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What’s On this week in Sussex

Thurs 13 - Fri 21 Sept

Evita, The Hawth, Crawley, Tues 18 Sept – Sat 22 Sept (and Brighton 30 Oct – 3 Nov)

Photo by Pamela Raith

Dont cry for me… I’ve got tickets for Evita and if you haven’t and you want some you need to get on it quick. The latest production of the well-loved Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is coming to Crawley with limited availability already on some nights. It then heads to Brighton next month. Watch Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, journey from humble beginnings to extraordinary wealth and power via some famous tunes.

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.

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 arts, laughs 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.

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.

Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival, Stade Open Space, Hastings, Sat 15 and Sun 16 Sept


Enjoy super-fresh seafood caught just off shore with wine from local vineyards and retailers and other tasty treats from nearby restaurants and producers in Hastings this weekend. Not enough for you? There will be live music, family entertainment, hands-on cooking demos and a beer festival. Buy a weekend wristband in advance from Hastings Information Centre, for £2, or pay £3 on the day.

The Habit of Art, Theatre Royal,  Brighton, Tues 11 – Sat 15 Sept

Catch the excellent Matthew Kelly and David Yelland in Alan Bennett’s witty play-within-a-play The Habit of Art in Brighton this week. There’s plenty of laughs about the interaction between actors and playwright as they practice a play about a rather slobby WH Auden meeting Benjamin Britten, and err a rent boy. See the Muddy review here. Tickets are from £16.90.

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.

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!

Norman Knights, Arundel Castle, Sun 16 Sept

Kids not had quite enough fun over the summer break? Get to Arundel castle for Norman Knights, on Sunday 16 September, with 12th century weapons and combat displays, historical crafts and weapons training.

Empathy Museum: A Mile in My Shoes, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex, Brighton, 14-23 Sept 

Here’s a great idea. The Empathy Museum’s acclaimed immersive installation A Mile in My Shoes will be open – in a giant pop up shoe box – at Sussex Uni’s Attenborough Centre. Visitors are invited to walk a mile – literally – in someone else’s shoes, listening to their story on headphones. From a Syrian dentist to an Australian sex worker, a florist to a sheep farmer, there’s a diverse collection of audio stories and shoes from all over the world. Each story lasts 10 minutes and the museum will be open 11am-5pm daily. Entry is free.

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?

Canvas making courses, Halland near East Hoathly, Fri 12, Sat 13 Oct and Fri 9 and Sat 10 Nov.

Victoria’s Studio

If you paint, finding affordable, well-made canvases can be tricky. Learn how to make your own with the help of artist Victoria Albuquerque in her studio which has fabulous heritage Sussex countryside views and a cosy wood burner. Her workshops cost £25 per person plus the cost of the materials. Groups will be limited to a maximum of six people. They run on
Fri 12 Oct 14:30 – 17:00; Sat 13th Oct 9:30 – 12:00; Fri 9 Nov 14:30 – 17.00 and Sat 10 Nov 9:30 – 12:00.

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.

Scalamara Film Festival, Brighton and other Sussex locations, Sat 1 – Sun 30 Sept

Film buff? Cinema festival Scalamara runs throughout Sept, showcasing classic, rare and locally-made films. Seaford, Redout Fortress Eastbourne, Isfield, Hastings, Worthing, Lingfield, Forest Row and Hurstpierpoint all have special community screenings but Brighton and Hove has the biggest glut of events including a women over 50 film showcase and a screening of 1928 film The Passion of Joan of Arc with a live score.

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.

Fashion and champers evening, Antoine & Lili boutique, Canterbury, Kent Thurs 20 Sept 

Are you within striking distance of Canterbury? Antoine & Lili, a brand that’s massive in France thanks to it’s unique style, is putting on an evening of shopping, Champagne and canapes in Canterbury with A Stitch in Time TV fashion presenter Amber Butchart (pictured top left).  The Kent store is the UK’s only Antoine & Lili boutique. The event takes place on 20 Sept 7pm-9pm. Book ahead by emailing:


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

Lewes cinema, Depot Lewes, Lewes Depot Cinema, independent cinema lewes, independent cinema sussex

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.

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.

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.

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’.

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.

Wefifo at Waitrose with Lerato, Hove, Thurs 27 Sept

Roasted plantain, aubergine and tomatoes from a previous Lerato feast

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.

Shipley Arts Festival concert, Windlesham House School, Washington, Sun 30 Sept

Fancy soothing your soul with a bit of classical? As part of the Shipley Arts Festival the Bernardi Music Group / Stradivarius Piano Trio will close the month at Windelsham House School performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no.3 BWV 1048; Mozart’s piano concerto no. 12 K.414 and Mendlessohn’s Octet in E flat major op.20. Tickets are £36.50 including canapes and Wiston sparkling wine. Proceeds will support the school’s Windlesham Foundation.

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