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What’s On this week in Sussex

17 - 25 May 2018

Summer of Circus, Worthing theatres, May 18 – 1 July

Worthing’s fantastic season of contemporary circus launches this week with ground-breaking international acts in town. The Exploded Circus from all-female company Mimbre will kick things off (Fri 18 – Sun 20). Other shows include 8 Songs – skilled juggling set to Rock ’n’ Roll – and the Giant Balloon Show with big balloon sculptures. The programme ranges from family-friendly to adult-focused and includes workshops besides. There’s a multi-buy ticket offer and the odd thing is even free.

Sussex Street Food Festival, The Stade, Hastings, 18-20 May

Fill your boots, your tummy, your handbag and anything else at this gathering of more than 20 street food vendors. There’s also a bar, various other stalls and glitter painting. Foodie names like Monte Forte Pizza, Just Ribz and Orgazmic Milkshake will have you groaning with pleasure and prompt passers by to want what you’ve just had. Free, midday to 10pm.

Royal Wedding celebration events, various venues, Sat 19 May

If you’re a flag waving royal wedding-lover here are some of the events you’ll be wanting to head to in your union jack hat…. or at least use as an excuse for quaffing and scoffing…

Beside the BAi360 in Brighton there will be a big screen broadcasting the wedding for free between 10.00 and 16.00 (does it really go on that long?!) There’ll also be a bouncy castle (Windsor?) a fancy-dress competition, plus free games and activities, refreshments including a bar, face painting and ice creams. You can save 25% on a full-priced pod flight on the i360 and any child named Harry or Meghan goes free with a paying adult.  The Royal Wedding will also be shown in the pod, and you’ll even be able to take selfies with a life-size cut-out of the happy couple.

There’s another big screen being erected beside De La Warr Pavilion for Bexhill’s Royal Wedding Party, in fact the shindig is being billed as the biggest royal wedding party on the coast. There’ll be a picnic area, stalls and rides and a children’s party from 9.30am. Turn up to the lawn by 10.30 and you could be part of a huge flag-waving community image that will be broadcast on ITV. There’ll also be an Anglo-French market on Devonshire Road because, hey, it’s still red white and blue.

Bolney wine estate, near Haywards Heath has a three-tiered afternoon tea with an American twist available all day and the wedding will be shown on a TV in the cafe. The tea is £15 each or an extra £5 with the estate’s sparkling wine.

Pop in for a bit of pampering at Muddy Awards Finalist The Beauty Bar, Wadhurst this Saturday and you can get Prosecco and strawberries.

Eggs to Apples at Etchingham is down to the last few places for its pop-up dinner by Michelin Star awarded chef Christopher Bower on Fri May 18 and Sat 19 May. The royal wedding-inspired menu has regal and US twists like a king crab hot dog. The four courses plus accompaniments cost £45. Wine flights are an extra £25.

Charleston Festival, Charleston, Firle, near Lewes, Fri 18 – Mon 28 May 

Charleston’s famous literary festival is upon us once more. Sir David Attenborough will be picking up a prize (sold out as you can imagine), Ali Smith will be writng prose inspired by the House’s famous Women Dinner Service; there’ll be a discussion on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein by two expert authors in The Creation Myth and Byron’s legacy for the women he left behind in In Byron’s Wake. There’s also a story of a president’s wife’s love affair in ‘White Houses’ and much more. Book a particular session or a day ticket. There are also extra house tours available for the duration.

Museum at Night Guided Walk, Weald & Downland Museum, Chichester 18 and 19 May

This atmospheric guided walk around the museum after it has closed might not be the stuff of sweet dreams but it promises to be an enchanting evening. The lamplight tour will include stories that are stranger than fiction, some amusing, some mysterious and some just weird. Afterwards, mull on them around an open fire with a spiced warm drink. Recommended for ages 16-plus. £25

The Great Escape, various venues, Brighton 17, 18, 19 May

This is the weekend (for some reason slap bang in the middle of the Brighton Festival) when the music industry decamps to Brighton to see up-and-coming acts. Three-day tickets covering a multitude of performances are £70, but there are lots of other options and there are usually plenty of free shows in the streets. It’s a must for music fans with the bonus that you fall out of venues close to delis and restaurants rather than into a traditional festival mudbath. Also catch the coverage on BBC 6 Music.

The Man on the Moor, The Capitol, Horsham, Fri 18 May  

On December 2015 an elderly man was found dead on Saddleworth Moor. He was carrying no form of identification and the train tickets in his pockets showed he’d travelled 200 miles, apparently just to die. You may have seen the TV documentary about this baffling case. Now The Man on the Moor takes the story further, telling it from the moving point of view of a relative of a missing person, informed by research into other true-life cases. Tickets are £14.

Tenth Lewes May Fayre, Lewes, 20 May,

A decade of medieval magic will be celebrated at the Feast of St Pancras May Fayre, which returns to Lewes Priory Park. It’s Southover Bonfire Society’s tenth anniversary fayre and medieval garb is encouraged, so grab that wimple and hennin (look it up) and wear with pride, especially if you join the march from the town centre. Fearsome re-enactors Swords of Albion and Spears of Andred will be showing off their pointy joust things in the arena. Other fun includes smashing crockery, rolling swedes, splatting rats and tossing chickens to win some great prizes. £2.50, under 12s free, 10.30am until 4pm.

BalletBoyz: Fourteen Days, Connaught Theatre, Worthing, Sat 19 May

Should someone tell them they’ve forgotten their trousers? Nah, let’s not

The men in tights (and out of them) are back. The first half of this performance is the result of four choreographers teaming with four composers and being given a fortnight to produce new work, playing with the concept of balance and imbalance. The award-winning Fallen forms the second half of the evening, choreographed by  Russell Maliphantand and set to a powerful score by French film composer Armand Amar. £23.50

1066 Walking festival 19 – 27 May

Walks to suit all ages and abilities are promised across the 1066 area for this festival, many free of charge or by donation. It starts the weekend of Sat 19 and Sun 20 with a tour of Hastings’ historic fishing quarter and of Battle East and walks taking in the seafronts of Hastings and Bexhill and a local nature reserve.

Dollywould, The Old Market, Brighton, Tues 22 – Fri 25 May

One of the hotly tipped Brighton Fringe shows that’s set to sell out  – as it did on its Edinburgh run. Billed as an ‘exhilaratingly daft love letter to Dolly Parton’ It may contain stories about branding, immortality and death and Dolly the cloned sheep. Tickets are £12.50

Pete Cater Big Band, Frant Church, Frant, near Tunbridge Wells, Fri 18 May

Drummer Pete brings his 16-piece band to Kent for a night of jazz in Frant. Pete has been making swinging big band sounds since 1995 and audiences keep coming back for more. He’s also worked with the likes of Tom Jones, Johnny Dankworth and Jamie Cullum, so he’s clearly a respected talent. There’s another reason to attend too, as proceeds go to the church’s conservation. £18, doors 7.30pm.

Film Night, Fishers Adventure Farm Park, Wisborough Green, Sat 19 May

 Fishers is making an early foray into outdoor cinema with The Greatest Showman on this Sat. Tickets are £6 and the bar is open from 18.00 with the film stating at 19.00. It’s a PG but the event is for over 10s. Plenty more kid-focused events coming up for half term.

Jake Hawkey, poetry performance, Hove locations, Sat 19 May 

As part of Artists’ Open Houses, London poet Jake Hawkey will be  appearing at two venues in the Hove on Saturday 19 May reading from his collection All the Flowers at the Petrol Station. He promises verses set in locations from gay bars to Grandad’s house, of heartache, happiness and being sick on the bathroom floor. He’ll be at Chez Holland, in Holland Road (trail number 11) at 15.00 and The Claremont Hotel, Second Avenue (trail number 13) at 16.30.

Me and My Bee, The Hawth, Crawley, Sat 19 May (& Tunbridge Wells 17 June) 

pink man hat beard

A smash hit at the Edinburgh festival, this family comedy from award-winning theatre company This Egg deals with our fragile eco system and the potential disappearance of the yellow and black minibeasts. It’s £7 at Crawley. It’s also up in Tonbridge at the EM Forster Theatre on 17 June.


Brighton Festival and Fringe – until  Sun 3 June

Running alongside the Main Brighton Festival of course is the Fringe with hundreds of cool and quirky, drama, comedy., spoken word, music, cabaret and kids events throughout the month. It’s the biggest in England don’tcha know? Plenty of good stuff on. Enjoy!

Artists’ Open Houses, Brighton, Hove, Rottingdean and Ditchling,  weekends 5 – 28 May

Buy art direct from the makers, often at nicely affordable prices during this big celebration of Sussex’s creators. It’s the largest event of its kind in the UK with 200,000 visiting the festival last year. You also get to snoop around some lovely houses! There’s an exhibition this year called Art From the Edge featuring work from the marginalised in society.


Awful Auntie, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Wed 6 – Sat 9 June 

From the producers of the great Gangsta Granny stage show comes the premiere of David Williams’ amazing tale of frights, fights and friendship, appearing in Brighton this June. One of the other Muddy eds has seen it and I hear it’s cracking. It features a very old car, a very large owl and a very small ghost and it’s selling fast so get scheming to get a ticket (from £23.50).



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