April What’s On
Here’s your starter for ten on What’s On in April in Sussex. Looking for family-friendly options? See my bumper Easter School Holidays What’s On.
Easter lunch/dinner, Brighton Harbour Hotel, Sun 1 April
Let someone else do the cooking this holiday weekend. There’s a special Easter Sunday menu at the Brighton Harbour Hotel’s The Jetty restaurant, with three course for £29. Wild garlic soup, poached duck egg with new season asparagus. herb crusted lamb, cod and crab and a Yorkshire rhubarb trifle are among enticing options.
Badger watching, Wakehurst, Arlingly, Tuesdays 10 April – 25 Sept
I’ve only seen a live badger once – lovely compensation for taking a wrong turn off a dual carriageway – so this really appeals. A ranger will escort you and yours to a pupose built hide in the Loder Valley nature reserve where, if your luck’s in, you should be able to watch the badgers forage, eat and play right before your eyes. Several dates are sold out already so get your diary out. Adults £12, children over seven £6.
Easter Festival, Plumpton Racecourse, Sun 1 and Mon 2 April
Making Easter weekend plans beyond chocolate scoffing? Check out the Plumpton Racecourse Easter Festival. There’ll be lots to keep you and yours amused besides racing, including a fun fair, face painting, live music, a strolling magician and donkey rides. Best of all, under-18s get in free and advance adult tickets start from a tenner. I’m getting down there myself.
Easter offer at The Float Spa in Hove, until Sat 31 March
Bring a choccy egg to The Float Spa in Hove before Sat 31 March and get £10 off a massage, £20 off a float or a half price yoga class. They’re not super greedy – the eggs will go to the Rockinghorse Charity to distribute.
Easter Sunday lunch, The Gallivant, Camber Sands, Sun 1 April
Half a lobster thermidor with salad and fries sounds good right now and that’s one of the options for Easter Sunday lunch at the Gallivant near Rye. Or perhaps Romney saltmarsh lamb or hazelnut gnocchi will float your boat? Psst there are cocktails too – pass me a rhubarb fizz.
Birdsong, The Capitol, Horsham, Mon 23 to Sat 28 April
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, Birdsong is the hit stage show based on Sebastian Faulks’ world famous novel. The story is set in pre-war France, when a young Englishman Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with Isabelle Azaire. Faced with the unprecedented horror of war, Stephen clings to the memory of Isabelle as the world turns upside down and explodes around him.
The Christians, The Old Market, Hove Fri 6 April
In an ideal world, the Christians would be touring right here in Sussex – oh look, they are. The 80s and 90s hit band founded by brothers from Liverpool are still going strong. Catch Garry Christian’s lovely vocals in Hove for £23.
Bolney Wine Estate, near Haywards Heath, Sat 31 March to Mon 2 April
Over the Easter weekend the cafe and restaurant at the Bolney vineyard will be open daily and there’ll be a special brunch menu laid on. It’s also adding a special chocolate tasting to its tours showing you how well wine and chocolate actually go (red and dark chocolate is something I’ve been saying for years!) For kids there’s a vineyard trail with an activity sheet that will lead them to a free Easter egg.
Swan Lake, White Rock Theatre, Hastings, Thurs 5 April
The Vienna Festival Ballet will be bringing this avian love story set to Tchaikovsky’s haunting score to the stage in Hastings. Tickets start from £17.
Flashdance – the musical, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Mon 9 – Sat 14 April
I saw this musical version of the hit film a few years back in London and it’s good 80’s-tastic fun. Now it’s on tour and dropping into Brighton, starring Strictly’s Joanne Clifton and A1’s Ben Adams. Want to go? Take your passion and make it happen… or at least buy a ticket, they’re from £19.40.
Food & drink quiz, Hungry Guest Café, Petworth, Thurs 19 April
Calling all foodies! Do you know your Chanterelle from your Shiitake? Your Roquefort to Gorgonzola? If so then book a spot at this food and drink themed quiz night from Petworth super-deli and cafe the Hungry Guest. Tickets are £10 each including a glass of wine and sharing boards and you’ve a chance to win a hamper. The vent is at the cafe but pick up your tickets from the deli in Middle Street.
Turn of the Screw, Connaught Theatre, Worthing, Wed 18- Sun 21 April
Henry James’ much-loved classic ghost story is on tour and stopping into Worthing this month. Set in 1840 it concerns a young governess who agrees to look after two orphans, in a seemingly idyllic country house. But she starts to realises there are ‘The Others ‘- ghosts of its troubled past. It’s promised to be faithful to the original and capture its much-celebrated ambiguity. If you’ve seen and enjoyed The Woman in Black this will be right up your street. Tickets are £24.50
Underbelly Festival, Southbank Centre, London 6 April – 30 Sept
The giant purple cow returns for its 10th summer with a fun-packed programme of circus acts, theatre, cabaret, comedy, music and kids’ shows. You can also feast on street food from the riverside vendors and grab a drink at one of London’s biggest outdoor bars. It’s a mini fringe at one venue!
Jaws in Concert, Brighton Dome, Thurs April 12
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into Brighton… Screenings of Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster Jaws is popping up accompanied by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra who will perform John Williams’ Oscar-winning score live to really ramp up the tension. Tickets are from £30 but be quick – there’s limited availability already.
Works by Wolf, Monk’s House Garden, Rodmell, near Lewes, selected dates Wed 28 March – 18 April
Hear some of Virginia Wolf’s most famous works in the very garden where they were written, read aloud by Larry Yates. The 17th century house reopens for the season on 28 March and the readings will take place twice in the afternoons of 28 and 31 March and 4, 7, 11 and 14 of April. The event is free but normal admission charges apply (adults £6).
FREE pet goodie bags, The Pet Shed, Fiveways, Brighton
Animal Aladdin’s cave The Pet Shed at Fiveways in Brighton has FREE goodie bags to give away to Muddy readers worth over £25 each and tailor-made for your furry, feathered or scaly friends while stocks last! Simply pop in and say Muddy Stilettos sent you!
Grease Sing-along, Connaught cinema, Worthing, Thurs 19 April
Have you got chills? Are they multiplying? I prescribe sing-along Grease at the Connaught in Worthing, celebrating 40 years of the classic musical. Tickets are £7.
Cruise Inspirations Show, Baldwins Travel Group, Sun 29 April
Thinking of setting sail? These guys will steer you right. Sussex and Kent travel agency Baldwins is putting on a dedicated cruise day at Bewl Water with over 25 experts from sea and river cruising on hand to answer your questions and inspire you for your next trip. Book free fast track entry ahead.
Votes for Women, Museum of London, ongoing
I remember getting quite emotional when I saw the Suffragette artefacts in the Museum of London for the first time. Now, for the 100th anniversary of the first votes for women, the museum has launched a tie-in series of events and displays. There are powerful new films and historical artefacts like Emmeline Pankhurst’s hunger strike medal and an ‘anti Suffragette alphabet’ that will make you seethe. There’s also a bus tour of key Suffragette sites on 26 Aug.
Female Suffrage, The Other Side, Bodiam Castle, until 3 Sept
The side we hear less about – the anti suffragette movement is the subject of a new exhibition – Female Suffrage, The Other Side – at Bodiam Castle in East Sussex, starting 10 March and on till early Sept. It tells how Lord Curzon lead the campaign against allowing women the vote. Boo, hiss.
Young British Artists, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until 7 May
Six important works by Damien Hirst, Peter Blake, Tracey Emin, Michael Craig-Martin, Gavin Turk and Rachel Whiteread, show how a generation of artists adopted and expanded on 1960s Pop Art. I heard this exhibition being discussed on Radio 4 the other day. Check it out for yourself with a visit (£11 for adults).
Natural Selection, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, until 22 April
New exhibition Natural Selection is the culmination of a five-year collaboration between artist Andy Holden and his father, well-known ornithologist Peter Holden. It covers an ornithological journey: from the building of nests to the collecting of eggs and featuring objects, sculptures, videos and animation. Entry is free.
FREE Automata on the Pier with Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, Hastings, until Sun 15 April
Some wonderfully quirky mechanical creations have come to Hastings Pier thanks to Cabaret Mechanical Theatre. The toys and contraptions are on display in the Memories Room. See Matt Smith’s swimming fish, Peter Markey’s wave machines and Paul Spooner’s spaghetti-eating man in a bath. Sue to inspire some creativity with Meccano back home. It’s open daily 10am-5pm and admission is free.
The Levellers, De La Warr Pavilion, Sun July 22
There are just a handful of seats left for The Levellers doing an acoustic set at the De La Warr Pavilion so if you fancy going then get on it pronto. The folk-punk guys are celebarting their 30th anniversary this year (don’t dwell on how old that makes you feel, just enjoy). This gig was originally planned for March but has been postponed till the summer due to a tragic bereavement.