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The Muddy Guide: What’s On 15 – 21 July

Cycling poets dropping into Sussex towns, wine flowing at Pevensey castle, theatre for adults and children, a crime talk and a nature walk – all in this week’s Muddy Guide.

South Downs Poetry Festival, various Sussex/Hants locations, 16-24 July


The South Downs Poetry Festival is back, with all manner of celebrations of the spoken, written and (sometimes) rhyming word. Among many events are workshops and evening readings at the Linklater Pavilion, Lewes; performance poet Attila the Stockbroker doing a show in Midhurst (17 Jul); an Eastbourne to Firle leg of a poetry bike tour (19 Jul) and a workshop followed by poetry, music and cabaret session at Much Ado Books in Alfriston (19 Jul).  South Harting, Steyning, Ditchling and Petersfield are among other locations involved and look out for poetry in various pubs.

Fracked! Or Please Don’t Use The F-word, Minerva Theatre, Chichester, until 6 Aug


TV stalwart James Bolam returns to Chichester in this new black comedy by Alistair Beaton that addresses a subject familiar to Sussex audiences. Will a ruthless energy company and a crooked councillor meet their match in the shape of a ragbag of local protestors? Tickets cost from £20.

Summer Series, Somerset House, London, until 17 Jul

laura mvula somerset house

If you’re heading into London — or want an excuse to — this sounds perfect.  The Summer Series at Somerset House has an impressive line-up of headline acts as well as some names you’ll want to watch in the future.  And going to Somerset House is always worth it.

Wealden Food and Wine Festival, Pevensey Castle, 16 & 17 July


Cooking demos from Masterchef winner Peter Bayless, wine demos from Bluebell Vineyard, retro swing and jive music and Blast Science’s Totally Gross show to appeal to kids plus  talks walks, a ‘pirate invasion’ on the Saturday, falconry displays on the Sunday and course plenty of food and wine besides. Adult entry is £2, children go free.

Brilliant Bignor wildlife, Slindon Estate, 16 Jul


look out for the many species of wildlife that flourish on the Downs in high summer on this Ranger-led walk. There’ll be a particular focus on butterflies and the wild flowers they need to flourish. It runs 2.00pm to 4.00pm and it’s £4 for adults, £2 for children, book ahead on 01243 814730.

Rehearsal for Murder, Theatre Royal, Brighton, 11-16 July

BkL.RehMurd.0432A - Copy

Remember Murder, She Wrote about the crime novelist who seemed to conveniently encounter murders wherever she went? Well, the writers behind that and the clever Columbo detective series I was much fonder of also wrote Rehearsal for Murder which will be at the Theatre Royal for a week. It’a a classic whodunnit about the suspicious death of an actress and a playwright’s attempts to catch the murderer by means of a play that bears spooky similarities to the fateful night. Soap stars Alex Ferns and Gary Mavers are among the cast.

Preston Manor, Pagan Ceremony, 16 July


Experience a Pagan ceremony without having to do an overnighter at Stonehenge. Preston Park is hosting the event in its walled garden as part of its Witchcraft Live season. It’s billed as family-friendly, with a spell being created to aid health, prosperity and love – I’ll have some of that.


Danny Champion of the World, The Hawth, Crawley, 22 Jul


Illyria, among the country’s most inventive interpreters of Roald Dahl’s work, is performing Danny the Champion of the World outdoors at the Hawth’s ampitheatre. Find out if Danny and his dad can outwit a nasty landowner and pull off the biggest pheasant heist ever attempted. Adult tickets cost £15, children’s £12. The play sold out early in Petworth recently so best book ahead.

Peter James, Policing Roy Grace’s Brighton, Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham, 27 July

Peter-JamesWBest-selling local Crime novelist Peter James and ex-Chief Superintendent for Brighton & Hove Graham Bartlett team up to reveal the true crime stories behind the well-loved Roy Grace series. In Death Comes Knocking: Policing Roy Grace’s Brighton, readers learn of the cases that inspired some of the most gripping stories in crime fiction. The event includes a Q&A and book signing. Tickets are £12.

Ironwood Forest School, holiday club, Thursdays 28 Jul – 1 Sept 

mud-302167_1280Get a fun and educational drop off lined up now for the school holidays. The Ironwood Forest School takes place in Darwell Wood, Brightling, East Sussex with den building, crafts, campfire cooking and lots more. It runs 10.00am to 3.00pm on 28 July and 4, 11, 18 and 25 Aug. It’s for ages 5+ and costs £30 per child, or £100 if you book four sessions.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Sussex