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What’s On this week in Sussex

Thurs 5 Aug - Fri 13 Sept

Simon Evans: Dressing for Dinner, Brighton Open Air Theatre, Fri 6 Sept

Fresh from his run at Edinburgh Fringe, Simon Evans is back in his home town and popping up to share his new show at Brighton Open Air Theatre. He always does a strong set, so snuggle up with a blanket and a beer after work on Friday. In fact bring a picnic tea if you like – we are! Tickets are £12 and there’s a bar on site.

Horsham International Film Festival, The Capitol, Horsham, Fri 6 – Thurs 12 Sept

What's On in Sussex this week

A chance to see an eclectic mix of films from independent distributors, plus foreign language films and documentaries that might otherwise pass you by. Among titles from Sweden, France and Spain is the NT Live production of Fleabag. £6 per film (excluding NT Live and special events). Book three films and get the fourth free.

South Coast Soul Review, Ropetackle fundraisier, The Ropetackle, Shoreham-by-Sea, Fri 6 Sept

I saw in the new year with excellent soul and funk band South Coast Soul Review really giving it some welly to make sure everyone was in the party spirit. The band is back at Muddy-award winning venue The Ropetackle supported by Lindsey Oliver and The Frank Greene Band. It’s a fundraiser gig to help keep the volunteer-run venue stay open, so an extra good reason to buy some of the £20 tickets.

Festival of the Sea, Bexhill, Sat 7 and Sun 8 Sept

Mermaids, Mermen and MerBabies will be attempting a World Record breaking gathering at Bexhill’s Festival of the Sea. You can don a scaled tail and join in, or simply browse over 50 stalls highlighting Sussex produce, wines and arts and crafts and find out more about conservation from local associations. Free entry.

Igniting intimacy, Brooklands Barn, Arundel, Fri Sept 6  

Igniting Intimacy, an Erotic Blueprints Masterclass is among the latest wellness retreats hosted by prettily-situated 19th century Brooklands Barn at Arundel. We’re assured it doesn’t involved getting naked in front of strangers but is ‘a pleasure filled evening of erotic enlightenment, discovery, fun and a few giggles too’ that will teach you to map your body and give you a sexy new game to play. £15 singles, £25 couples including fizz and nibbles. There are numerous other wellness retreats of a day or more coming up at Brooklands Barn including several incorporating yoga.

#TOMtech, various shows, The Old Market, Hove, Thurs 12 – Fri 20 Sept

#TOMtech – the annual festival of technology-powered art, is back at The Old Market in Hove, with more innovative gigs. Try the latest in immersive technology during VrLAB (Thurs 12 – Sun 15 Sept). Dance, technology and rainbow lasers (ooh!) collide in Choreocracy on Tues 17 Sept. There’s interactive theatre in The Justice Syndicate (Tues 17 – Fri 20 Sept), during which, via technology, the audience acts as jury. Then, new ‘mixed-reality’ theatre show Fatherland (Thurs 19 – Fri 20 Sept) covers a man constructing his own conspiracy theory. Adult tickets for most shows are £15.50 and there are limited £5 tickets for 16-25s for some but hurry, some are nearly sold out already.

The Red Lion, Horsham and nearby, various Sept dates

Written by the man behind Closer and with the same director as The Play That Goes Wrong, this character-based piece of theatre, set behind the scenes of ‘The Beautiful Game’ with ambition, backstabbing and somehow plenty of humour and pathos besides. Catch it on multiple dates coming up in and near Horsham. See the Muddy review here.


Shoreham Wordfest, various venues, Shoreham-by-Sea, throughout Sept

Writing workshops; author Lynne Truss talking about her Brighton-based novel; storytelling; Children’s creative writing, sci-fi trends and more are coming up as part of Shoreham Wordfest this month, with events from Sat Sept 7 onwards.

Lagoonfest,  Hove Lagoon, Sat 7 Sept,

Norman Cook officially opens this family-friendly end to the summer. Head down for bands and a DJ (no, it’s not Fatboy!), free skateboarding lessons for 5 – 11-year-olds, kids’ games, a dog show, SUP races, yoga and more.

DownsFest, Adastra Park, Hassocks, Sat 7 Sept

A little more inland there are more local bands gathering for the inaugural DownsFest in Hassocks. Tribute acts seem to be plentiful, there’ll also be DIY DJ-ing fun from Stick It On and beer from Bedlam Brewery. Tickets are £22.15 raising funds for St Peter & St James Hospice.

South Downs cycle ride with Langham Brewery Tour, from and to Amberley, Sat 7 Sept and later dates

Here’s a great way to work hard then get a boozy reward, with someone else doing the driving. New Chalk Pit Trails will meet you at Amberley railway station with regular or electric mountain bikes, give you a route along the South Downs Way and beyond that takes you to Langham Brewery where you’ll have a two hour tour and tasting, then pick you up there and take you back to the station, all for £40 (£60 with e-bike). Read the Muddy review!

Amelie the Musical, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Mon 9 – Sat 14 Sept

The famous five-time nominated Oscar movie Amelie is being adapted to the stage for the first time in the UK, with French-Canadian star Audrey Brisson taking on the lead role. It’s a quirky tale of love, kindness. Regular adults tickets are from £22. (Note it’s moving on to Southampton and Woking if they’re nearer your ‘hood).

Into the Trees festival, Pippingford Park, Fri 13 – Sun 15 Sept 

From the same organisers as super-popular Elderflower Fields, low-key woodland family festival Into the Trees, takes place at lovely Pippingford Park on the edge of the Ashdown Forest. Expect the likes of archery, mountain boarding, kayaking – plus campfire sessions and a ceilidh if you’re camping overnight.

Bat Detectorists/ Rockpool Adventure, Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters, Sat 7 Sept 

A Bat Detectorists event is coming up at Firle Farm on Fri 30 Aug, part of the Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters site, near Eastbourne. There’s also a guided Rockpool Adventure on 7 Sept. Outside this date you can pick up a beach scavenger hunt tracker pack to explore by yourselves.

Sooty and Friends Show, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Sat 7 Sept

Izzy Wizzy let’s get busy! Sooty’s Magic Show is still going strong and it’s coming up at Eastbourne. Sweep and Soo will be there too of course, along with Bippo the Clown and Colonel Custard with the mayhem supervised by TV’s Richard Cadell.  Tickets are £12 and it’s on at a child-friendly 10.30 am.

Movies by Moonlight: Mamma Mia – Here We Go Again, South Lodge Hotel, Horsham, Sun 8 Sept 

South Lodge Hotel at Lower Beeding, near Horsham has the last of its open air screenings this weekend.  You can bring a picnic, and watch Mamma Mia – Here We Go Again on Sat 8 Sept. £16 for the film.

Outdoor cinema: Bohemian Rhapsody/Jurassic Park, The Holbrook Club, Horsham, Fri 6 Sept/Sat 21 Sept

This year’s smash Bohemian Rhapsody (6 Sept) is the musical movies outdoors on the edge of Horsham while Jurassic Park claws its way back on 21 Sept.

Bohemian Rhapsody, Lingfield Park Racecourse, Surrey 13 Sept

A late summer treats pops up on 13 Sept at the racecourse with one of the last chances to catch Bohemain Rhapsody outdoors this year.

Margaret Atwood live, various cinemas, Tues 10 Sept 

As The testaments – sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale is released, see author Margaret Atwood in conversation and readings form the new book by special guests broadcast live to a host of participating cinemas. Find your nearest on the link.

NT Live: Fleabag, various cinemas, Thurs 12 Sept and later dates 

Tickets for the West End run of Fleabag were hotter than Andrew Scott’s priest and sold out in minutes but you can still catch Phoebe Waller-Bridge doing her monologue of the dysfunctional 30-something beamed live from Soho Theatre on 12 Sept. Find your local screening on the link below but be quick, they’re selling out fast. Happily some cinemas are doing several encore screenings.

Mad Hatter’s tea party/cream tea walk/gin tasting, The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst, Fri 13/Wed 18 /Fri 20 Sept

There are some fun events coming up at the Artisan Bakehouse in for the Steyning and District Food Festival. On Fri 13 Sept, enjoy a touch of whimsy with a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (£40) with staff dressed as characters from the Alice books and a jazz singer to entertain you. On Wed 18 Sept join a Tasty Walk (£20), combining a single course lunch at The Fountain pub with a guided walk along the River Adur then a strawberry cream tea at The Artisan Bakehouse. There’s then a Sussex Gin Tasting Evening on Fri 20 Sept (£45) with foraged gin makers Slake Spirits and sharing platters, fresh breads and even gin hot chocolate! Pre-booking for each event is essential.

Make a Jane Austin Picnic, Regency Town House, Hove, Thurs 12 Sept

Jane Austin’s housekeeper’s cake at a recent Brunswick House event

Heritage cookery expert Paul Couchman leads a workshop at the Regency Townhouse inspired by the picnic in Jane Austin’s Emma with pies and syllabub on the menu. It runs 10.00 – 13.30 and costs £31 (if you book by 2 Sept) or £37. You get to eat what you make on the Brunswick Square lawns (or inside the townhouse of it rains).

‘The Coast is Queer’ Literature Festival, The Spire, Brighton, Thurs 12 – Sun 15 Sept

A radical new festival of LGBTQ+ writers is taking place thanks to pub theatre The Marlborough. The weekend of events, workshops, panel discussions and performances celebrates queer lives and writing. Speakers include Jonathan Harvey (Beautiful Thing, Gimme Gimme Gimme), Juno Dawson (This Book Is Gay, Margot & Me) and Patrick Gale (Take Nothing With You, Notes From An Exhibition). Priced by event, some events free.


Oklahoma! Chichester Festival Theatre, until Sat 7 Sept

Photo by Johan Persson

Chichester Festival Theatre’s big summer musical Oklahoma! is in its final weekend, starring Josie Lawrence, Les Misérables alumni Hyoie O’Grady and Amara Okereke. Yee-ha! Tickets are from £10. Read the Muddy review.


Billionaire Boy, The Capitol, Horsham, Thurs 26 Sept – Sun 29 Sept 

What’s On in September in Sussex

The team who brought Gangsta Granny and Awful Auntie brilliantly to the stage are back with another Walliams classic – Billionaire Boy. 12-year-old Joe Spud may get £10,000 a week pocket money and have two pet crocodiles thanks to his dad’s special loo roll invention but he doesn’t have any friends and he sets out to try and change that with adventures along the way. Adult tickets are £20.50- £22.50, concessions £18.50- £20.50 and it’s aimed at aged 5+Hurry, some performances are selling fast.

Mud Monsters Run, near East Grinstead, Sun 20 Oct 

Are you up for tackling the fun Mud Monsters Run obstacle course challenge near East Grinstead? Grab your partner or friends and take on slides, walls, tyres, streams, monkey bars and more in pursuit of a medal. There are 5km, 10km and 20km circuits to choose from and the spirit is camaraderie more than competition. The next Mud Monsters Run is on Sun 20 Oct June. Entry from £49, with discounts for teams of 10+

Find more ideas here

Things to DoThis Week

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