Muddy Guide: What’s On 23 Feb – 3 March

Mardi-gras celebrations or learning how to fillet a fish? Kids’ theatre or an Oscar night film quiz? Plenty going on this week and some fun to book ahead in your trusty Muddy Guide. Entertaining kids for the school hols? You’ll be wanting my half term guide.

Hastings Fat Tuesday, Fri 24 – Tues 28 Feb

The five-day Hastings Fat Tuesday music festival is the UK’s largest Mardi Gras celebration. It includes Unplugged Saturday with 200 gigs in one afternoon; a decorated umbrella parade and unsigned bands showcase on Sunday and culminates on Tuesday with an evening of feathers, beads, masks and music with special Britpop-era guests Dodgy. Meanwhile, new retro speakeasy style bar and bistro Nico’s Kitchen and Lounge in St Leonards is serving up crepes for Pancake Day in addition to its usual vegan menu. Will it be chocolate and banana, or classic lemon and sugar? You decide. Book a table ahead.

Oscars Special Film Quiz, Picturehouse, Uckfield, Sun 26 Feb

Book a table for the Picturehouse Uckfield’s first film quiz of the year – suitably Oscars themed. It’s £1 a person and you can book a table for up to six people. Oscar-inspired food will be available, which has got me wondering just what that would be? Popcorn perhaps? As for the answers, surely several will be La La Land?

Fish filleting lesson, Brighton & Newhaven Fish Sales, Shoreham Harbour, Tues 28 Feb 

Learn how to prepare and fillet your own flat and round fish at this accessible evening course run by a professional fishmonger. It’s free thanks to Heritage Lottery funding and you’ll even be able to take some of the fish home to cook, though the organisers are keen to recruit volunteers for later cookery courses. There are only 10 places, so be quick.

We’re Going on a Bear Hut, The Hawth, Crawley, Wed 22 – Sat 25 Feb

If you’ve got children of a pre- or infant school age, you will know this gorgeous, award-winning book written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. The play adaption of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt comes to Crawley on the back of a West-End and international tour. Watch actors wade through the gigantic swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud in pursuit of a bear. Tickets are £12.50. It will also be at Eastbourne in April.

The Sleeping Beauty, Live ROH screening, various cinemas, Tues 28 Feb 

A 100 year nap sounds good right now but I’ll settle for relaxing in a comfy seat to watch Sleeping Beauty. The Royal Ballet will be performing the classic tale at the Royal Opera House but you only need to go as far as the nearest cinema screening it live which could well be right on your doorstep. It’s on in Crawley, Brighton, Worthing, Littlehampton, Chichester, Haslemere, Uckfield, Hailsham, Eastbourne, Hastings, Rye, Hawkhurst, Tunbridge Wells and more. Search on the weblink.

LGBT history cafe and tours, Soho/Covent Garden, London, Thurs 2 March to Sun 26 March

2017 marks 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality and to hail the milestone The National Archives and   National Trust have joined forces to re-create an historic underground cafe and ‘queer-friendly members club’ on almost the exact spot it once stood. The Caravan once known as ‘London’s most bohemian rendezvous’ was closed following a police raid in 1934. It’s striking interior has been recreated at Freud Café-Bar on Shaftesbury Avenue using photographs, court reports, police papers and witness statements. It will be the focal point of a month of tours celebrating LGBTQ+ heritage around Soho and Covent Garden (tickets £12). There will also be themed talks and performances and a chance to enjoy cocktails in the retro club in the evening.

Babe – The Sheep Pig, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Thurs 23 – Sat 25 Feb

The book was called The Sheep-Pig, the film was called Babe and now the stage show is Babe – The Sheep Pig. When Babe arrives at Hogget’s Farm he is taken in by the trusty sheep-dog Fly and discovers a talent for herding. With the help of his adopted Mum, our polite piglet soon wins over the most suspicious of sheep. But when his farmyard friends are in trouble can Babe save the day? The show combines people, puppetry and original music. Tickets cost from £15.50. It’s also coming to Worthing in March and Crawley in Aug.

Snowdrop walks: Petworth, Nymans and Sheffield Park, from now 

Snowdrops are peeking, which means spring is finally on its way! Celebrate by getting out amongst the flowers – National Trust properties Petwork, Nymans and Sheffield Park promise particularly good displays.

Pudding Club, Pavilion Cafe Bar, Worthing, Fri 24 Feb

Sweet tooth? Peddlers of temptation Vice Puddings are starting a new Pudding Club at the Pavilion Cafe Bar in Worthing. Enjoy a meze starter followed by FOUR courses of decadent desserts. There’s also live musical entertainment from ‘Singing Chef’, Johnny Zero. Desserts on offer include pineapple and ginger upside down cake with pineapple sorbet, griddled pineapple, chilli & lime syrup; lemon posset with fruits of the forest, chantilly cream and shortbread biscuits; and steamed sponge pudding with crème anglaise. The night costs £26.50 – extra if you need someone to roll you home.

Still, The Old Market, Hove, 1 & 2 March 

I’m mildly obsessed with the story of Vivian Maier, the reclusive Chicago nanny who was discovered, only after her death, to have been one of the greatest street photographers of all time. I saw some of her work up close once in London and was wowed even before I knew her background. There has been a TV documentary and a film in recent years and now this fringe theatre production riffs off the story. On the edge of a nervous breakdown a hacker called H stumbles into a gallery and across  Maier’s work. Through an hallucinatory encounter with the photographer she examines issues of privacy raised by her evolving story. The action happens both around the audience and on their smartphones. Intriguing. Tickets are £12.50.

Don’t Dribble On The Dragon, Martlets Hall, Burgess Hill, Sun 26 Feb 

Magic designed by Paul Daniels features in this musical adventure about Tom – a toddler with a cool older brother, a secret dragon… and a dribbling problem that just won’t stop.  Its based on the book by Steven Lee and the author will be available to sign copies afterwards. Tickets are £10/£8.50.


Kaiser Chiefs, Brighton Centre, Tues 28 Feb 

Indie rockers Kaiser Chiefs will be headlining V Festival but you can catch them first in Brighton on a tour to support their new album Stay Together which includes Parachute and Hole in my Soul …but surely with old faves like Ruby and I Predict a Riot thrown in. Tickets are from £21.75.

In the Eye of Noir, The Crypt Gallery, Seaford, Mon 20 – Mon 27 Feb 

Still life with skull by Teresa Neal

Steel yourself for this exhibition exploring the nature of fear. Award winning photographer Teresa Neal gets all shadowy – suitably enough, in a Crypt. It’s open 12.00 to 8.00pm daily except Friday when it closes at 7.00pm. If you’re around at 4.00pm on Sat 25 you can also catch Teresa talking about her work. Entry is free.

Mosaic Art, The Bees Knees, Rustington

There’s more art on display over at Rustington. If’ you live in the area, pop into The Bees Knees salon and check out the recycled pottery mosaics by Kate Baker currently being displayed. Muddy Kent’s editor Ali is a fan. The landscapes are available to buy and you can even get your nails done while you’re there!


Ice skating, Steyne Gardens, Worthing, until Mon 27 Feb

While the other seasonal ice rinks have closed, Worthing’s Steyne Gardens pop-up is still going till the end of Feb. It’s fully covered in a giant marque so you can skate whatever the weather. Regular sessions are for over-fours, while toddlers can get on the ice too in dedicated sessions. You can warm up with hot drinks and snacks in the café. Tickets are from £6.25 off-peak, family of four tickets cost £29.00. Penguin hire is £3.50

Turner and the Age of British Watercolour, Petworth House, until  Sun 12 Mar 


This major new exhibition features 36 watercolours by Turner and his contemporaries on loan from the Higgins art gallery in Bedford. It’s a rare chance to see this important collection alongside many of Petworth’s oil paintings and sculptures from the same period. Entry is £12 and it’s open 10.30am to 2.00pm.


Reduced Shakespeare Company, Ropetackle, Shoreham, Sat 4 March

The Reduced Shakespeare Company is back with William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged). Apparently all of the Bard’s greatest characters and plots feature in this single work of never-perfromed-before dramatic genius that he later decided to turn into 37 separate plays.  The team promises a’ barnstormingly, irreverent’ celebration of our cultural heritage as seen through the eyes of three Americans wearing Converse. Tickets are £18 (£16 for under 16s).

Rob Brydon, White Rock, Hastings, Thurs 23 March 


Tickets are getting low to see Rob Brydon in Hastings so if you want to catch him get on it quick. The TV funnyman and talented sometime impressionist is best known for Gavin and StaceyWould I Lie To You? and The Trip. Tickets are from £26. 

Chichester Festival, general booking from Sat 4 March 

Chichester’s Festival 2017 programme has just been unveiled, with general booking opening on Sat 4 March.  There’s a mix of classic and contemporary plays and musicals. Catch Alan Bennett’s first play Forty Years On, set in a school on the South Downs; Shakespeare’s King Lear; Tennessee Williams’ s Sweet Bird of Youth, Olivier Award-winning musical Caroline, Or Change – an uplifting portrait of 1960s America which mixes blues, soul, Motown, classical music and Jewish folk songs, and a brand new staging of Fiddler on the Roof. New plays at the festival meanwhile include the likes of Ian McKellen, Omid Djalili and Richard Wilson. 10,000 tickets are available at £10, while Prologue tickets for 16 – 25 year-olds are  £5.

Charleston Festival, Charleston, 19 – 29 May

Tickets have also just gone on sale for Charleston Festival. Besides the usual talks with international A-list authors, highlights this year include a dinner accompanied by top Korea violinist Min Kym, and music and fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu in conversation with Harper’s Bazaar Editor Justine Picardie. Big names sell out super quick so a few days in it’s already returns only for Vanessa Redgrave dramatising the letters of Vanessa Bell, Barry Humphries sharing his Desert Island books and music and Professor Stephen Hawking, no-less, picking up the Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize. Get booking quick for the rest of the programme.

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