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The Muddy Guide: What’s On 22-28 April

What will it be this week? Be entertained by The Bard or Julian Clary? Be fed by a Master Chef finalist or tuck into fish and chips afloat? Decisions, decisions.

Shakespeare Live! From The RSC, Sussex-wide/ Folk music, Much Ado Books, Alfriston, 23 April


It’s Shakespeare Saturday. The 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death (also his birthday) is being marked across the land. The Royal Shakespeare Company has gathered some top actors for a star-studded production of key Shakespeare scenes, presented by David Tennant and shown live on BBC 2. If you fancy watching on a bigger screen find your nearest participating cinema by doing a postcode search here. Meanwhile, madrigals from Shakespeare’s time will be among the music from folk singer Joanna Burke who will be performing with fiddle and keyboards in Much Ado Books in Alfriston between 2.00pm and 4.00pm.

Fish and Chips Cruises, Chichester Ship Canal, 22 April and later dates 


Fish and chips cruises have just restarted for the season in Chichester. Departing within easy reach of the town centre, the two-hour voyages give you new views of the South Downs and cathedral. If you’re lucky you may even spot a kingfisher. Besides the fish supper, a glass of wine, or a beer or soft drink is included in the £16.50 price. Catch a cruise at 6.30pm on Friday 22, or book for the next on 20 May. There are also some Wednesday lunchtime slots.

Saddlescombe Farm Open Day, near Devil’s Dyke, 24 April

Saddlescombe half of perforated early bronze age granite hammer found at Saddlescombe Farm

See artefacts dating back thousands of years at a rare open day at Saddlescombe Farm. A large collection found on the site and archived by Brighton Museum will be on public display for the first time in a century in a new learning centre. The haul includes many stone tools up to 4,000-years-old from the lower Palaeolithic period and Bronze Age, plus pieces of Roman pottery, medieval floor tiles and prehistoric loom weights. There will also be tours of farm buildings, demonstrations of traditional skills like flint knapping, a farmers market and children’s games. Entry is adults £5, children £3, family £13.

Fairtrade festival, Burgess Hill, 22 – 30 April


A fairtrade ethos is the sort of thing you’d probably associate more with Brighton, but Burgess Hill has had fairtrade town status for the past ten years. To celebrate there’s a festival afoot, kicking off with The Big Session at Matlets hall – three hours of live music from The Askew Sisters, Bonfire Radicals, (pictured) Short Cover and The Red Star Thistles, with fairtrade wine availbale at the bar. A week of entertainment includes a fairtrade-themed music quiz (27 April), dinner with speech by Michael Gidney, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation (28 April) both at The Woolpack, and a Live Latin salsa night with DJ at Martlets. Festivites conclude with a performance by the London Community Gospel Choir (Martlets, 30 April).

Bluebell Walk, Sheffield Park, 27 April and 4 May


Sheffield Park is one of many places flagging up bluebell trails at the moment. Whip your camera out and join one of the guided walks to find pockets of the flowers in the gardens and woods beyond. Tickets cost £5. The website warns there’s steep and uneven terrain in places so probably not one for buggies or those with mobility problems.

Julian Clary: The Joy of Mincing, Brighton Dome, 23 April/ The Hawth, Crawley, 6 May, Congress Eastbourne, 18 May  


Can you believe it, it’s been 30 years since Julian Clary first graced our screens with his silent sidekick Fanny the Wonderdog perched on a stool beside him. In this show he promises to cover the ups and downs of his sordid love life and the true account of how he saved Dame Joan Collins’ life – now that intrigues me.  Tickets cost £23. 

Masterchef pop-up, H.en, Brighton, 24 April and 1 May


Masterchef finalist Tony Rodd (the one with the Victorian-looking waxed moustache) will be cooking up a storm in a special Polygon Pop-up at Brighton’s H.en restaurant – usually known for its high-welfare chicken or halloumi burgers . The 24 April menu includes trout, crab and watercress, and lamb, beetroot and salsa verde or vegetarion options like fennel, orange and quinoa. It costs £38.50 for four courses. There’s another pop-up on 1 May for the same price with a different menu inlcuding duck breast with poached plums (pictured).

Mayfield Festival of Music and Arts, 24 April – 8 May


Mayfield’s biannual festival is devoted primarily to classical music.  The curtain-raiser is Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate for Soprano and Orchestra which will be followed throughout the week with choral music, orchestral music, chamber music, liturgical music, folk music, film music, swing music and err pottery. It will end with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony into St Dunstan’s Church.  If you’re visiting the village for the music, check out Muddy-approved Flamingo Trends boutique and The Pink Cabbage Produce co.  cafe (see below) while you’re there.

Jools Holland, White Rock Theatre, Hastings, 28 April 


Pianist, Squeeze member, singer, composer, television presenter and saviour of the New Year’s Eve invite-less, Jools Holland will be playing tracks from across his entire solo career. He’ll be joined by his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and vocalist Ruby Turner plus special guests Pauline Black and Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson from Selecter. Tickets from £37 – £51. You can also catch him later on 19 May in Tunbridge Wells.

Pink Cabbage Produce Company, French Bistro Supperclub, Mayfield 29 April

supper clubs CNBEDVXWoAACc0D

The latest in the Pink’s Cabbage’s long line of superclubs is A French night. The menu’s yet to be poste donthe website but if the pictures of past events are anything to go by it’s sure to be mouthwatering. I know they tend to sell out early so nab a place while you can.  It’s £31.80 for four courses and BYO booze.


Lee Miller: A Woman’s War, Imperial War Museum, London until 24 April

web Irmgard Seefried, Vienna Opera House, Vienna, Austria 1945 by Lee Miller (315-87)

I loved this exhibition of the work of talented and audacious Vogue-model-turned-war-photographer Lee Miller and it closes this Sunday. See my review here. Also look out for a chance to see more of her work locally at the Friends’ Meeting House in Brighton during Artists’ Open Houses or at her Sussex home Farley House Farm, Chiddingly.



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