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What’s On this weekend in Sussex

Fri 16 - Sun 18 Aug

Looking for more family-specific suggestions? See the big School Summer Hols What’s On.

Airbourne, Eastbourne seafront, Thurs 15 – Sun 18 Aug  

Eastbourne’s International Airshow boasts a two mile flying display line along the seafront with military and civilian aviation teams including jets, a parachute display team, bi-plane wing-walkers, Chinook helicopters, a Battle of Britain memorial flight and more, all for free! The flying happens in a packed schedule from lunchtime until around 17.00 and there are bouncy castles, RAF displays, simulators and the like on the ground, beach cinema after and a fireworks finale on the last night. It’s a great day out but do check the transport advice on the website as car parks will be rammed.

Luna Beach Cinema, beside the Palace Pier, Brighton, daily until 18 Aug

It’s the last week to catch Luna Beach Cinema with some crowdpleasers still to come. On Thurs 15 Aug there’s Aladdin and The Greatest Showman. There’s a sing-along Bohemian Rhapsody on Sat 17 Aug and Finding Dory, Moana and Mary Poppins Returns on Sun 18 Aug. On Fri 16 Aug there’s also a special anniversary re-screening of the National Theatre’s One Man, Two Guvnors, recorded live and starring James Corden. Tickets from 12.50. See link for full listings.

The Red Lion, The Capitol Horsham and other nearby venues, Fri 16 – Sat 17 Aug and other Aug & Sept dates

Written by the man behind Closer and with the same director as The Play That Goes Wrong, this character-based piece of theatre, set behind the scenes of ‘The Beautiful Game’. It starts its run at The Capitol on 16 and 17 Aug then you can catch it on multiple dates coming up in and near Horsham.

South Downs cycle ride with Langham Brewery Tour, from and to Amberley, Sat 17 Aug (also 7 Sept)

Here’s a great way to work hard then get a boozy reward, with someone else doing the driving. New Chalk Pit Trails will meet you at Amberley railway station with regular or electric mountain bikes, give you a route along the South Downs Way and beyond that takes you to Langham Brewery where you’ll have a two hour tour and tasting, then pick you up there and take you back to the station, all for £40 (£60 with e-bike). Look out for the Muddy review coming soon!

Horrible Mysteries, new at Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures, Brighton, various dates (with Fri 16 Aug Discount)

Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures has introduced new immersive experience – Horrible Mysteries which combines some of the settings from the round the world attraction (helping Fogg solve various challenges) with the new Victorian London set (used the for the adult Jack the Ripper walk). Horrible Mysteries brings some of the yukkier bits of history and destinations alive across four sets from the design team behind Star Wars, Episode VII, Skyfall and The Miniaturist. Get in quick for a discount on Fri 16 Aug, via the Facebook page.

Artwave, Lewes, Seaford and Newhaven, Sat 17 Aug – 1 Sept

Artwave takes in three towns and their surrounding villages over three weekends and showcases the work of talented local artists. It’s not just about galleries, you get to mooch about in studios, gardens, workshops and artists’ own homes for free. There are over 150 venues with all sorts of work to admire and buy. There are also family events to tie in with free children’s workshops also art-related play sessions at Depot cinema. Check out Colourscape light colour and music labyrinth at Charleston on 17 and 18 Aug.

Mamma Mia, The Holbrook Club, Horsham, Fri 16 Aug

The first Mamma Mia is the musical movie outdoors on the edge of Horsham on Fri 16 Aug. With Bohemian Rhapsody and  Jurassic Park coming in Sept.

Arundel Festival, various Arundel locations, Fri 16 – Mon 26 Aug 


Arundel Festival is back from Mid Aug through to the bank holiday, so get set for dragon boat and duck racing, a circus, a gallery trail, music from classical to an ABBA tribute, outdoor theatre, guided walks and more.

The Tempest, Arundel Castle Fri 16 – Sat 17 Aug

During the festival, Arundel Castle becomes an enchanted isle as Shakespeare’s The Tempest is performed by popular touring group Illyria. The play will take place in the Collector Earl’s Garden. Advance tickets are £20 for adults, £15 for children. You can picnic in the grounds from 5.30pm with the gardens themselves open from 18.30 and the performance starting an hour later.

Sunset Screenings, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, Sat 17 and 24 Aug 

The De La Warr is putting on Sunset Screenings on an outside sea-facing wall this August, with retro family-friendly options across the school holidays. Sat 17 Aug is Labyrinth starring David Bowie and Sat 24 Aug is The Greatest Showman, with extra entertainment from Mad Fish Performing Arts Choir. The films start at 20.30 and all are rated PG. Best of all, they’re all free! Pop in to see the How Chicago! Imagists 1960s & 70s free exhibition on the ground floor while you’re there.

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Uppark House and Garden, nr Petersfield, Sat 17 Aug

Illyria will be making it an Arabian night when they perform Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves at the National Trust’s Uppark House and Garden near Petersfield on Sat 17 Aug (Adults £17.50, children £8.50).

Magic of Thailand, Preston Park, Brighton, Sat 17 and Sun 18 Aug

Fancy some Thai food? Get along to the annual Magic of Thailand festival in Preston Park, which will not only be serving up your culinary faves like Red and Green Curry but entertainment from fruit carving to Thai boxing and ladyboy shows. You can even get a Thai massage. Tickets are £4 online, £5 on the gate and under-15s go free. It runs 10.00 to 19.00.

Jurassic Park, Newhaven Fort, Sat 17 Aug

Still nearly pee yourself when T-Rex is trying to get through the glass sunroof? Just me? There’s another outing for Jurassic Park at Newhaven Fort on Sat 17 Aug with live music before the screening and various family tickets available.

Hairspray! Screen On the Green, Littlehampton, Sat 17 Aug 

Last year’s screen in action

Back again on East Green this pop-up cinema has the bonus of being free and non-ticketed. Just bring a rug to sit on. This year’s film is heartwarming comedy musical Hairspray! There will also be live entertainment with acoustic singer Morgan M James (17:15pm to 18.00) and close-up and digital magician Matt Parro walking around the crowd from 18.45. Pizzas, noodles, vegan food and sweet treats will be available from 18.00. The film starts 20.45.

Juliet and Romeo, The Hay Barn, Jevington Place Farm, Jevington near Polegate, 17 Aug & 18 Aug

Romeo and Juliet but with a happier ending? No tragic misunderstandings? Apparently so in this take on the Bard’s great romance coming to Jevington. There’s a BBQ and bar provided by the Sussex Ox. Tickets are £17, with the performance at 20.00 on the 17th, 15.00 on the 18th.

Hitchcock post-war season, Depot, Lewes

What's On in Sussex this week

Catch the first of a trio of Hitchcocks at Depot this weekend with Notorious screened on Sun 18 Aug. Rope is then playing on Aug Sun 25 and 2 Sept and Strangers on a Train is up on Mon 2 Sept.


Oklahoma! Chichester Festival Theatre, 15 July – 7 Sept

Photo by Johan Persson

Chichester Festival Theatre’s big summer musical Oklahoma! is here, starring Josie Lawrence, Les Misérables alumni Hyoie O’Grady and Amara Okereke. Yee-ha! Tickets are from £10. Read the Muddy review.


England’s Medieval Festival, Herstmonceux Castle, Fri 24 – Mon 26 Aug 

Immerse yourself in the thrills and spills of the Middle Ages this summer when England’s Medieval Festival comes to lovely Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex. Over 1,000 costumed performers travel from across Europe to help recreate the spectacle with jousting knights, court jesters, siege recreations and crafts like blacksmithing and arrow making, with a chance to have a go at many. Children can even join warrior and princess schools. Advance day tickets are £17 for adults £7 for children over 5 (£46 for families) and you can also upgrade to camp over the weekend.

Find more ideas here

Things to DoThis Weekend

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