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What’s on this December in Sussex

Because the show must go on! There's still comedy, panto, theatre, Christmas markets and much more to enjoy around Sussex this month. Ho ho ho!

Santa Specials, Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park or East Grinstead, from Dec 3

Nothing stops Santa visiting the Bluebell Railway at Christmas! Chug off to Santa’s grotto aboard the charming Bluebell Railway, whilst scoffing mince pies and gold chocolate coins. Grab a pressie from the big man himself, and pick up more Christmas gifts at the market stalls and shops. Trains run from Sheffield Park or East Grinstead.

Christmas at Fisher’s Farm Park, Wisborough Green, from Sat 5 Dec

Regular Muddy readers will know I practically live at Fishers and will be first through the door with the mudlets the second it reopens on Dec 3. For Christmas, there’s fun in store including a magical Christmas show and a festive trip through a winter wonderland to Santa’s Toy Store! There’s also a huuuuuge Christmas tree and mulled wine stands aplenty amid the usual rides, animals and exciting attractions.

Horsham Christmas Market, 5-24 Dec, Carfax, Horsham

Stock up on festive food faves and artisan goodies at these regular Saturday markets running through December, with the last on Christmas Eve for those running a bit late with everything this year. Live music from the bandstand to accompany.

A Christmas Carol, The Capitol, Horsham, December dates

This sounds like an absolutely lovely adaptation of Dickens’ classic Christmas tale of good old Ebenezer Scrooge and his three spooky visitors. Starring character actors Jack Lane and David Benson, this version sold out across the board in 2019 and critics at the Radio Times, Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday were all won over. It’s really not Christmas until you’ve been confronted with the ghost of Christmas past, after all. Dates from December 12 to 29.

Santa’s New Sleigh, The Capitol, Horsham, December dates

Ho ho ho! Here’s a jolly festive offering for all the family from the Capitol – a brand new play by Brad Fitt. Sheesh, just one letter out and it’d be a jolly festive offering for Muddy, wouldn’t it? Ahem. Anyway, Christmas is fast approaching and Santa’s sleigh is missing! What are Sprocket and Dibs going to do? This is bound to be heaps of slapstick silliness and at 50 minutes it’s perfect for the little ones. Audience participation, singalongs and a pressie for every child, because we’ve all been soooo good this year. There’s a relaxed performance on December 14 for those who may prefer a softer environment with less special effects.

Christmas at Drusillas, Drusillas Park, Alfriston

As well as all the usual attractions at Drusillas, get festive with mulled wine and mince pies next to the 24ft Christmas tree, and enjoy the atmosphere. Tickets to see Santa have sold out, unfortunately.

Dear Santa, Minerva Theatre, Chichester, December dates

Another fab introduction to theatre for the little ones, this live stage show by the author of Dear Zoo is full of music, laughter, audience participation and charm. As a bonus, every child attending gets to meet Santa after the performance!

Pinocchio, Chichester Festival Theatre, December and early Jan dates

This brand new adaptation of the classic tale of wooden boy Pinocchio has been written by CFT’s very own writer in residence, Anna Ledwich and is produced by the extremely talented Chichester Festival Youth Theatre. Follow the adventures of dear Pinocchio, who despite his friends’ best efforts can’t stop getting into trouble – which is awks when your nose gets longer with every lie you tell. He’s a real boy, you know. There’s a relaxed performance on Dec 27.

Dame Dolly Saves Panto, The Hawth, Crawley, from 18 Dec

‘But there’s no panto this year,’ I hear you cry. OH YES THERE IS! Dame Dolly to the rescue in this slapstick, socially distanced extravaganza starring local panto legends Michael J Batchelor and Richard Franks. Expect all the usual panto faves. It’ll be the perfect antidote to 2020. Relaxed performance on Jan 3.

The Night Before Christmas, Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, December dates

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house…. An enchanting production for 3-8 year olds based on the classic family favourite. Expect fun, interactions, songs and of course, a visit from the big man himself. Happy Christmas to all, and to all, a good night!

The Snow Queen, Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, 28 Dec – 3 Jan

Another lovely adventure for 4-9 year olds. Best friends Kai and Girda’s day out soon turns into a nightmare as Kai is whisked away by the sinister Snow Queen. Can Girda make it to the Snow Queen’s palace to rescue her friend before he’s frozen forever?

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