What’s on in Sussex this September
Your September social life, sorted, courtesy of Muddy's curated guide to the most unmissable things to do and see in Sussex this month. Darkly comic theatre, musical classics, and Russell Brand!
The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Minerva Theatre, Chichester, 3 Sept – 2 Oct
This darkly comic, award-winning play sees plain and lonely Maureen come alive at her first and possibly last prospect of a new life. But she’s tied to her manipulative ageing mother, Meg, in the mountains of Connemara. Once Meg gets wind of Maureen’s thoughts, she sets a chain of events into motion that lead towards a breathtaking conclusion. This will be a mature, thought-provoking piece of theatre.
Jaws, Cinestock @Saltdean Lido, 3 Sept
Cinestock’s outdoor cinema season rolls on into September, and Saltdean Lido is one of the absolute gems of the South Coast, with a heated pool and Art Deco building just metres from the beach. After experiencing Jaws on the big screen, we’re betting you won’t fancy a dip afterwards though. This classic thriller is perfect for an evening with older family members, or friends.
Stick Man, The Capitol, Horsham, 4-5 Sept
This family classic from the team behind The Gruffalo will delight children and adults alike. Follow Stick Man’s adventures as he ventures out from the family tree – but will he make it home? This stage adaptation is full of puppetry, song and live music. A charming way to say goodbye to the summer holidays.
Jumanji: The Next Level, 4 Sept and The Goonies, 25 Sept, Cinestock @Leonardslee Lakes and Garden
Catch late summer colour and the beginnings of autumn, not to mention great family movies, at Leonardslee this September. Join Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson for family caper Jumanji: The Next Level, and introduce the kids to the classic that is The Goonies. Fantastic fun nights out under the stars.
Educating Rita, The Capitol, Horsham, 7-11 Sept
We can’t wait for this production of the great British comedy by Willy Russell. Married hairdresser Rita, played by Jessica Johnson, enrols on a university course to expand her horizons. Tutor Frank (Stephen Tompkinson, of Ballykissangel fame) is a frustrated poet, brilliant academic and legendary boozer. Somehow, the two have a great deal to teach one another. Channel those back to school vibes by catching it at the Capitol this September. Hilarious and heart-warming, Educating Rita won an Olivier award for its West End production by the RSC, and was also made into a film starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine.
Dirty Dancing On Stage, Theatre Royal Brighton, 7-11 Sept
Have the time of your life with this stage production of the classic movie, a sexy and heartwarming coming of age story that follows Baby and Johnny over the course of one life-changing summer. Packed with hits and emotion.
John Lydon, Hawth Theatre, Crawley, 8 Sept and Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, 10 Sept
Never mind the b*llocks, catch the Sex Pistols icon talking about his unique and extraordinary career and his new book, I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right. Pyrotechnics and an audience Q&A will make this an evening to remember with a true legend.
Rob Brydon, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, 10 Sept
Join the comedian and Gavin & Stacey star for a whimsical evening of songs and laughter as he tells the story of his personal musical journey from South Wales to the West End and beyond. Expect entertaining tales and a selection of songs.
Joni’s Soul, Trading Boundaries, Fletching, 10 Sept and Colosseum, 11 Sept
Catch this Joni Mitchell tribute collaboration featuring longtime Van Morrison guitarist Ronnie Johnson, for a look beyond simple faithful reproduction of her songbook to shine a light on the most soulful aspects of her work, at Trading Boundaries’ intimate live music venue. Standing or dining tickets available. For the rockers, there’s a treat in store the following night as one of the world’s greatest rock bands Colosseum lights up the venue. Featuring original members including legendary singer Chris Farlowe alongside exciting new members.
Into the Trees, 10-12 September, Pippingford Park, Uckfield
Eke out that summer family festival vibe just a teeny-tiny bit longer, with this lovely, relaxed gathering brought to you by the team behind legendary Sussex festival Elderflower Fields. This is a more laid-back event with a focus on connecting with nature in the stunning surrounds of the Ashdown Forest. Expect a host of nature-based and sports activities from archery, kayaking, raft-building, barefoot walking and tree climbing to pewter casting and lantern making. Relax and tuck into delicious local food and let the kids run free. Glamping and camping tickets available.
Foraging Walk, Cowdray Estate, 11 and 25 Sept
Join Cowdray’s expert forager George on this two-hour walk through some of the most beautiful countryside in West Sussex, learning how to identify edibles, what to avoid, and how to protect the landscape for future generations. Meditative, informative and enriching, this walk will begin and end at the Farm Shop overflow car park.
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Cinestock @ Preston Manor, 11 Sept and Bridesmaids, 18 Sept
September evenings are made for outdoor cinema. Showing at Preston Manor this month are Wes Anderson’s stylish masterpiece The Grand Budapest Hotel, and hilarious gross-out romcom Bridesmaids. Catch both under the stars in the historic walled garden at the former manor house.
Not Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Connaught Theatre, Worthing, 17 Sept
This parody of D H Lawrence’s classic novel is described by its makers as ‘The Naked Gun and Airplane! mixed with a steamy costume drama’. Where do we sign up? The tale of Constance Chatterley’s passionate affair with her estate gamekeeper is crammed with contemplative looks into the middle distance, farce and moments of touching drama. Unmissable.
Glorious Greenhouses Watercolour Workshop, Denmans Garden, Fontwell, 17 & 18 Sept
Learn to paint a range of greenhouse plants with expert Jo Dowers, using watercolour and ink in these creative workshops, held in the beautiful and relaxed surroundings of Denmans’ tea rooms. Suitable for all abilities.
Comedy Club 4 Kids, Minerva Theatre, Chichester, 18 Sept
Settle in for some rowdy family fun as the hugely popular Comedy Club 4 Kids returns to Chichester. Expect stand-up entertainment for everybody aged six and upwards, from the best names on the international comedy circuit.
Waitress, Hawth Theatre, Crawley, 20-25 Sept
This hit musical comedy has been hailed by The Express as ‘warm, witty, wise and hilarious’ and The Stage for its score. Waitress Jenna dreams of some happiness in her life, but when a hot new doctor – played by Busted‘s Matt Willis – arrives in town, things get complicated and she’ll need the support of her workmates Becky and Dawn to overcome the challenges she faces. The production received standing ovations at the West End so worth checking out.
Hairspray, Theatre Royal Brighton, 20-25 Sept
Tracy Turnblad has big hair, a big heart and big dreams to dance her way onto national TV and into the heart of teen idol Link Larkin. When she finally becomes a local star, she’s able to use her newfound fame to fight for liberation, tolerance and unity in Baltimore – but will she win Link in the process? The smash-hit musical comedy rooted in the swinging 60s has broken box office records in the West End, on Broadway and on the big screen. A failsafe classic.
Foraging walk and lunch with Positively Delicious, Ardingly, 22 Sept
Slow down, rewild and reconnect with nature on an relaxed and informal foraging walk with cordon bleu chef Jacqueline Wise, followed by a delicious and wild-inspired two-course lunch. You’ll learn how to identify some wild edibles, as well as their medicinal and healing properties. Food for the stomach and the soul.
Simply Dan, Trading Boundaries, Fletching, 24 Sept
This Steely Dan tribute band is packed with professional session musicians who have performed with a diverse mix of artists nationally and worldwide including Liberty X and Marcella Detroit. This show fully captures the beauty and virtuosity of Steely Dan, with the fun of a stage show.
Tenet, Cinestock @Newhaven Fort, 24 Sept
A visually dazzling puzzle for film lovers, Tenet follows a secret agent as they embark upon a dangerous, time-bending mission to prevent the start of World War III. Expect the cerebral spectacle typical of a Christopher Nolan movie, in the gorgeous open-air venue of Newhaven Fort.
Boundary Brighton, Stanmer Park, 25 Sept
Step AWAY from that dodgy illegal rave up on the Downs (assuming you’re cool enough to be notified about them, unlike, er, me) and take your glo-stick to Stanmer Park instead for the fifth showing of Boundary festival. Local house, electro and drum n bass DJs will have you big fish, little fish-ing the night away, and you can scoff local food and enjoy a vintage fair to boot. And all without being arrested afterwards. This one’s been earmarked by none other than Elle magazine as one of the must-attends of the summer, and who are we to argue?
Gyles Brandreth, Odd Boy Out, The Capitol, Horsham, 26 Sept
Catch the actor, former politician, author and Gogglebox star at the Capital talking about his brand new memoir, Odd Boy Out. Witty, riotous and shamelessly a name-dropper, Gyles’ one-man shows were a sell-out last time around and you can expect more of the same irreverent, humorous and fascinating fun as he shares stories from his unusual and eccentric life.
Russell Brand: 33, Hawth Theatre, Crawley, Mon 27 Sept
The comedian/Guardian writer/wellness guru/former Mr Katy Perry brings his stand-up on the last 18 months to Crawley’s Hawth Theatre. He’s already sold out at Brighton’s Theatre Royal for an October booking. Details on this new show are light, to say the least, but whether you love him or you hate him, you can’t deny Mr Brand is entertaining and this show shouldn’t disappoint.