What’s On in Sussex – Xmas and New Year
Xmas & New Year
Sleeping Beauty, The Capitol, Horsham, Fri 14 Dec – Sun 6 Jan
Heart FM’s Nicola Hume, Sean Smith from X-Factor‘s Same Difference and James Fletcher from Hollyoaks star in Horsham’s panto Sleeping Beauty, with funny faves Hywel Dowsell and James Fletcher back to cause havoc as Nurse Nora and Lester the Jester. Get a ticket in the bag – if you snooze you loose! Read the Muddy review.
Festive films, various Sussex cinemas, 29 Dec
Still a few classic films being re-screened up to new year. Eastbourne’s Towner Art Gallery’s line up includes 29 Dec’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. townereastbourne.org.uk, while at the Picture House, Uckfield there’s a sing-along Frozen on 29 Dec. picturehouseuckfield.com
Jack and the Beanstalk, White Rock Theatre, Hastings, Fri 14 to Sun 30 Dec
Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum, I smell the blood of… Eastenders‘ Michelle Collins and X Factor‘s Chico at Hastings this Christmas. Chico is Jack, doing the bean for cow swap but somehow saving the day aided by Fairy Collins. Prepare for jokes about big choppers when that beanstalk comes down.
The Rocky Horror Show, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Thurs 13 Dec – Sat 5 Jan
Think you could do the Timewarp again? You’ll be pleased to know that a high energy production of the musical is live at Brighton’s Theatre Royal for Christmas. With Trigger Happy TV’s Dom Joly playing the narrator and Strictly’s Joanna Clifton as Janet. Get out your fishnets and vamp it up! Tickets are from £13. See the Muddy review.
Long Nose Puppets Present Out of the Hat, Komedia, Brighton, Thurs 20 – Mon 31 Dec
A festive puppet show/magic show for 2-8 year olds with songs in the mix at Brighton’s Komedia over Xmas.
Cinderella, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Fri 7 Dec to Sun 13 Jan
It looks like the only Cinderella in Sussex this year and it’s on in Eastbourne. If you fancy a date with the ugly sisters, get booking.
Aladdin, Worthing Theatre, Fri 30 Nov – Tues 1 Jan
Lee Latchford-Evans from Steps is doing the thigh-slapping honours as Aladdin in this year’s Worthing panto – one of the first out of the blocks. CBeebies’ Rebecca Keatley plays feisty Princess Jasmine while comedian Vikki Stone gets cloaked up as the evil Abanazar. Brian Blessed will be booming out the voice of the Genie of the Lamp. See the Muddy review.
Pop-up ice rinks, Brighton, Worthing, Chichester, Bewl Water, Tunbridge Wells and further afield until Jan/Feb
Gliding into action, are Brighton, Worthing’s, Tunbridge and Bewl Water rinks and a new Chichester one and there are other several others for day trips into Surrey, Hants and London. Check out the Muddy round-up.
Sleeping Beauty, The Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Fri 7 Dec to Wed 2 Jan
This year’s Tunbridge Wells panto is Sleeping Beauty and Claire Sweeney is starring. Will she be naughty or nice? Go along to find out.
Jack and The Beanstalk, Hilton Metropole, Thurs 20 – Sat 29 Dec
Biggins is big in panto and this year he’s in Brighton for the family panto at Hilton Metropole on the seafront along with Daisy the tap-dancing cow. The Magical Christmas Fayre is back before and after the show too with free entry to panto ticket holders.
The Snowman and The Snowdog exhibitions, Nymans/ Brighton Museum till 6 Jan
If you’re not feeling festive yet, Nymans will sort you out. The National Trust property has an exhibition of original drawings from The Snowman and The Snowdog to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the classic tale by Sussex author Raymond Briggs. There’s also a snowdogs trail in the garden. There’s another The Snowman-related exhibition running at Brighton Museum with the tale reimagined by Michael Morporgo of War Horse fame. There’s also a Christmas Eve screening of the classic film, alongside Peter and the Wolf at Brighton Dome.
Festive swims, Arundel Lido, 24, 25, 26, 31 Dec and 1 Jan
No need to crash into the sea in a display of bravado over the festive season – Arundel Lido is heated and has swimming sessions on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Hot drinks and snacks will be available, entry is £5 for adults, £2,50 for children.
Sleeping Beauty ballet, The Dome, Brighton Sat 29 & Sun 30 Dec
In their sixth Christmas season in Brighton, join Ballet Theatre UK’s talented young company of international dancers recreating the fairytale to Tchaikovsky’s magical score. Tickets from £10.
Secret Santa, the Frost Files, Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne, Fri 14 Dec to Tues 1 Jan
Jeffrey Holland of Hi-De-Hi fame is in town as Father Christmas along with Britain’s Got Talent finalist Sarah Jameson as his missus in Secret Santa (14 Dec – 1 Jan). He’s been kidnapped but an investigative journalist is on the trail…
Mischief & Mystery in Moominvalley Thurs 20 – Mon 31 Dec, The Old Market, Hove
A show with charming pupperty and a pop-up book set aimed at 3-7-year-olds. Covering a year in Moominvalley, it starts when Moomintroll wakes up in the middle of winter with a “something-wrong-feeling”. Tickets are £8.50.
Aladdin, The Hawth, Crawley, Fri 7 Dec to Sun 6 Jan
Popular dame Michael J Bachelor is back in Crawley’s panto as Widow Twankey. Jason Gardiner from Dancing on Ice will be taking the boos as evil Abanazor while Eastenders’ Shaheen Jafargholi is hero Aladdin. Be quick. There’s limited availability on many nights already.
Sleeping Beauty, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre, Sat 15 – Sun 30
Youngsters do the honours at Chichester and this year it’s Sleeping Beauty, or rather a twist on the classic, with two princes and a mother-in-law who’s an ogress. Join Chichester Festival Youth Theatre from 15 – 30 Dec. Tickets from £10.
NT Live, Antony & Cleopatra, Horsham, Wed 9 Jan / Tunbridge Wells 19 Jan and later dates at other cinemas
Broadcast live from the National Theatre, Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo play Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra in his historical tragedy of politics, passion and power. The Capitol, Horsham has an encore screening on Jan 9 and there are later dates at Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, East Grinstead, Uckfield, Chichester and more. Put your postcode in the website on the link below to find your nearest participating cinema.
Robin Hood Christmas panto, Ropetackle, Shoreham-by-Sea, Thurs 13 – Mon 31 Dec
The Sheriff of Nottingham has a dastardly plan to capture Robin Hood. Will he succeed? I can’t begin to guess. A panto version of the well-loved folk tale.
The Wind in the Willows, Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, 13 Dec – 2 Jan 2019
Panto-ed out? Swap magic carpet rides and poisoned apples for this heartwarming story of animal friendship as you venture through the Wild Woods with Ratty Mole, Toad and co in fantastical style.
The King & I, from the Palladium, various cinemas, (late Dec /Jan dates)
The well-loved musical, loosely based on the true story of a British governess in the royal household of Thailand in the 1900s, is currently playing at London’s Palladium to rave reviews. It was broadcast to cinemas in Nov but a few are still repeating it in late Dec/ Jan including Worthing, Littlehampton, Uckfield and Chichester. See the trailer here and find your nearest participating cinema via the link below.
Christmas Circus Spectacular, Groombridge Place, 20 – 23 & 27 – 30 Dec
Groombridge Place has some circus magic this Christmas. Between 20 – 23 Dec and 27 – 30 Dec there will be a big festive Big Top circus (admission is free – and it’s heated – hurrah!) with four family performances each day. Expect acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, contortions and more from across the world plus yuletide clowning.
New Year’s Eve party, The Brunswick, Hove, Mon 31 Dec
This is where I saw in the last new year and a cracking night it was, with excellent band South Coast Soul Review really working hard to make sure everyone was in the party spirit. They’re back this year along with a DJ for a night spanning 8pm – 3am. You can also pop out and watch the impromptu fireworks on the seafront at midnight. Early bird tickets are £12, otherwise £16 in advance, £20 on the door.
New Year’s Eve party, Trading Boundaries, Sheffield Green, Mon 31 Dec
Step back in time to 60s and 70s hits performe live by the Tar Babies at Trading Boundaries near Fletching, plus fizz and a screening of the London fireworks . From £75 – £95 with various dining options.
Tot Rockin’ Beats, family-friendly NYE party, St Paul’s, Worthing, Mon 31 Dec
A New year’s eve party for the pocket sized and the pooped – that’s toddlers and their adults. It runs 11am to 1pm and 4pm -7pm with a soft play area, game sand live entertinment and a DJ spinning 80s and 90s house party anthems. Tickets are £8 for kids £10 for adults for the earlier bash, £10 and £15 for the later one. Pre-walking babies go free.
New Year’s Eve dinner & DJ, The Ivy, Brighton, Mon 31 Dec
The Ivy will be open for New Year’s Eve with food, drinks and DJs. Before then you can indulge in a a festive-themed Merry Martini or a Gin-ger fizz cocktail or a mulled wine.
New Year’s Eve Dinner, The Gallivant, Camber, Mon 31 Dec
be quick to grab a table at The Gallivant at Camber near Rye, where a special new year’s eve menu featuring goose breast, lobster and beef wellington is being served, with orders taken between 6pm and 9.30pm. The six course set menu is £85 for adults. A £50 children’s menu is available for the earliest sitting.
New Year’s Eve Viennese Gala, Brighton Dome, Mon 31 Jan
There’ll be music from the waltz kings of Vienna from Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra and songs from musicals and opera arias performed by Russian soprano Ilona Domnich at this popular annual gala event. Tickets are from £12.50
New Year’s Eve, Leeds Castle, Kent, 31 Dec 2019
Wave goodbye to 2018 in style with a wine, dine, boogie and fireworks-filled evening at Leeds Castle. Enjoy a three course meal, plus champagne, followed by a disco then toast the new year while watching a fireworks display above the castle turrets.
The Nutcracker, Moscow City Ballet, Chichester Festival Theatre, 3 – 6 Jan
Get over the back-to-work blues with a trip to this festive ballet. It’s also a good one to gift to someone local for Christmas. Moscow City Ballet and a full orchestra will be doing the honours. Tickets from a tenner.
Chichester: Moscow City Ballet’s The Nutcracker and a modern take on Twelfth Night, the BBC Concert Orchestra’s Family Concert and Sandi Toksvig live are all on in Jan.
Worthing: brilliant improvisers The Noise Next Door are doing an adult show and a family show, plus there’s Joan Collins unscripted – both in Feb. David Baddiel’s kids’ tale Animalcolm and a Q&A with Dan Snow are in March.
Horsham: Britain’s Got Talent comedian Robert White is up in Feb and Julian Clary in March, also Vienna Festival Ballet’s Coppelia in March.
Crawley: St Petersburg Classic Ballet’s Swan Lake and Saturday Night Fever and comedian Jason Manford are in Jan; Rainman and Lucy Porter in Feb and Brendan Cole in March.
Brighton: Abigail’s Party, The Full Monty and Horrible Histories are in Jan and the State Ballet of Siberia is performing The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and more in Feb at the Theatre Royal. And at Brighton Dome there’s The Vaccines in Jan, Sandi Toksvig live in Jan/Feb, comedian Nish Kumar and Hollywood’s Rob Lowe in Feb, music royalty Billy Ocean in March and Art Garfunkel in April plus more big name comedians later in the year. At the Brighton Centre catch Bill Bailey, Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals and Olly Murs in May. At Komedia, Britain’s Got Talent Winner Lost Voice Guy is coming up in April.
Hastings: Adult only Circus of Horrors is on in Jan
Eastbourne: The London Philharmonic, Dara O’Brien and Dan Snow are in town in March and The Comedy About a Bank Robbery and Dinosaur World Live in April.
Bexhill: Book for Nish Kumar in Jan, The Tiger Who Came to Tea in Feb, Horrible Histories in March and legendary performance poet John Cooper Clarke in May.
Tunbridge Wells: Brendan Cole is stepping out in March and The Cat in the Hat will be wreaking havoc the same month
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Burning The Clocks, New Road to Madeira Drive, Brighton, Fri 21 Dec
Hurrah for Burning The Clocks – it means it’s the shortest day of the year and we’re creeping slowly towards Spring from here on in. It’s also a lovely spectacle with children and adults carrying homemade paper lanterns to the beach for ceremonial burning of the creations, and fireworks. Over 2,000 people now take part in the parade, usually including some good drummers, and over 20,000 spectators turn out to watch, so expect crowds and road closures.
Classical Christmas Concert with Carols, Trading Boundaries, Sheffield Green, Sat 22 Dec
Start your Christmas off listening to the vocal talents of Glyndebourne and Royal Opera House singers Jo Appleby & Andrew Rees on the Trading Boundaries stage for an evening of classical Christmas songs and carols. Tickets £35 including and a glass of fizz and mince pie.
Ghost Stories for Christmas 2018 – Now We Are Six, The Lantern Theatre, Brighton, Thurs 20 – Sat Dec 22
Thought the spooks were over with Halloween? Think again because Brighton’s original Ghost Stories for Christmas returns to for an evening of macabre and chilling tales to raise money for charity. The evenings are inspired by the Victorian tradition of telling ghost stories at yuletide and will this year feature tales by Joan Aiken and horror masters Clive Barker and Ramsey Campbell. Tickets are £10 including a mince pie and glass of mulled wine/apple juice with proceeds going to Brighton Alzheimer’s Society. Ages 14+
Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker Live, various cinemas, Sun 23 Dec
See the ballet in Moscow this Christmas without the minus degree temperatures. The Bolshoi’s performance of the Nutcracker is being beamed live to selected cinemas, with plenty in Sussex involved. Put your postcode into the link to find your nearest and get yourself in festive mood.
Beach hut advent calendar, Hove seafront, 1 – 24 Dec
Head down to Hove seafront 5.30pm to 6.30pm between 1 and 24 December and you’ll find a different beach hut each day has been artistically transformed for advent. There’ll also be a chance to enjoy a mince pie and mulled wine and join in carols. Find the huts on the seafront between First Avenue and Hove Lagoon and discover which is open when via the website.
Kids’ Christmas crafts, Arundel Wetland Centre, Sat 22 and Sun 23 Dec
Keep the little people occupied with seasonal crafts over the weekend, 10 – 12 and 1 – 3 in the Swan Lake room of the visitor centre, free with admission.
Home, Pirates of the Carabina, Brighton Dome, Sat 15 – Sun 23 Dec
The circus stars behind the brilliant Flown, are back with this show about the joys of letting go, featuring a vertical-swinging trapeze, never-ending ropes, a spinning carousel and a temperamental staircase.
The Ho, Ho, Ho! Christmas Show, The Capitol studio, Horsham, Fri 14 – Mon 24 Dec
One for the wee ones without the attention span for panto. Help busy Steve the elf as he wraps presents and feeds the reindeer in Santa’s workshop. Every child gets to meet Father Christmas and receive a gift after the show and performances are at pre-school-friendly times of the day. Tickets are £12.50.
Boxing Day Racing, Fontwell Park, near Arundel, Wed Dec 26
Boxing Day isn’t all about lying about in your PJs with your face smeared with chocolate. If you can raise yourself you can take part in the tradition of a post festivities day at the races. Tickets start from £19 in advance for the paddock.