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What’s on in Sussex this November

Opera, theatre, fireworks, comedy - it's all happening in Sussex this month. Here's your curated guide to November.

The Magic Flute: a semi-staged performance, Glyndebourne, November dates

Composed by Mozart just months before his death, The Magic Flute is musical masterpiece. This cut-down version will be performed in English and features an exciting young cast. Prince Tamino is on a quest: to rescue the beautiful Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night, who has been kidnapped by her father Sarastro. But is all really as it seems? With the help of bird-catcher Papageno, Tamino must brave not only dragons and the forces of darkness but trials of fire and water if he is to arrive at the truth and gain Pamina as his wife. True love conquers all, of course.

An Evening with Kevin and Joanne Clifton, The Hawth, Crawley, Fri 6 and Sat 7 Nov

Strictly socially distanced fun with dancing duo and siblings Kevin and Joanne, Strictly Come Dancing champions. They’ll sing songs, tell tales and perform with their professional dance partners – don’t miss this one if you’re a fan of the BBC staple.

Crave, Chichester Festival Theatre, until 7 Nov

A unique production and, in a world-first for Chichester’s flagship Festival Theatre, one that will be both staged to a live, socially distanced audience and live-streamed around the world. Described as a ‘deeply personal meditation on the meaning of love’, this production from Sarah Kane, considered one of the most influential playwrights of the 20th century, sees four characters search for the light in a damaged world. Starring local gal Erin Doherty, making her Chichester debut fresh from her role as Princess Anne in series 3 and 4 of The CrownCrave kicks off the autumn season at Chichester and we couldn’t be happier to see it back.

The Bonfire Society Fireworks Festival and Championships, South of England Showground, Ardingly, Sat 7 and Sun 8 Nov

Love fireworks? You’ll love this – six bonfire societies (yes, they’re a thing) from around Sussex will fight it out at Ardingly’s South of England Showground with a 10-minute firework display each. The event will run over two nights – three societies per night – along with a funfair, live music, drive-in cinema and more food stands than you can shake a toffee apple at. Sussex is normally rammed full of bonfire events, with the most famous and notorious being held in Lewes, but sadly most have been cancelled this year due to Covid so this might be your only chance for a bit of ‘Ooooohhhhh. Aaaaaaahhhhh……’

National Theatre Encore: War Horse, The Capitol, Horsham, Wed 11, Thu 12 & Sun 15 Nov and Connaught Theatre, Worthing, Sat 14 Nov

I laughed and bawled my way through this breathtaking performance of Michael Morpugo’s classic novel at the National Theatre back in 200something, and the memory of it still brings goosebumps. If you haven’t seen this stunning feat of acting and puppetry, get yourself to the Capitol to watch it on the big screen. The movement and expression of the puppet handlers is exceptional, and the story will move you to tears. Lots of tears. Also showing at Worthing’s Connaught Theatre on Sat 14 Nov.

Comedy nights at Chichester Festival Theatre, various November dates

Chichester Festival Theatre will welcome some big names in comedy this month, including Edinburgh fringe sell-out and panel show regular Rosie Jones, multi award-winner Russell Kane and Radio 2 star and ‘working class comedian of her generation’ Suzi Ruffell. Expect lols galore at these stand-up nights.

Christmas gift shopping at Pashley Manor Gardens, Ticehurst, 19-29 Nov

It’s beginning to look a lot like……NOVEMBER. It’s NOVEMBER. Nonetheless, get your gift shopping done and dusted early at this seasonal pop-up near Wadhurst in East Sussex. Mulled wine and mince pies upon arrival.

Russell Kane, Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, Fri 20 Nov

Top-flight comedian Russell Kane won best in show at Edinburgh ten years ago, and he’s still going strong today. Expect bantz, rants and laughs galore at this solo evening, an extension of his sell-out show The Fast and The Curious.

Glow Wild 2020, Wakehurst Place, East Grinstead, 26 Nov – 30 Dec

John White

This enchanting winter display returns to Wakehurst for the seventh year. As darkness falls, the gardens are brought to life with glowing lanterns, mesmerising installations and other visual treats. Three new artists debut this year. Absolutely magical. Quiet session tickets are available for those who may benefit from a more comfortable sensory experience.

Shift, Chichester Festival Theatre, Thurs 26 – Sat 28 Nov

A new kind of physical performance, featuring acrobatics, circus skills and theatre – expect to be amazed. This new show from the same company responsible for the sell-out, critically acclaimed Bromance last year explores changing perceptions and realities. Jaw-dropping stuff.

Winter craft and gift fair, Leonardslee Gardens and Lake, near Horsham, Fri 27 – Sun 29 Nov

Have a pre-December festive day out at this fab event showcasing a handpicked collection of local artists and makers. Expect fashion, lifestyle, homeware, arts and crafts, seasonal workshops and more.

The Noise Next Door – In Charge, Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, Sat 28 Nov

Britain’s premier improv troupe have sold out at Edinburgh and appeared on BBC One, ITV and on Radio 4 alongside household-name comedians. Now they’re returning to Worthing for an evening of quickfire improv, hilarious scenes, original songs and lots of farce.

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