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What’s On this week in Sussex

Thurs 4 - Fri 12 Oct

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!

Frankie Vah by Luke Wright, The Old Market, Hove, Thurs 11 Oct 

Young Luke Wright is a brilliant performance poet who often gets into character for his verse, so it was only a matter of time before he stretched the format into a full acted piece. In this show he both narrates the story of, and performs as, Frankie Vah, a fictional 80s punk poet, full of political fury and losing sight of those closest to him as he rises. I’ve seen this show and it’s sickeningly clever but not his most accessible work, so best seen if you already enjoy performance poetry. Tickets are £15 and there’s a support act.

Harvest Food and Wine Pairing, Wiston Estate, Washington, Fri 5 Oct

Lovely Wiston Estate, where this year’s Muddy Award winners’ drinks were held, is hosting food and wine pairing events. Enjoy a talk about the estate, a tractor trailer ride visit to the winery, then a tutored tasting of four sparkling wines with local produce from the likes of Charlie’s Trout, Noble and Stace chocolates, The Artisan Bakehouse and more. The 5 Oct event will start at 6.30pm. Tickets are £30. Regular tours are also available. Select which you want from the drop down menu on the link.

Phill Jupitus: Juplicity, Bognor Regis/Shoreham-by-sea/Eastbourne, Fri 5/Thurs 11/ Thurs 18 Oct

Comedian, performance poet, improv expert and long-standing Buzzcocks team captain Phill Jupitus is bringing his new stand-up show Juplicity to Sussex. He warns of ‘adult themes and situations, delivered childishly’ as he drops in on the Alexandra Theatre, Bognor on Fri 5 Oct; The Ropetackle, Shoreham on Thurs 11 Oct and Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne on Thurs, 18th Oct. I saw his show last year and I’m still singing “Owls Are Bastards” in the shower…

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!

Battle Festival of Arts and Music, Battle, throughout October

Ceilidh Liberation Front

The fifth annual festival in this historic town includes an adaptation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute by Opera Anywhere, set in 1950s London (7 Oct); dancing with London’s Ceilidh Liberation Front (12 Oct) and Leviathan (19 Oct), in which multi-award winning choreographer James Wilton re-imagines Moby Dick with a cast of six and a blend of athletic dance, martial arts and capoeira! For children 2-8, Oskar’s Amazing Adventure is a mix of storytelling, physical theatre and puppetry about a puppy’s search for friendship (6 Oct). Later in the month there’s a whole weekend dedicated to world-class classical music (26-28 Oct), including a recital from Russian pianist Roman Kosyakov and travel-themed family concert Around the World in 80 Minutes.

DJ 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 for October are Alternative 80s, punk and 2-Tone from DJs Just Lust on Fri 5 Oct; Live Music from Rachel De Cock on 7 Oct; 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.


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.

Bluebell RailwayHallowe’en Scream Train 24 – 28 Oct/ Dystopia Station 29 – 31 Oct

Bluebell has scare-ish and scary Halloween rides this October, one for kids, one for hardier teens and adults. Youngsters can meet Brigid the witch and her hapless sidekick Brian the wizard for fiendish fun and games, tricks, treats and more on the Scream Train from Sheffield Park to Horsted Keynes station and back. Meanwhile 14+ passengers can brave 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. Under 18s must be with an adult.

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.

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.

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

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 and there’s already limited availability on some nights.

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.

Nish Kumar: It’s in Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves, The Capitol, Horsham, Sat 10 Oct  

Nish Kumar hits Horsham on 10 October and tickets are selling fast! The comic is no stranger to TV having been seen on Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News For You, Joel & Nish Vs The World and more. Now you can see him on your doorstep somehow drawing laughs out of the theme of mankind’s propensity for self-destruction (the title is taken from Terminator). Tickets are £21.

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