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New year newsflash!

'Jessica Rabbit' and Shakespeare's Globe are coming to town and there's good news for food and festival fans

It’s on my radar and now it’s on yours. What’s new in Sussex? Here’s some good stuff coming up that’s reached my shell-like.

Hollywood comes to town!

I had to do a double-take when I saw this. Husky-voiced Kathleen Turner – a staple of big 80s rom-coms like Romancing the Stone, The Jewel of the Nile, The War of the Roses and Peggy Sue Got Married is coming to Sussex to sing cabaret!

If you’re a Friends fan you may remember her crooning in a cameo in which she played Chandler’s drag queen dad! She was also the voice of sultry Jessica Rabbit. Well it turns out, singing is now very much her bag – hence the show’s title Finding My Voice. Not only will she be singing the likes of Let’s Fall in LoveOn the Street Where You Live and Every Time We Say Goodbye she’ll be telling stories about her Hollywood career, which is bound to include some juicy anecdotes. She’ll be in Horsham Fri 11 May (£29.50) and in Worthing on Sun 13 May (£27). Get it in your diary.

Shakespeare’s Globe visits Sussex

Zounds! Shakespeare’s Globe is coming to Brighton Open Air Theatre this summer as it takes the Bard on tour . On Wed 11 – Sat 14 July you can see either Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew or The Merchant of Venice but you won’t know which until you’re there because the audience will vote on which play they want to see performed.

If you live in the Easternmost part of Sussex then Chilham Castle near Canterbury may be your nearest venue to catch the Globe tour – there the thesbians will be rolling into town on Fri 25  Sun 27 May. The same plays are on at the Globe itself in London in May and Sept with public booking from Mon 29 Jan.

For details on when you can book for the BOAT shows, sign up for the BOAT mailing list to be first out of the blocks (just behind me please!)

Byline Festival

Byline Festival extended (and half price if you’re quick)

I wrote before about this new festival which had its first outing at Pippingford Park near Uckfield last summer. With a journalistic theme, it mixes debate and workshops with music, comedy and more, all in a low-key and frankly bargain event, with free camping. The 2018 event in late August has just been extended by an extra day and the line-up so far has been announced, including visits from John Cleese, Hugh Grant, Gary Lineker and Andy Hamilton. It’s your last chance to get tickets at half-price (even less if you live within ten miles) – that deal ends midnight Mon Jan 22.

Exciting food moves in Brighton 

The Ivy’s Tunbridge Wells incarnation

Whenever I used to pass The Ivy when I lived in London there was always a gaggle of photographers outside. You may remember this celebrity haunt, famous for its upmarket comfort food, recently opened a sister restaurant in Tunbridge Wells – handy for people in easternmost Sussex (see the Muddy review here). Well, now they’re headed for Brighton too! The Ivy In the Lanes will open in the old post office building on Ship Street (opposite the Fabrica gallery) in the Spring. Watch this space.

Meanwhile, small restaurant, big hit – Brighton’s small plates Italian Cin Cin is expanding. If, like me, you’ve found getting a perch at the counter of this well-loved eatery more miss than hit, then you’ll be pleased to know your chances have just doubled. The original, tucked away on Vine Street in the North Laine area, launched just over a year ago but as from Jan 18 2018 there’s a second one at Western Road in Hove. Do hold out for a table, it’s worth the wait, I promise.

Cin Cin

If you haven’t noticed yet, fab little Mexican La Choza has also recently gained a second incarnation on Western Road. There’s no booking for that so you’ll have to swoop in like a ninja.

Coming up later… You may remember a Muddy review of the riverside Coppa Club near Tower Bridge in London, well the same concept is also headed to Brighton Square (subject to planning permission) with a similar take on any-weather alfresco dining.

Find more ideas here

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Sussex