What’s On in Sussex
6 - 14 Dec
Arundel by Candlelight, Arundel town centre, Fri 7 and Sat 8 Dec
On Dec 7 and 8 in historical Arundel, shops, restaurants, pubs and homes will be decorated with Christmas trees, there’ll be a lantern parade and a Christmas Market with gifts and seasonal treats. Indulge in mulled wine, chestnuts and a hog roast, meet Father Christmas at Arundel Museum, skate on an artificial rink in Jubilee Gardens, follow a Christmas stocking trail and more.
The Choir With No Name, The Big Christmas Singalong, Thurs 13 Dec Brighton Dome
Brighton Dome will be filled with festive cheer once again as The Choir With No Name – comprised of homeless and marginalised people, returns. Expect all the Christmas classics and the chance to join in. Tickets are £12.
Christmas wreath making, Charleston House, Firle, Fri 7 Dec
Got some annual leave to use up? Take a Friday off to learn to make Christmas wreaths with a difference at Charleston, bringing new textures, colours and ingredients to traditional Christmas themes. It’s £110 (£100 for an additional friend) including lunch, tea and coffees, and all tools and materials.
Chice, Priory Park, Chichester 1 Dec – Jan 6
A new rink has popped up in the southwest corner of Chichester’s Priory Park this year, with Christmas tunes as you take a spin. Fun additions include a festive soft play area for tots too young to skate and a photo booth and a chance to eat Bavarian sausage or cake. Keep an eye on social media for details of a new year’s eve event.
Beach hut advent calendar, Hove seafront, 1 – 24 Dec
Head down to Hove seafront 5.30pm to 6.30pm between 1 and 24 December and you’ll find a different beach hut each day has been artistically transformed for advent. There’ll also be a chance to enjoy a mince pie and mulled wine and join in carols. Find the huts on the seafront between First Avenue and Hove Lagoon and discover which is open when via the website, or pick up a flyer in the i360 gift shop. There’s a puzzle to be built if you visit every day collecting pieces.
NT Live, Antony & Cleopatra, various Dec dates, various cinemas + encores at Horsham, Wed 9 Jan / Tunbridge Wells 19 Jan and later dates
Broadcast live from the National Theatre, Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo play Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra in his historical tragedy of politics, passion and power. The Capitol, Horsham has an encore screening on Jan 9 and there are later dates at Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, East Grinstead and more. Put your postcode in the website on the link below to find your nearest participating cinema.
Superman, Connaught Theatre, Worthing, Sat 8 Dec
Is it a bird? is it a plane? No, it’s a family friendly film in December without Santa. Worthing is screening the original Christopher Reeve Superman movie, all the more poignant for those of us who remember it first time round as this year we lost Magot Kidder who played the sassy Lois Lane. Adult tickets are £7.50, children £5.
Rich Hall’s Hoedown, Assembly Hall, Worthing, Thurs 13 Dec
I’ve seen Rich Hall many times and he always puts on a good show. You may have seen the gravel-voiced comic from Montana on QI or his own recent documentaries but you’ve missed out if you haven’t heard his hilarious country-style songs, often improvised by drawing in details about audience members. In this show he promises stand-up on Trump’s America and Americana music with a twist. Tickets are £18.50.
The Rocky Horror Show, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Thurs 13 Dec – Sat 5 Jan
Think you could do the Timewarp again? You’ll be pleased to know that the musical is live at Brighton’s Theatre Royal for Christmas. With Trigger Happy TV’s Dom Joly playing the narrator and Strictly’s Joanna Clifton as Janet. Get out your fishnets and vamp it up! Tickets are from £13.
Cinderella, Eastbourne, Fri 7 Dec to Sun 13 Jan
One of the first pantos out of the blocks this season and it looks like the only Cinderella in Sussex this year, on in Eastbourne. if you fancy a date with the ugly sisters, get booking.
Aladdin, The Hawth, Crawley, Fri 7 Dec to Sun 6 Jan
Popular dame Michael J Bachelor is back in Crawley’s panto as Widow Twankey. Jason Gardiner from Dancing on Ice will be taking the boos as evil Abanazor while Eastenders’ Shaheen Jafargholi is hero Aladdin. Be quick. There’s limited availability on many nights already.
Sleeping Beauty, The Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Fri 7 Dec to Wed 2 Jan
This year’s Tunbridge Wells panto is Sleeping Beauty and Claire Sweeney is starring. Will she be naughty or nice? Go along to find out.
Whistle Down the Wind, Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne, Fri 7 – Sun 9 Dec
Christmas 1959 in Louisiana and three children find a man hiding in a stable who they believe to be Jesus. The stage musical of the famous film Whistle Down the Wind is brought to Eastbourne by the Broadway Players.
Sleeping Beauty, The Capitol, Horsham, Fri 14 Dec – Sun 6 Jan
Heart FM’s Nicola Hume, Sean Smith from X-Factor‘s Same Difference and James Fletcher from Hollyoaks star in Horsham’s panto Sleeping Beauty, with funny faves Hywel Dowsell and James Fletcher back to cause havoc as Nurse Nora and Lester the Jester. Get a ticket in the bag – if you snooze you loose!
Christmas at Amberley Museum, 1 & 2, 8 & 9, 15 & 16 Dec
Amberley Museum is welcoming Father Christmas and children can ride to meet him on the Santa Express to hear a story and get a present. There’ll be market stalls in the barn, kids’ crafts and a family Christmas trail besides. Tickets for Father Christmas are pre-book only – Adults £10, Children over four £16 including museum entrance. Or, pre-book for breakfast with Santa at 9am in the cafe (at £7 per adult and £5 per child).
Make a belt in a day, Wolfram Lohr, Hove, Fri 14 Dec
Handcraft a present – to self or someone else – on this workshop that will help you make a belt of your choice in a day. It’s at leather specialists Wolfram and Lohr in Hove. Tickets are £85. There are also workshops in January you could gift for Xmas including one making a wallet or a clutch bag.
Festive supper club, Artisan Bakehouse, near Steyning, Sat 15 Dec
Michael Notman Watt who won Young Chef of the Year in the 2018 Sussex Food & Drink awards is hosting a festive supper club at Artisan Bakehouse (winner of Best Sussex Eating Experience) on 15 Dec. There’ll be a welcome glass of Wiston sparkling wine, then the menu includes rare roasted pigeon carpaccio with picked cranberries, walnut ketchup; roast woodland pork loin, candied apple grits, sea kale, pickled girolles and I’m loving the sound of the white mulled wine slush puppy! Tickets are £65. There are also just a couple of places left to nab for the table decoration making Xmas workshops with festive cream tea. Book ahead also for Michael’s black tie New Year’s Eve supper club.
The King & I, from the Palladium, various cinemas, (selected Dec dates)
The well-loved musical, loosely based on the true story of a British governess in the royal household of Thailand in the 1900s, is currently playing at London’s Palladium to rave reviews. Here’s your chance to catch it at your nearest cinema as several across Sussex are putting on screenings. The first wave were on 29 Nov but many are repeating it in December including Chichester, Worthing, Littlehampton, East Grinstead, Brighton, Uckfield and Tunbridge Wells. See the trailer here and find your nearest participating cinema via the link below.
A Horsted Christmas, Bluebell Railway, Fri 21 Dec & other events
Book one of the remaining carriages quick for A Horsted Christmas, on Fri 21 Dec. The new event includes with a Christmas picnic en route and time at Horsted Station meeting Santa and his reindeers and taking a whirl on the Victorian fairground. Trains depart Sheffield Park and East Grinstead. You may also be able to grab a Twixtmas rover ticket or Christmas or New Year’s Eve dinner on the Golden Arrow if you’re quick.
Aladdin, Worthing Theatre, Fri 30 Nov – Tues 1 Jan
Lee Latchford-Evans from Steps is doing the thigh-slapping honours as Aladdin in this year’s Worthing panto – one of the first out of the blocks. CBeebies’ Rebecca Keatley plays feisty Princess Jasmine while comedian Vikki Stone gets cloaked up as the evil Abanazar. Brian Blessed will be booming out the voice of the Genie of the Lamp.