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What’s On in Sussex this week

Thurs 18 - Fri 26 Oct

Looking for more family-focused events – see our big Half Term What’s On.

Eddi Reader, Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, Mon 22 Oct

Remember Fairground Attraction of Perfect fame? The band was a wonderfully acoustic antidote to mainstream pop. Now lead singer Eddi Reader (who’s had a Hollywood debut since) is coming to Worthing. There are a few tickets left and they’re £25.50.

Autumn Supper Club, seasonal tasting menu, Artisan Bakehouse, Fri 26 Oct

Michael Notman Watt who won Young Chef of the Year in the 2018 Sussex Food & Drink awards is hosting an autumnal supper club at Artisan Bakehouse (winner of Best Sussex Eating Experience) on 26 Oct. There’ll be a welcome glass of Wiston sparkling wine, then the multi-course feast includes smoked haddock, chive and autumn black truffle dashi; baked pumpkin and cob nut ravioli with hazelnut milk and cheddar curds; and a venison feast. Tickets are £65. And if you’re not feeling festive yet, be warned, others are, because there are just a few places still to nab for the Xmas workshops wreath or table decoration making with lunch or a festive cream tea.

Circus of Horrors, The Capitol, Horsham, Tues 23 Oct

An amazing amalgamation of bizarre and fantastic acts and  a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack are all woven into a sensational shock-horror story – perfect for Halloween – in this adult circus show. With gore and bad language this is not one for kids! Tickets are £25.

Tulleys’ Shocktober Fest, Tulleys Farm, Turners Hill, Crawley, until Nov 3

If you like your Halloween thrills less pumpkins and cobwebs and more chainsaw massacre get along to the famous fright night theme-park/gig Shocktober Fest. There are various ticket levels, from £33 in advance X-Scream, gives you access to each of the eight ‘haunts’ called things like  ‘twisted clowns’, creepy cottage’ and ‘the chop shop,’ along with street theatre and the live music stages. The site also offers a rather less scary chance to pick your own pumpkins from Sat 20 -Sun 28 Oct and a Spookfest, with more child-friendly scares.

Rain Man, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Mon 15 – Sat 20 Oct

Starring Gavin & Stacey’s Matthew Horne and Downton Abbey’s Ed Speleers and based on the Oscar-winning film with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman, it’s the funny and tear-jerking story of self-centred salesman Charlie Babbitt who finds out he has a long-lost older brother, Raymond – an autistic savant, who has inherited the family fortune. Charlie sets out to get ‘his half’ of the cash via a road trip that ends up bringing the men together. Tickets are from £13.90. See the Muddy review.

Brighton Science Festival,  Sat 20 – Wed 31 October, various venues

This great festival of 40-plus events for adults and children moves from its regular February date to October half term, bringing experts and educational entertainers including Simon Watt, Michael Brooks and Robin Ince. Last time they cut up a heart; this time they’re dissecting a human brain in front of a live audience. All in the name of science. If you’re stomach not up to that, don’t worry, they’ll also be setting off rockets, building robots and searching for the world’s ugliest animal.

Blood Brothers, The Hawth, Crawley, Tues 16 – Sat 20 Oct

When I was in my 20s I went through a musical binge stage and this was one of my favourites. It’s still going, quite a <cough> few years later and it’s now on tour. Willy Russell (also of Shirley Valentine fame) penned this tragi-comic tale which follows twins separated at birth and living very different lives. West End star Linzi Hateley stars as the boys’ birth mother Mrs Johnstone. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll get some serious ear-worms. Tickets are from £30. See the Muddy review.

Philip Jackson Sculpture Exhibition, Newlands House, Petworth, 19 October – 24 November

One of Britain’s most respected and commissioned sculptors, who has produced some of our country’s best-known public works presents his largest exhibition to date at Petworth’s Augustus Brandt gallery. More than 50 works will be on show at the destination store, marking the first time Jackson has exhibited his work inside. Sculptures will sit within the 18th Century Georgian townhouse spread over 7,500 square feet of gallery space and 17 rooms. Petworth Festival Literary Week also takes place from 27 October to 4 November with authors including Fay Weldon, Tom Bower and Max Hastings in conversation.

Godfather season, Lewes Depot, Tues 23 Oct, Mon 29 Oct & Wed 7 Nov

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

Here’s an offer you can’t refuse. Lewes Depot is inviting you to see the Godfather trilogy over successive weeks with part one on Tues 23 Oct, two on Mon 29 Oct and three on Wed 7 Nov. Book now to bag it on the big screen.

DROP OFF Sussex Wildlife Trust Holiday clubs, various locations, Tues 23/Wed 24/Thurs 25

Den building, bushcraft, campfire cocoa and more for the kids, while you get some catch up time. Most run 10 or 10.30 am to 4pm. At last look there were still places at Tilgate Park at Crawley, Seven Sisters, Stanmer Park at Brighton, Rye and Gatwick. For more family fun check out the full Muddy Half Term What’s On.

Terry Pratchett’s Mort, Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Tues 23 – Wed 24 Oct

Death comes to us all – except in Terry Pratchett’s fourth Discworld novel, it offers Mort a job. Don’t miss seeing the book come to life (and death) at the Trinity Theatre.

Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage, White Rock Theatre, Hastings  Tues 23- Sat 27 Oct

Dirty Dancing on stage, Dirty Dancing on tour, Dirty Dancing review, Dirty Dancing theatre review

Think you could manage to see Dirty Dancing one more time? Of course you could – especially when it’s a show this good! The stage version, lift, watermelon and all is coming to Hastings for a week. Tickets are from £34.50. I saw it when the tour kicked off in Brighton and it’s a cracking show, pleasingly true to the film. See the Muddy review here.

MUDDY DISCOUNT Hallowe’en Scream Train 24 – 28 Oct (kids)/ Dystopia Station 29 – 31 Oct (teens +), Bluebell Railway

Bluebell has Halloween rides with different scare factors, one for kids, one for hardier teens and adults. Youngsters can meet Brigid the witch and hapless sidekick Brian the wizard for fiendish fun and games on the Scream Train from Sheffield Park to Horsted Keynes station and back. Meanwhile passengers aged 14+ can join the Dystopia Station immersive experience with a return ride from either Sheffield Park or East Grinstead joined by characters in the middle of a frightening epidemic. Tickets are £16 for the Scream Train, £30 for Dystopia Station. Use the code MSH18 for a 50% Muddy discount on child fares! For more family fun check out the full Muddy Half Term What’s On.

Harry Hill Kids’ Show: How To Be Funny – for Kids! Theatre Royal Brighton, Fri 26 Oct

This half term show is aimed at helping kids with an interest in comedy to improve their skills by offering hints, tips and anecdotes. TV’s Harry Hill will be sharing his dos and don’ts as well as offering kids who fancy themselves as a bit of a joker the chance to express their own comedy skills. Tickets are £16.00. For more family fun check out the full Muddy Half Term What’s On.

Celebrity Dusty Duck Trail, Mon 17 Sept to Mon 29 Oct

The Wetlands mascot Dusty Duck has some celebrity friends visiting. Follow the trail to find 14 Giant Dusty Ducks designed by the world famous Aardman animation studios and dressed by celebs, including Steve Backshall’s Explorer Dusty, Smarked’s (Sam and Mark’s) Tiger Dusty and Joanna Lumley’s absolutely fabulous Patsy Dusty. The trail is free with admission. AS always there’s plenty going on besides with guided boat safaris, the chance to hand feed ducks and geese plus adventure playgrounds for the young and younger. For more family fun check out the full Muddy Half Term What’s On.

Vintage Sundays: Spaced, Picturehouse Cinemas, Brighton and London, various Oct dates.

Tying in with the release of the Neil Armstrong film First Man, Picturehouse Cinemas has a space related retrospective. Those still to come include Apollo 13 (Oct 28) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (4 Nov) on the big screen again. The nearest Picturehouses are Brighton and London.

Halloween Hocus Pocus, Borde Hill Garden, nr Haywards Heath Sat 20 – Wed 31 Oct

Borde Hill always has plenty on in the school holidays and October half term is no exception. There’s a spellbook trail; spooky story-telling; Halloween crafts; wand making; owl, reptile and creepy-crawly meets; magic shows; face painting and balloon modelling and a Pumpkin Glow carving contest. Check dates for different activities, there’s a small extra charge for some on top of admission.


Shoreham Wordfest, various venues, Shoreham-by-sea, until 20 Oct 

Shoreham Wordfest continues with author meets, walks, talks and workshops for adults and children. Full programme of events on the link.


Michael Jackson: On The Wall, National Portrait Gallery, London, 28 June – 21 October

Moonwalk down to the National Portrait Gallery for Michael Jackson: On The Wall. The exhibition marks what would’ve been MJ’s 60th birthday and features artwork inspired by Andy Warhol and Grayson Perry among others. Shamon!


Literary Festival, Southbank Centre, London, Thurs 18 – Sun 28 Oct

Lots of literary luminaries like Sir Salman Rushdie and Barbara Kingsolver plus a dollop of celebs like Sally Field, Sue Perkins, Roger Daltrey, Mary Beard and Melvyn Bragg will be heading to the South Bank for the 12th London Lit Fest. The burning issues of today will be discussed and with Homer’s The Oddessy at the heart of the festival – readings, talks and discussions – there’s your culture fix in the bag.

London Restaurant Festival, various London locations, all month

The Montagu Kitchen

It’s worth popping into town this month as London’s fantastic restaurant scene is in full celebration mode with great value festival menus at loads of top-notch restaurants, plus foodie events like gastronomic weekends, tasting menus, restaurant-hopping tours, tasting menus with famous chefs, talks, films and art.


Octoberbest, Brighton & Hove, Fri 5 Oct to Sun 21 Oct


Bargain feasting alert! 25 of the city’s top eateries are involved in this year’s Octoberbest, offering special £20 menus and deals until the end of the month. They include independent favourites like 64 Degrees, The Coal Shed, Cin Cin, Silo, Plateau, Bincho Yakitori, Pascere and Pike & Pine. I’m out of the blocks already on this one with a set menu at The Salt Room this week. Get booking!

The Midnight Gang, Chichester Festival Theatre, Sat 13 Oct – Sat 3 Nov

Chichester Festival Theatre has a major new stage version of David Walliams’ children’s book The Midnight Gang. Adapted by Byrony Lavery with music and lyrics by Joe Stilgoe, it tells the story of a group of young patients at a spooky hospital who each night escape their beds and go on an adventure. Tickets are from £10.

2-for-1 Touch of Luxury package, The Beauty Island Sanctuary, Worthing, 1 Oct – 24 December

Hide from autumn with this timely offer of a four hour pampering sesh with a partner or friend. The package includes a glass of Prosecco on arrival; 90 mins private use of the spa zone with hydrotherapy pool and sauna; relaxing fruit footbath with non-alcoholic cocktail (20 mins); 24K Gold Body Ritual with Relaxing Massage and Gold Sugar Scrub (60 mins); Waterfalls of Gold moisturising and firming facial (55 minutes). The total for two guests is £160 on Mon or Tues or £175 on Sun. It goes on right up to Christmas so it will also help you prep – or recover from – the party season!

Autumn/winter classes, Sew In Brighton, Hove, various Oct/Nov/Dec dates

Learn how to replicate your favourite clothes, make a bra that actually fits, create a kimono robe, get help on your own projects or simply learn to stitch from scratch on Sew In Brighton’s new season of courses. Book in advance for a discount.

Battle Festival of Arts and Music, Battle, throughout October

Ceilidh Liberation Front

The fifth annual festival in this historic town includes a whole weekend dedicated to classical music (26-28 Oct), including a recital from Russian pianist Roman Kosyakov and travel-themed family concert Around the World in 80 Minutes.

Music and Comedy nights, Hotel Pelirocco, Brighton, various dates

There’s always a fun option for a night out at quirky Hotel Pelirocco on Brighton’s Regency Square. Among the gigs and DJ sets coming up for October are vocal trio Beach Belles singing pop, soul and Motown on Oct 18, Funny Fursday monthly comedy club on 25 Oct and Sophisticated Mischief’s Halloween party on 27 Oct. Check out the events page on the website for more.


Evita, Theatre Royal, Brighton Tues 30 Oct – Sat 3 Nov

Photo by Pamela Raith

Dont cry for me… I’ve got tickets for Evita but 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 Brighton at the end of Oct. Watch Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, journey from humble beginnings to extraordinary wealth and power via some famous tunes.

Tom Allen: Absolutely! 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 two more local chances to do the same. He’s at Eastbourne Hippodrome on Nov 7 (rescheduled from 29 Sept) and Brighton Dome on Dec 1.

Find more ideas here

Things to DoThis Week

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