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What’s On in Sussex this week

Thurs 28 Nov - Fri 6 Dec 

Christmas Fayre, Cumnor House, Danehill, near Haywards Heath, Sussex, Fri 29 Nov 

Find over 40 specialist stalls representing wares from across London and the South East at Cumnor House’s annual Christmas Fayre on 29 Nov. Entry is £5 including a glass of mulled wine or a soft drink and proceeds go to the Respiratory Unit at Royl Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton. The Fayre runs from 10.00 to 16.00.

HEROES with Carl Barat DJ set/ The Christians, The Factory Live, Worthing, Sat 30 Nov/ Fri 6 Dec 

The Libertines’ Carl Barat will be taking to the decks as a DJ, mixing current and classic music from the nineties to today on 30 Nov. It’s one of the launch events at The Factory Live in Worthing. 18+, tickets £11. The Christians of Ideal World fame will the be playing the venue on 6 Dec. £24.75.

Tree Dressing, Weald and Downland Museum, Singleton, Sun 1 Dec

Tree Dressing is a magical family occasion. Make a greenery headdress and turn a jam jar into a lantern to join the illuminated procession and dress the aspen trees as darkness falls.
Then, join in with traditional songs and dances around the trees. Winter warmers on offer will include mulled apple juice and spiced biscuits.

The Noise Next Door At Sea, Komedia, Brighton, Sun 1 Dec 

Brilliant improvisers The Noise Next Door are back with a family show to kick of December – with a chance for you or yours to chip in on what ridiculous scenarios unfold on stage. A Muddy favourite. Tickets are £8 and it’s suitable for ages 8+

Christmas Market, The Highdown, Goring, Mon 2 Dec

The Highdown is hosting its first ever Christmas Market. Teaming up with the likes of Crafty Brewing Company, Charlene’s Chocolates and Jessica Lila Florist. We will have loads of goodies on offer including personalised baubles, home-made candles, live music and (of course) plenty of mulled wine. 18.00 – 20.30. There’s a wreath wrkshop there too on Thurs 5 Dec.

Christmas Spa Days, Poppinghole Farm Spa, Robertsbridge, Sun 1 Dec – Mon 23 Dec

Take time out from worrying about shopping and sprouts, or treat someone to an early pressie, with a soothing Christmas Spa Day at Poppinghole Farm Spa. Hole up in a luxury decorated cottage for the day, get full use of the facilities including swimming pool and hot tub, and enjoy a one hour treatment (worth £70) a two-course festive lunch with a bottle of fizz plus mince pies and an Elemis gift, for £150 per person on weekdays, £200 at weekends. An overnight Yuletide Break (including breakfast box) is £220 on weekdays, £270 weekends. Gift vouchers for other dates are also available.

Christmas Open Day, Brighton Dome, Sat 30 Nov

Make Christmas decorations and other festive fancies for free away from the hubbub of the high street and get a silly snap in the family photobooth. There will also be a lucky dip for Brighton Dome shows on the day for National Lottery ticket or scratchcard holders as part of the Lottery’s 25th birthday #ThanksToYou celebrations. The free event runs 11.00 to 16.00.

The Lovely Bones, Chichester Festival Theatre, Tues 26 – Sat 30 Nov

Photo by Pamela Raith

In this inventive stage adaptation of the critically-acclaimed novel, follow the ghost of murdered school girl Susie Salmon as she invisibly observes her old life from beyond the grave. Will she be able to somehow connect with her family once more and hint at the man who killed her? Tickets from £10. 

Artists’ Open Houses, various locations, Brighton and Hove, weekends Sat 23 Nov – Sun 8 Dec

Want some really unique pressies? Drop in on artists’ and designer-makers’ homes and studios throughout the city for this pre-Christmas reprisal of the May festival. There are also a couple at Ditchling and Peacehaven. Plan your route online or pick up a brochure.

Just So Christmas at Bateman’s, Burwash, 30 Nov – Sun 5 Jan 2020 

There’ll be animal magic at Bateman’s this festive season with the rooms decorated in opulent colours and themed floral arrangements and Xmas decorations inspired by Kipling’s travels and creatures in his Just So Stories. Enjoy wandering through the 17th century house or venturing out into the garden and estate for a walk through the Winter Garden Trail. Daily, 11.00 – 16.00. There will also be and Twilight Opening evenings on Sat 7 and Sat 14 Dec and storytelling sessions come the school holidays.

The Winter Landscape Watercolour Workshop, Denmans Garden, Fontwell, Sun 1 Dec

On 1 Dec, join artist Jo Dowers for a three-hour watercolour workshop in the beautiful setting of Denmans Garden. Experiment with masking fluid, ink and a limited palette inspired by the winter landscape. £35 with all materials, light refreshments and garden entrance. Suitable for all abilities. There’s also card making every other Friday.

NT Live: Fleabag, encore screenings, Brighton, Worthing, Tunbridge Wells, Horsham, various dates 2 – 18 Dec 

Tickets for the West End run of Fleabag were hotter than Andrew Scott’s priest and the NT Live screenings also sold out but there’s another chance to catch Phoebe Waller-Bridge doing her tragi-comic monologue of the dysfunctional 30-something at  Brighton on Mon 2 Dec, Worthing on Sat 14 Dec at at Tunbridge Wells on Sun 15 Dec and Horsham on Wed 18 Dec.

The Lady Vanishes, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, Mon 2 – Sat 7 Dec.

BAFTA-nominated Gwen Taylor and ‘Villain of the Year’ Andrew Lancel are reunited for the first time since Corrie in this fun stage adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes. When socialite Iris’ travelling companion disappears, she’s bewildered to find fellow passengers deny ever having seen her. So, with the help of musician Max, she turns detective… Tickets from £19.

Chris Difford: Christmas Shopping, Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea, Wed 4 Dec

Squeeze co-founder Difford brings his solo show to the Ropetackle. Difford and song writing partner Glenn Tilbrook penned hits including Labelled with Love, Up The Junction and Cool for Cats and you can expect to hear his interpretations of them, sprinkled with anecdotes about his musical life. Support is from Boo Hewerdine. £20.

A Christmas Carol, The Old Courtroom, Brighton, Thurs 5 – Sat 7 Dec

Photo by David Bartholemew

See A Christmas Carol as Dickens himself performed it over 150 years ago. He was the first writer to publicly act out his own work and, in doing so, invented a new genre of performance. Working with the same script Dickens used, actor John O’Connor plays over 20 characters. It’s coming too The Old Courtroom in Brighton, as part of a UK tour to Dickens’ favourite places and will raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. £15, ages 12+

Slade: Rockin’ Home for Christmas tour 2019, White Rock Theatre, Hastings, Thurs 5 Dec

It’s Chriiiiiiiiiiiiiiistmas! No chance that hit won’t be getting an outing when glam rock veterans Slade, with original members Dave Hill and Don Powell, perform in Hastings at the start of the festive season (just wish I had the royalties for that song). £22.50.

Queer Prom’s Camp Christmas, The Old Market, Hove, Fri 6 Dec 

Make the yuletide gay with this camp Christmas special. The festive line up of performers includes Denise Navidad (Rococo Chanel), Psychofag, Tayris Mongardi, Daphne, Georgeous Michael and is hosted by the one and only Alfie Ordinary. Followed by a party to 2am with DJ sets by Hard Femme of Gal Pals and Wildblood and Queenie of 1BTN and B. Don’t forget to visit Santa’s Grotto to find out whether you’ve been naughty or nice… £12. Ages 18+

A Christmas Carol / Christmas Roasts, Denmans Garden, Fontwell, Fri 6 Dec / various dates

Another one-man Christmas Carol marathon – this time at the lovely Denmans Gardens at Fontwell (next door to the racecourse) on Fri 6 Dec. Tickets are £10 and it’s suitable for ages 8+ doors open 18.30 for mulled wine, mince pies and more then the show starts 19.30 and lasts an hour. Call 01243 278950 to book. The gardens have also brought back Sunday roasts and Christmas dinners can be pre-booked daily from 1 Dec.


Ice rinks, various Sussex locations, until Jan

ice rinks in Sussex, skatingin Sussex, pop-up rinks in Sussex

Brighton, Worthing and Tunbridge Wells have been open a while, Bognor and Crawley join them this week. Find your nearest rink in Sussex and nearby in our Muddy round-up.

British Wildlife Photography Awards, Bodiam Castle, Sat 5 Oct – Sun 5 Jan 2020

It’s the 10th anniversary of the British Wildlife Photography Awards and now’s the chance to see this always stunning exhibition in Sussex in the lovely setting of Bodiam Castle until 5 Jan.

Flights of Fancy: the Wondrous World of Quentin Blake, Nymans, Haywards Heath, Sat 26 Oct – April 2020

Welcome to Planet Zog ©A P Watt at United Agents on behalf of Quentin Blake

Leap into a fantasy world with a new exhibition of work from legendary illustrator, Sir Quentin Blake at the National Trust property Nymans. His quirky pictures have graced Roal Dahl books and this set accompanied his own stories The Story of the Dancing Frog and The Green Ship. Inspired by the exhibition, froggy sculptures will be taking over the garden this Christmas, while in the new year wellness events will tie in with Quentin’s work for hospitals. Free with admission.


Pantos and other Xmas shows, Various Sussex locations, various dates

Peter Pan at The Capitol, Horsham

It’s panto season (oh yes it is…) and there are plenty of other festive options besides with ballet, musicals, circus, drag and more   check out the full line up the big Muddy round-up of Sussex pantomimes and other seasonal shows.

Leonardslee Illuminated, Thurs 12 – Sun 15 and Thurs 19 – Sun 22 December

Sussex gains a new glow-in-the-dark garden trail this year with the new Leonardslee Illuminated event, celebrating the first winter since the gardens’ relaunch. The event will run from 12 – 15 and 19 – 22 December, with enchanting light displays, music and theatrical performances around the grounds and large scale projections onto Leonardslee House. It takes about an hour to explore and you’ll need to book a timed ticket. There will also be a vintage fun fair and Christmas market.

A Christmas Carol, Fri 13 – Sun 15 and Sun 22 – Tues 24 Dec, The Capitol Studio, Horsham

Acclaimed character actors Jack Lane  – (who was just brilliant in his one man show Wisdom of a Fool) and David Benson (One Man, Two Guvnors) between them play every character in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in this brand new staging of the classic story.

1927: Roots. The Old Market, Hove, Fri 3 Jan to Sat 18 Jan 

Here’s an anecdote to everything sparkly to start the new year. From the company behind Golem and The Animals and Children Took To The Streets, this brand new show is a collection of rarely told folktales, brought to life to a live score and fusing intricately handcrafted animation, the style of early cinema and a fondness for the fantastic, the dark, the weird and the wonderful. Advised for ages 12+ Check out the trailer. Tickets from £22.

Noble and Stace chocolate workshops, early 2020 Midhurst/Ashurst, Wed 8 Jan and later dates

The next Noble and Stace chocolate-making workshops with availability (timely gifting as an experience) are coming up at the South Downs Centre, Midhurst on Wed 8 Jan (and same venue 5 Feb) – £99 including tea or coffee and The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst on Tues 28 Jan (and same venue Fri 13 March) – £115 per person, including tea, coffee, cake and a two-course lunch with wine. There a special Valentine’s masterclass too on Tues 11 Feb. Have a fun experience and produce plenty of your own handcrafted chocs, truffles and bars to take home. Check out the Muddy review here.

Find more ideas here

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