perk, see original memorabilia and take part in Friends-themed activities including the chance to recreate the title sequence. Weekends have sold out already but there are weekday afternoon and evening slots still. The tours run at ten minute intervals between noon and 22.00. I have a ticket myself. Could I be any more excited? It’s £27.50 plus booking fee (so £29 if you print at home). Pricey but unique.
Film on a Farm, The Hooke, South Chailey, near Lewes, Sat 8 Sept
Not exactly a farm this one, it’s actually the gardens of a Georgian house and it’s the ever-popular Dirty Dancing on screen. A bar, BBQ and popcorn will be available.
Music for Aardvarks, new term and free trail sessions, Brighton and Hove, from Thurs 6 Sept
Got a wee one and need an antidote to twee sing-alongs? Check out Brighton and Hove’s Music For Aardvarks, which uses rock ‘n’ roll, blues, indie and folk to enthuse children… and stop adults feeling like they’re losing their minds. The new term starts 6 Sept and you can join a free trial class. Some of the songs are real ear-worms, I warn you!
Wefifo at Waitrose with Lerato, Hove, Thurs 27 Sept
African foodie Lerato, who runs wonderful supperclubs in Eastbourne and Brighton, has teamed up with Waitrose for a pop-up feast in Hove. It will combine the best of British and African produce and flair in a sociable sharing table format. Expect stew, roasted aubergine, spicy banana fritters and more. Tickets are £45, including matched wines. Look out too for her Sussex cooking classes.
The Hurstwood Market, The Hurstwood pub, High Hurstwood, Sat 8 Sept
Now in its 3rd year, this market showcases local food, drink and crafts in The Hurstwood Pub near the Ashdown Forest. Award-winning Hurstwood Cider and free range pork from Holly Farm will be among the produce on offer between 10am and 3pm. You can also enjoy brunch or lunch in the pub and live music in the garden.
Big Fish Little Fish family rave, The Hawth, Crawley, Sat 8 Sept
Take to a dance floor filled with bubbles, balloons and glitter at The Hawth this month for a pirate-themed rave courtesy of DJ Alex Paterson from The Orb. Kids can get nautically crafty on the Captain Cookie craft tables, enjoy some shore leave in the baby chill out zone or play areas while adults can buy a tot of rum or two in the licensed bar… even though it’ll only be 2pm! Tickets are £11.50 adults, £8.50 children, pre-walking tots go free.
Apple Pressing, Linklater Pavilion, Lewes, Sun 9 Sept
Got an apple tree? There will be a pressing session at the Linklater Pavilion in Lewes again this year on Sun 9 Sept, 11am-4pm. Bring your apples (bottles too if you can) and have the fruit pressed into delicious fresh juice for just 50p a litre.
Carousel’s Blue Camel Club, The Old Market, Hove, Mon Sept 10
If you know a young adult with learning disabilities within range of Brighton and they don’t already know about Blue Camel Club then do them a favour and introduce them to these great nights out with bands, DJs, films and more. This month’s will include a debut live set from gritty folk singer/songwriter Dima Zouchinski. Tickets are £5 (carers £1).
Flowers for Mrs Harris, Chichester Festival Theatre, 8 – 29 Sept
Clare Burt, Joanna Riding and Gary Wilmot lead the cast for Flowers for Mrs Harris, based on the novella by Paul Gallico. In the post-war years, Ada Harris spends her days dusting, darning, polishing and scrubbing. But her first glimpse of a ravishing Christian Dior dress sets her off on a journey that will change her life forever, as she in turn transforms those around her. Tickets are from £10.
Women + Activism, film season, Depot, Lewes, throughout Sept
This season of films and events at Depot is sharing feminist stories of revolution. Asking ‘one hundred years since the first women got the vote in the UK, fifty years since the protests of May ’68, where is the feminist revolution now?’ I caught a film here the other week and it was such a nice experience. Come early for the bar and a bite to eat.
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.
Tom Allen: Absolutely! Thurs 13 Sept, Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis (+ 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 several local chances to do the same. There are just a handful of tickets left for Bognor’s Alexandra Theatre on 13 Sept, but if you live near Hants you can also try Winchester’s Theatre Royal on 28 Sept. He’s also at Eastbourne Hippodrome on Nov 7 (rescheduled from 29 Sept) and Brighton Dome on Dec 1.
Horrible Histories, The Capitol, Horsham, Thurs 13 – Sun 16
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 Thurs 13 – Sat 15 it’s Awful Egyptians and Thurs 13 – Sun 16 Terrible Tudors, with various day and evening times to chose. Tickets are £15.
Into the Trees festival, Pippingford Park, Fri 14 – Sat 16 Sept
From the same organisers as super-popular Elderflower Fields, woodland family festival Into the Trees takes place at lovely Pippingford Park on the edge of the Ashdown Forest on the weekend of 14 – 16 Sept. Expect archery, fencing, mountain boarding, axe throwing (eek!), pond dipping, crafts, kayaking, tree climbing, disc golf, foraging, bat detecting and star gazing. Family tickets are £33.60 for a day, £105 for the weekend and many activities are included.
Hurst Festival, Hurstpierpoint, Sat 15 – Sun 30 Sept
This South Downs village punches above its weight when it comes to festival time with a packed programme spanning music, comedy, theatre and family events. On the music side there’s jazz, blues, classical and Mark Chadwick from The Levellers, while other events include Hurst Open Studios, bushcraft for kids, a comedy night, a family food forage, a Jimmy Hill tribute night (he was a local) and even a pig walk.
Saltdean Lido dog swim, near Brighton, Sat 15 and Sun 16 Sept
Fancy seeing some joyful doggy paddle? The annual Saltdean Lido end-of-season dog swim sadly sold out in a flash but you can still get spectator tickets to watch the fun. Just stand back when they get out and shake!
Festival of Flowers, Leeds Castle, Kent, Sat 15 – Thurs 20 Sept
See incredible floral displays inside the Castle, themed this year to ‘Ladies Day’, taking inspiration from high fashion, high society and high-stakes horseracing. Be inspired by the creativity of international award-winning floral designers and enjoy a programme of specialist talks and demonstrations.
Greenwich Comedy Festival, National Maritime Museum, London, Wed 12 – Sun 16 Sept
Head into London for a host of household comedy names at Greenwich this September. Some have sold out already but there are still tickets for Reginald D Hunter, Nina Conti, Zoe Lyons, Sean Lock, Shappi Khorsandi, particular Muddy favourites Ed Byrne, Stephen K Amos and Andrew Maxwell, and more. While you’re there, pop in to see the Royal Naval College’s famous Painted Hall ceiling up close as it undergoes restoration.
Outdoor Cinema, Bewl Water, Sussex/Kent border, Sun 16 – Tues 18 Sept
Close the summer with the big outdoor screen at Bewl Water on the Sussex/Kent border this September. The open-air cinema is set beside the reservoir and the Waterfront Cafe will be open for food, drink and popcorn. The programme will kick off with Dirty Dancing on Fri 16, followed by Shutter Island on Sat 17 and Back To The Future on Sun 18. The films start at 8pm, bring a blanket and a jumper – unless we get an Indian Summer, eh?
Jason Donovan and the Amazing Midlife Crisis, The Capitol, Horsham 26 Sept/ 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. He’s back at Horsham after a stint a few months back and in Eastbourne in Oct. The show includes an audience Q&A.
Various shows, Brighton Open Air Theatre, until 30 Sept
B.O.A.T in Dyke Road Park is a lovely space to lounge with a picnic and catch adults and kids shows, comedy and more. The Sept programme includes The Railway Children (2 Sept), The Wizard of Oz (29 Sept) and the Brighton Beach Boys (30 Sept).
Polo at Cowdray, until Sun 23rd Sept
The public are welcome to watch polo at Cowdray throughout the season, with matches held every Sat, Sun and Bank Holiday Mon and on most weekdays. Bring your own picnic, or order one from the Cowdray Farm Shop & Cafe. There’s also a snack bar in the grounds. Except during the Gold Cup, weekends and bank hols tickets are £5 each (under 12’s free) and weekdays are free. Call 01730 813257 or see the tournament section of the website for the day’s play.
Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Thurs 20 – Sat 29 Sept
Think you could manage to see Dirty Dancing one more time? Of course you could. The stage musical version, lift, watermelon and all is coming to the Brighton for a run of just over a week. Tickets are from £21.90.
#HolidayInspirations Show, Salomons Estate, Tunbridge Wells, Sat 23 Sept
Back from your summer hols and in need of planning next year’s break? Get all your holiday inspo under one roof when a long list of tour operators covering adventure, safari, luxury, cruise and more gather for Baldwins Travel Group’s #HolidayInspirations Show, at stunning Salomons Estate. Better still, when you book your free tickets you can enter the Prize Draw to win a seven-night holiday for two to Antigua (pictured) courtesy of Caribtours and Blue Waters.
Harvest Food and Wine Pairing, Wiston Estate, Washington, Wed 26 Sept and Fri 5 Oct
Lovely Wiston Estate, where this year’s Muddy Award winners’ drinks were held, is hosting two 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 26 Sept event will be a lunch, the 5 Oct one 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.
Wine Rebellion Tour, Brighton, Sat 29 Sept
More wine tasting opportunities are coming up courtesy of Brighton Food Tours who run the VIB (Very Independent Brighton) walks. The expert scoffers are turning to drink – in the best possible way – with Wine Rebellion Tours – ‘anti-snobbery’ visits and tastings at some of the city’s best quaffing spots. There’s one coming up on Sat 29 Sept and another on Sat 17 Nov. It’s £65 for three hours with sommelier guiding and samples.
Wisdom of a Fool, The Capitol, Horsham, Fri 28 Sept
From the 1950s onwards Norman Wisdom entertained millions with his hapless slapstick routines on stage and screen.
Jack Lane has brought the star’s crazy clowning back into the spotlight on this tour, wearing the actual ill-fitting ‘gump’ suit that Norman wore, loaned by the Wisdom family. His act has been getting standing ovations – see it for yourself when it comes to Horsham at the end of Sept.
Small Wonder festival, Charleston, Firle, near Lewes, Fri 28 – Sun 30 Sept
I love a good short story and the form is enjoying something of a resurgence. Charleston is ahead of the curve with its annual Small Wonder festival, an atmospheric occasion that bring together author talks, workshops and performance in a huge marquee. Among sessions, The wonderful Lionel Shriver of We Need to Talk About Kevin fame will be highlighting US satirical writing along with Tom Rachman and Sarah Churchwell in ‘Land of the Free’.
Wolf Run, Pippingford Park, Sat 29 – Sun 30 Sept
Take on the mud, walls, slides and water wading of the Wolf Run – a fun and friendly 10km team obstacle race that is new to Pippingford Park near Ashdown Forest this year. Team Muddy took part in the Spring run and had a great time. See the feature for more pics and tips on what to expect.
LAST CHANCE TO CATCH
Sussex Days: Photographs by Dorothy Bohm/ Virginia Woolf: an exhibition inspired by her writings, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, 23 May – 30 Sept / 26 May – 16 Sept
Muddy Awards Best Gallery finalist Pallant House has a new free exhibition on the internationally celebrated photographer Dorothy Bohm (now aged 93) bringing together for the first time her black and white photographs of Sussex in the 60s and 70s. Steam fairs at Horsham, racing at Goodwood, the seafront at Brighton and racing at Parham are included. Meanwhile Tate St Ives’ Virginia Woolf exhibition is also visiting Pallant this summer. It features over 80 female artists, with works from 1854 upwards that represent central ideas of Woolf’s writing.
Canadians in the Park trail, Sheffield Park and Garden, Uckfield, Sat 21 July – Mon 3 Sept
From 1941 to1944 Sheffield Park and Garden became the home and training ground to thousands of Canadian troops. This holidays between 10am and 4pm families can pick up a free map and follow co-ordinates to find mission checkpoints. At each location you’ll be put through your paces with everything from code breaking and target practice to keep fit exercises. There’s also a re-created Nissen hut in the garden and a new assault course at Ringwood Toll.
Michael Jackson: On The Wall, National Portrait Gallery, London, 28 June – 21 October
I’ll be moonwalking 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!
Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, V&A, London, from 16 June
Harry Hill Kids Show: How To Be Funny – for Kids! Theatre Royal Brighton, Fri 26 Oct
Get set for autumn 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.
Eddi Reader, Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, Mon 22 Oct
Remember Fairground Attraction of Perfect fame? The band was a wonderfully acoustic antedote to mainstream pop. Now lead singer Eddi Reader (who’s had a Hollywood debut since) is coming to Worthing in October. Tickets are from £25.50.
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Sussex Gin Fest, Brighton, Sat 1 – Sun 2 Sept
Get tippling on the prom. The Brighton incarnation of the gin festival will take place this year on the promenade next to the BAi360. Sussex is something of a gin-producing hotbed and local favourites like Slake, Brighton and Chichester Harbour gins will be there. Find out about production, have a cocktail, or sip it neat. Food and entertainment will also be on hand. The event is run in sessions on the morning, afternoon and evening of each day. Standard tickets are £15, premium tickets (which include a flight up the BAi360) are £20.
Towner on the Beach, Eastbourne seafront, Sat 1 – Sun 2 Sept
Fancy making some seaside art? For the first weekend of Sept, Eastbourne’s Towner Gallery is taking over one of the Beach Huts between the Wish Tower and the Lifeguard Station where local artists will lead creative activities inspired by the At Altitude exhibition. Come along and make a marbled map from ingredients including seawater.
Artwave, Lewes, Seaford and Newhaven, various locations, Sat 1 and Sun 2 Sept
This is the last chance to catch Artwave, which has been happening across three towns and their surrounding villages over three weekends, showcasing the work of talented local artists. It’s not just about galleries, you get to mooch about in studios, gardens, workshops and artists’ own homes. There are over 150 venues with all sorts of work to admire and buy.
Dusty’s Wildlife Rangers, Arundel Wetland Centre, until Mon 3 Sept
This school hols at Arundel WWT, Dusty’s Wildlife Rangers encourages children to take on bushcrafts, orienteering, foraging. knot tying and animal tracking challenges. As ever there will also be chances to take a boat safari in search of water voles and kingfishers, hand feed rare geese, go pond dipping and take to a hide. The lakeside cafe is a good spot for some parental relaxation during a day of action. Book ahead online to save 10%.
Film on a Farm, Manor Farm, Chidham, near Chichester, Sat 1 Sept
A rather younger Tom Cruise will be shaking things up in late 80s classic Cocktail at this alfresco one night stand near Chichester.
The Play That Goes Wrong, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Mon 27 Aug – Sat 1 Sept
It’s your last chance to catch this West End hit in Sussex. The farce is all about a drama society’s attempts to stage a murder mystery, battling on through collapsing sets and the like. It won an Olivier award for best new comedy and made Joanna Lumley cry with laughter. You can test it out for yourself with tickets from £16. See the Muddy review here.
Family Art Activities, Charleston House, Firle near Lewes, Sun 2 Sept
Charleston already has an artistic tradition and it’s now inviting families to create their own art while visiting. Free sessions in the pottery or garden are hosted by the house’s friendly volunteers, with paper lampshades and clay models among things that have been created in previous workshops. The session is aimed at ages three upwards
Artist Rooms, Gilbert & George, Brighton Museum, ends Sun 2 Sept
It’s the last chance to catch arty funsters G&G who have had this exhibition in Brighton this summer that draws on works from the Tate and the Artist Rooms touring collections. Expect nudity, sex, poo and many other things that make life satisfying. The official blurb says the exhibition from the Turner Prize-winning pair is ‘challenging’, so best not take the kids or Aunty Gladys. Brighton and Hove residents £3.50, non-residents £5.20.
Free Summer Concert, Tonbridge Castle lawn, Kent, Sun 2 Sept
Don’t miss Sevenoaks and Tonbridge Concert Band playing on the beautiful lawn of this historic venue. No booking is needed – just turn up on the day and enjoy the music. Bring a picnic for an alfresco afternoon tea or enjoy some of the refreshments available there! Make a day of it and visit the Tonbridge Outdoor Pool or the Playground just around the corner.