What’s On This Week in Sussex
8 - 16 Feb
Roll up, roll up for the latest hip and happening stuff near you in the latest What’s On in Sussex. For more stuff to do with kids check out my big Half Term What’s On. For more ideas for V-day check out my Fromage-free Valentine’s Ideas.
A Brave Face, Capitol Theatre, Horsham, Sat 10 Feb
The UK’s leading full mask theatre company – Vamos – is back with this play exploring Post-Traumatic Stress, the unseen injury of war, and the impact it can have on families. This compassionate story was created from two years of research with ex and serving soldiers, families and health professionals and follows a soldier from 2009 Afghanistan to his return home. It’s suitable for ages 12+ Tickets are £12.
Devonshire Collective, Digital Weekender, Eastbourne, Fri 9 – Sun 11 Feb
Fri 9 Feb kicks off a special weekend at DC1 Cafe & Gallery as it puts on its second Digital Weekender with the theme of Storytelling: Real & Unreal. A technologist explores how fictional technology might actually work, journalists consider ‘fake news’, there’s a live DJ set and comedian Jo Neary. The fun continues with an immersive drama and a stop animation workshop for children on Saturday 10 then a virtual reality workshop on Sunday. Events are from free up to £15.
Fat Tuesday, various venues, Hastings, 9 – 13 Feb
Fat Tuesday is of course the English for Mardis Gras and it’s less about stuffing chips and chocolate and more about catching some great music in a party atmosphere. Venues across Hastings welcome some of the best emerging and established acts from across the UK. 2018, partners include BBC Introducing and The Joe Strummer Foundation so that’s a pretty good stamp of approval. Saturday is wall-to-wall acoustic sets. There’s also an umbrella parade and other family-friendly activities.
Drag Me Up, Valentine’s Night, BAi360, Brighton
Drag queen Dave Lynn performs cabaret for an alternative Valentine’s Night up the i360. It’s a 45 minute flight with a glass of Nyetimber sparkling wine. Tickets are £30. Over 18s only. Sounds a laugh whether you’re loved up or not.
RSC Live, Twelfth Night, various Sussex cinemas, Wed 14 Feb
If music be the food of love.. .play on. The RSC Live is broadcasting Shakespeare’s rom com Twelfth Night, staring Adrian Edmonson to cinemas throughout the land on Valentine’s night. Viola falls in love with Orsino, who dotes on Olivia, who falls for Viola but is idolised by Malvolio. There’s a woman dressed as a man, a man flaunting his garters and another who may not be as straight as his friend thought. Put your postcode in the search box for your nearest participating cinema – there are heaps across Sussex. You can also see a Muddy reivew of the production here.
Brighton Science Festival, various locations, Sat 10 – Sun 18 Feb
Over 100 fun and educational events include getting creative in the kitchen with Slime Time and Potions and Commotions; an exhibition of an arctic adventurer; mad machine building; monster making; a rocket factory; eco cars; shadow puppets; coding and a guided bike tour of the solar system (kind of). Heaps going on for children – sounds a Half Term saviour – with some activities also pitched at adults.
Natural Selection, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, Sat 3 Feb – 22 April
New exhibition Natural Selection is the culmination of a five-year collaboration between artist Andy Holden and his father, well-known ornithologist Peter Holden. It covers an ornithological journey: from the building of nests to the collecting of eggs and featuring objects, sculptures, videos and animation. Entry is free.
Valentine’s Tasting Menu, The Gallivant, Camber, near Rye, Wed 14 Feb
Fresh from a revamp, The Gallivant restaurant with rooms at Camber Sands has a five course tasting menu this Valentine’s Day. Sussex Wagyu beef, and pork with scallops and purple sprouting broccoli are among the dishes and you can plump for pairing wines besides.
Come Dancing, La Havana, Chichester, Sat 10 Feb
A family bereavement prompted Hannah Pleasance and her brother Ben to start organising nights where people could get out and enjoy life by dancing their socks off for free. The next is up on Saturday 10 Feb at Chichester’s La Havana from 8.00pm – 1.00am and yes, entry is free – just turn up early for a better chance of entry. You can buy drinks at the bar.
Suggs – What a King Cnut, White Rock Theatre, Hastings, Sun 11 Feb
Madness frontman Suggs is back in his home town but this time he’s not singing, he’s talking, with an autobiographical show promising tales of vertigo on the roof of Buckingham Palace; nearly blowing the closing ceremony of the Olympics and watching his underpants fall to earth on Bowie’s driveway. Tickets are £30.
Valentine’s menus, Billy’s on the Beach, Bracklesham Bay, Wed 14 and Sat 17 Feb
Fancy a stroll along the beach followed by a sharing platter for two? This Valentine’s Day, Billy’s on the Beach, at Bracklesham Bay, is serving up a ‘Lovers’ Lunch‘ menu of specials or sharing boards from noon, priced from £6.95. If you have to save your love-in till the weekend there’ll also be a Valentine’s Dinner on Sat, 17 Feb, with candlelit tables, a cosy wood burning stove, and, of course, views across the beach. Moules Marinières, grilled whole bream and game pie are among options. Booking is essential.
South Coast Soul Review, Ropetackle Centre, Shoreham-by-sea, Sat 10 Feb
I saw in New Year with South Coast Soul Review – they were fantastic and worked super hard to make sure everyone had a good night. It’s a big ‘ol eight piece band with two singers, sax, the works, doing crowd-pleasing soul and funk covers. Catch them in this Valentine’s special at Shoreham’s Ropetackle on Sat 10 Feb. Tickets are £15.
Valentine’s dinner, Bodiam Castle, Fri 9 Feb
Up the anty with Valentine’s dinner in a castle. Bodiam is doing after hours tours with wine and candlelit dinners afterwards in the Terrace Room on dates on and around V-day. There’s still availability for Fri 9 Feb if you move quick. Tickets are £40.
Orchid Festival, Kew Gardens, Surrey, 10 Feb – 11 March
Things are going totally tropical this month at Kew Gardens. Their annual orchid festival takes in Insta-friendly displays of the vibrant Thai blooms, Thai street food and musical performances, workshops on how to grow these notoriously tricky flowers and Thai afternoon tea at The Botanical restaurant. King prawn, lemongrass and coriander tartlet followed by Thai sticky coconut cream rice with mango salsa? Yes please.
South Downs Dark Skies festival, various locations, Fri 9 – Sun 25 Feb
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 including stargazing sessions on weekends at Battle Abbey 3 -25 Feb and an open day with astrophotography ‘how to’ sessions at Midhurst Rother College, West Sussex on Sat 10 Feb. See my full round-up of what’s on in Sussex here.
Lucy Porter, Komedia, Brighton, 14 Feb
Prefer something non-cheesy for Valentine’s Night? Book this stand-up gig. Reliably good comedian Lucy Porter is at Komedia, Brighton using her own anecdotes to illustrate how you must pick your battles in these enraging times. Tickets are £14.
Ed Byrne: Spolier Alert, Theatre Royal, Brighton Thurs 15 Feb (also Horsham, 15 May)
I love Ed Byrne to an extent it gets my husband twitchy. He was one of the first comedians I got into back when he took apart Alanis Morissette’s song Ironic line by line for being nothing of the sort. I saw his show last year and he’s still got plenty to say… and in an Irish accent – what’s not to like? This time he asks are we filled with righteous anger at a world gone wrong, or are we all just a bunch of whiny little brats? In short, are we spoiled? This might just be my Valentine’s present to self. Tickets are from £28.15. There are also the last few tickets left for him at Horsham on 15 May.
Into the Wild, Wild Winter Warmer, Forest Row, near East Grinstead, Fri 16 – Sun 18 Feb
Not many festivals going on in Feb yet the Wild Winter Warmer at Emerson College at Forest Row, is billed as a chance to come together in the heart of winter with music, storytelling, dance, song, meditation, yoga and much more. It’s booze-free so you’ll getting into the spirit in a more figurative way. You can camp if you’re hardy, or share a heated yurt. There are also rooms available in the college. Early bird tickets of £80 include all music and workshops.
Matt’s Comedy Club Open Mic Night, Pavilion Cafe bar, Worthing, Thurs 15 Feb
Family-friendly comedy coming up in Worthing with this swear-free, smut-free show geared at ages 12+ . It’s pay what you like on the night but you’ll have to book a place. It kicks off at 8.00pm.
Griff Rhys Jones: Where Was I? Regis Centre, Bognor Regis, Sun 18 Feb/ The Old Market, Hove, Tues 27 Feb
Best known for Not the Nine o’clock News and for being one half of Smith & Jones, Griff returns with anecdotes, reminiscences and outright lies from forty years of travelling. Tickets are £18.50 at Bognor Regis on 18 Feb, £18 in Hove on 27 Feb and £15 on 9 March in at Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells.
Kite Runner, The Hawth, Crawley, Tues 20 – Sat 24 Feb
Based on Khaled Hosseini’s international bestselling novel, this is the story of friendship and redemption brought to the stage. In troubled Afghanistan two childhood friends are about to be torn apart following a terrible incident during a kite flying tournament. Take your hanky, it’s a weepy. Tickets are from £21.
Tim Peake presentation, Chichester Festival Theatre, Sun 25 Feb
Chichester City Council will be giving the Freedom of the City to local hero Tim Peake at a ceremony at Chichester Festival Theatre on Sun 25 Feb at 2.30pm. Afterwards, the astronaut will be give a presentation on his European Space Agency mission and take questions from young people in the audience, who will also have an opportunity to meet him in the foyer afterwards. Tickets are free but are strictly limited to four at a time and booking is essential.
The Big Jive All-Dayer, Assembly Hall, Worthing, Sat 24 Feb
Can you handle 12 hours of swinging? No, not the one with keys in a bowl… this is jive, swing and rock ‘n’roll with bands, DJs, vintage stalls, food and drink from 1.00pm – 1.00am. Tickets are £26 in advance.
So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs..?! The Capitol, Horsham, Wed March 14
Dr Ben Garrod pits the knowledge of unwitting parents against their dinosaur-loving kids in an interactive, educational and entertaining show which uses footage from the BBC’s Planet Dinosaur. Tickets are £16.50 (£54 for a family of four). It’s aimed particularly at 5 -12s and complements key stages 1 & 2.
Elderflower Fields festival, Pippingford Park, near Uckfield, Fri 25 – Mon 28 May
Last few tickets left for this year’s family-friendly Elderflower Fields festival – it’s likely to sell out in a couple of weeks so get your skates on if you want to be there. Adult weekenders are £130, kids tickets are from £1 to £72,50, depending on age.