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What’s On in Sussex this week

19 - 27 July

Looking for more child-freindly action? See the big Muddy school hols round-up here.

JAZZ RE:FEST, Brighton Dome, Sun 22 July

Brighton Dome is hosting a one-day festival celebrating UK jazz and jazz-inspired music and culture on Sun 22 July and under 16s can go free. Having previously been hosted at London’s Southbank Centre for the last five years, this is JAZZ RE:FEST’s first iteration outside of London. Live performances from over 60 musicians, artists & DJs will feature including Vels Trio, Daniel Casimir, SEED, Yussef Dayes, Noya Rao, Blue Lab Beats and Ruby Rushton. Adult tickers are £7.50 (you’ll also need to book a free place for kids) and the event runs noon to 19.00.

Free Family Music Festival, The Bell in Ticehurst, Sun 22 July

Just as the schools break up for summer, The Bell in Ticehurst is hosting a FREE family-friendly music festival, featuring great local bands and artists. Staged on the amphitheatre in The Bell’s gardens, this summer Sunday promises to be the perfect laid back afternoon of great music featuring some amazing talent. From chilled out jazz and acoustic sets to full on high energy bands rock up between 1.30pm – 8.00pm to catch it. There will also be entertainment for the kids and snacks from the pub’s chef. Call 01580 200300 for more info.

Film on a Farm, Sheffield Park Lodge, Fletching, near Uckfield, Sat 21 Jul

La La Land will be dancing into Fletching near Uckfield for one night only at this pop-up in a field. You can buy a blanket and reserve deckchair seating. It’s close to huge Indian furniture store, gift shop and cafe Trading Boundaries so pop in while you’re in the ‘hood. For the full Muddy round-up of outdoor cinemas across Sussex and nearby see here.

Drink Brighton, Brighton Food Tours, Sat 21 July and Sat 22 Sept

Brighton’s much praised food tours have an extra twist on July 21 and later dates when you can delve into the city’s indie drink scene. On a three-hour walking drink safari you’ll hear the stories behind the slurp and sample an assortment of tasty tipples – mostly alcoholic, some not… Spirits, drinks made from food waste and more are promised along with snacks along the way. The tour costs £45 including all tastings.

RSC’s Romeo & Juliet, encore screenings, various cinemas, 19 July, 25 July, 4 Aug and other dates 

Missed the live cinema screening of Romeo and Juliet form the Royal Shakespeare Company? There are some encore screenings about including at Tunbridge Wells (Trinity Theatre, Thurs 19 July),  Crawley (The Hawth, Wed 25 Jul) and Chichester (Cinema at New Park, Sat 4 Aug). Find your nearest using the link.

Milkshake Live; The Magic Storybook, The Capitol, Horsham, Sun 22 July

Bob the Builder, Little Princess, Noddy, Fireman Sam, and more will be singing songs and sharing stories with youngsters at this stage version of Channel 5’s Milkshake!  There are two afternoon performances at noon and 15.30. Tickets are £16. Looking for more child-friendly action? See the big Muddy school hols round-up here.

Eastbourne Pride, Sat 21 July

Wristbands for Eastbourne’s Pride have now sold out so the park will be 4,500 people strong, you can still join the non-ticketed fun around the town however and it’s going to be a sunny one!

The Great Houndini, Brighton Open Air Theatre, Sun 22 July

Witness the impawssible at Brighton’s first ever dog-friendly magic show The Great Houndini! Featuring doggy mind-reading, illusions, mindbeagling tricks and even Britain’s Got Talent’s Neil Henry. The performers are some of the UK’s top magicians – plus their four-legged friends. An unfurgettable afternoon for all the family (including dogs). The organisers take no responsibility for any disappearing picnics! Full price £7.50, children and concessions £5, dogs £1.

Mark Steel, Hever Festival, Kent, Wed 25 Jul  

The star of Radio 4’s Mark Steel’s In Town is back to assure us that Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright. Alright, that is, despite Trump, Brexit wranglings and a PM seemingly clinging on by her fingernails. If you’re a fan of Steel, you know what to expect – some cerebral observations about the world. I’ve seen him several times and it’s always a top night out. It’s advised for ages 14+ and tickets are £14/£15

Zoe Lyons: Entry Level Human, Ropetackle Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea, Sat 28 July

More comedy coming your way. She’s been on Live at the Apollo, is a regular on Mock the Week, so Zoe Lyons knows what she’s doing, doesn’t she? Behind a mic, yes, otherwise, that’s up for question, she says. Tickets are a tenner. Bargain.

Kew Science Festival at Wakehurst, Sat 21 and Sun 22 July

A wild weekend of family-friendly workshops is promised for the Kew Science festival at Wakehurst, celebrating its status as a global leader in plant research. Go behind the scenes in the Millennium Seed Bank vaults, join walks, watch demonstrations and take part in experiments and workshops like Foods of the Future and Botanical Drawing. The festival is free with garden admission. Adult tickets are £12.95 and there’s car park charge but under 16s go free. Download the full programme from the weblink and see below for Summer Explorer activities later in the holidays. Looking for more child-freindly action? See the big Muddy school hols round-up here.

The Luna Cinema, Tonbridge Castle, Kent, Fri 20 – Sun 22 Jul

Dirty Dancing was another year but you can still catch it elsewhere

This weekend The Luna Cinema transforms the grounds of Tonbridge Castle into an impressive setting for open-air flicks. Over three days chose from The Greatest Showman, Pretty Woman, Gladiator or see them all! Shows start at 9:15. For the full Muddy round-up of outdoor cinemas across Sussex and nearby see here.

Have a Go at Archaeology, Fishbourne Roman Palace, Tues 24 July to Fri 3 Aug

Ever wanted to try your hand at archaeological excavation or wondered how the past can be recreated from just a few tiny pieces of pottery and bone? Visit Fishbourne Roman Palace this summer, with or without kids, to find out, as part of the National Festival of Archaeology.


Hitchcock Season, Duke of Yorks cinema, Brighton, Sundays 8 July – 12 Aug

If you want some respite from the sun then treat yourself to a Hitchcock masterpiece this month – Picturehouse Cinemas are putting on a season of the director’s work. It kicks off with Carey Grant in North by Northwest on 8 July, then it’s Jimmy Stewart in the brilliant Rear Window on 15 July, Strangers on a Train on 22 July, the Daphne du Maurier classic Rebecca on 29 July, Psycho 5 Aug and Vertigo 12 Aug. Tickets are £8 (£5 members). If you’re in London over coming weekends the same season is running at Picturehouses there.

Hastings Fringe, various venues, throughout July 

Hastings Fringe takes over the town throughout July. There will be more than 60 performances to be held over 10 venues across Hastings & St Leonards including theatre, spoken word, cabaret, music, film and visual arts. A drunk Macbeth on 8 July and an evening combining Vivienne Westwood and Elvis on 19 July are among the more unusual options.

Towner Film, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, Sat 7 Jul to Thurs 30 Aug

In honour of the centenary of the 1918 Suffrage Act, each week throughout summer Eastbourne’s Towner gallery will be putting on a feature film directed by a female filmmaker they love. Among them are Holly Hunter in The Piano, Nora Twomey’s Oscar nominated animation The Breadwinner, which tells the tale of a young girl forced to dress as a boy to provide for her family under Taliban rule, and the animated adaptation of Majane Satrapi’s memoir Persepolis which recalls her youth as a punk loving teenager in Iran.

Me & My Girl, Chichester Festival Theatre, Mon 2 July – Sat 25 Aug

Me and My Girl review, Me and My Girl, Chichester Festival Theatre, Me & My Girl

Photo by Johan Persson

Following the success of Half A Sixpence, which transferred to the West End, Chichester Festival Theatre has launched another cracker of a retro musical. Matt Lucas and Caroline Quentin star in Me and My Girl, the tale of a cockney barrow boy who inherits a fortune and the Duchess intent on transforming him, Pygmalion style. The Sun Has Got His Hat On and The Lambeth Walk are the well known numbers. Tickets are from £10.  Read the Muddy review here.

Enchanted Horsham, Horsham Park, Fri 27, Sat 28, Sun 29 July

Enchanted Horsham

Want to see a unicorn? I have it on good authority one will be trotting about in Sussex this July. It’s part of Enchanted Horsham, a three day family-friendly Summer wonderland event where bands, street theatre, circus workshops, a vintage funfair, mermaid tales and life-size puppets are all part of the fun. After dark things will get really magical, with unicorns and dragons’ eggs waiting to be discovered and the gardens illuminated with projections and fire. You can even set yourself aglow by donning some UV face paint and joining a silent disco. Adult tickets are £20 but under 16s go free!


ABBA: Super Troupers, Southbank Centre, London until Sun 29 July

Photo by Victor Frankowski

Well Mamma Mia 2 is out and what better excuse to catch the tail end of this brilliant exhibition with a difference (see my review). It’s led by a tour guide and narrated by Jarvis Cocker. Nine immersive rooms – including a mock up of Brighton’s Grand Hotel where ABBA stayed when they won Eurovision – plus personal notes, memorabilia and iconic costumes are included. You need to book a timed slot and tours last about an hour. The money, money, money? Tickets are £25.


Michael McIntyre’s Big World Tour Warm-up Show, Thurs 27 Sept

If you’re among Michael McIntyre’s legion of fans you’re going to want to know that the floppy-haired comedian has snuck in a warm up for his big world tour at Brighton Dome this Sept. Grab a ticket before they sell out, they’re £31.50.

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