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The Muddy Guide: What’s On 20 – 26 May

Literary delights, a sailing taster, kids’ den building and book ahead for a Sixties star and a World Cup themed dinner  – all in this week’s Muddy Guide

Girls With Balls, White Rock Theatre, Hastings, 26 May


by Sean Goldthorpe

Remember how well the England team did in the last World Cup – err the women’s team that is? Well back in 1921 the Football Association banned women from playing at affiliated grounds. The ban wasn’t lifted until 1971. This new play from the Off The Fence theatre company, is inspired by the story and brings it up to date with three girls staging a last ditch attempt to save their beloved football ground. Tickets cost £16.

Charleston Festival, Charleston House, 20-30, May


It’s here – one of the top literary festivals in the land. The Likes of Ian McKewan, Joanne Trollope, Joan Bakewell, Melvyn Bragg, Max Hastings, Andrew Marr and Jon Snow will be in discussion. You can also find out about the background to word-of-mouth successes like A Notable Woman – the historical diary edited by Simon Garfield. New tickets have just been released for some sold out events so if you were disappointed first time round (though surely you noticed when I flagged it up early, eh??) then try your luck again. Shuttle buses run from Lewes station for those not wishing to drive.

Ichenor sailing club, open day, 22 May 


Many years ago I was sent to report on a sailing regatta and was looking forward to the mirrors and lasers – I thought it would be some kind of cool light show <cough> . If you’re also clueless about sailing but would love to have a go, get yourself down to Ichenor sailing club’s annual open day on May 22 which has free learner tasters with experts in a variety of dingies including yep, mirrors and lasers. The event starts at 9.30am.

Needle Felted Animal Workshop, Upper Lodge, Ringmer, 20 May (and later dates).

DUO dog FotorCreated

Spookily realistic looking little miniature animals come out of these workshops led by Emma from Sew Recycled, judging from the pics, so if you fancy having at go at creating something to confuse your pet head along to Upper Lodge. Classes suitable for complete beginners take place sociably around the huge kitchen table and cost £45 including all materials, tea, coffee and cake (bring a packed lunch).  For later dates contact Emma here:

Photo London, Somerset House, 19-22 May


80 of the world’s galleries have come together to form a massive photo exhibition and programme of talks and screenings at Somerset House. I was there last year and it’s like a kind of mini expo with pictures from the surreal to the beautiful, aimed more at the hardened photography fan. There’s a street food van serving food inspired by Martin Parr’s photographs, an Instragram comp to win a Leica and a screening of the brilliant film Finding Vivian Maier, about a Chicago nanny who was secretly a superb street photographer (do rent a DVD if you haven’t seen it!). You can even make a virtual visit through the website. A day pass is £27.


1966 World Cup Remembered Supper Club, Haywards Heath, 10 June 


What was the year we won the World Cup again? I really don’t hear it often enough…. Yep, this year we celebrate our national shame – it’s 50 years since we last held the World Cup aloft and Repast Supper Club, which specialises in historically slanted dining, has produced an internationally themed menu to mark the occasion. There’ll be a course each from the four countries that made the semis/final that fateful year – Russia, Portugal, Germany and of course, England. Tabl events tend to sell out quickly and there’s only 12 places for this one, so best book now. Tickets are £35.

Brian Wilson performs Pet Sounds, Together the People, Preston Park, Brighton 3 Sept 

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It’s not only 50 years since our World Cup win, it’s 50 years since the release of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds – commonly cited in the top most influential albums of all time. And here’s a coup – the band’s Brian Wilson is coming to newbie festival Together the People to perform the famous work in its entirety! I was at the first Together the People last year and it’s a good family-friendly festival though disappointingly they seem to have cut the kids-go-free element this year. Coincidentally, I saw Brian Wilson the year before when he did a surprise gig for a hotel opening and it was a brilliantly fun night with hit after hit, retro films as a backdrop and him making jokes about how old he was. Together The People is an all weekend event but day tickets (£55 for adults) have just been released.


Woodland Tribe: Build Your Own Adventure, The Warren, until 5 June 


I loved building dens when I was a kid so I’m totally into this idea. Children and adults can use hammers, nails, saws, rope and a huge quantity of wood to co-create the adventure playground of their dreams. Each session last two hours and is a dynamic mix of design and build. It costs from £10 per participant (£5 for adult non-participants – presumably just hovering to check the youngsters don’t bang their thumbs with a hammer) or a much better value £6.50- £10.25 per family. There’s a maximum of 30 places per session.

The Biggest Marionette Circus in the World, The Warren 21-22 May


Life-sized elephant giraffe and lion puppets greet you outside then lead you into a show. I glimpsed some last year – they’re big! Tickets £8, (£28 families).

Lost Cinemas of Brighton Tour, weekends until 29 May


I did a similar tour last year and it was fascinating to discover how many more cinemas large and small used to populate the city and the varied reputations they had. It certainly made me look at those scruffy steps into Boots in a whole new light.


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