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What’s On in Sussex this week

Thurs 20 - Fri 28 Sept 2018

Rain Man, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne Wed 19 Sept – Sat 22 Sept (and Brighton Oct 15 -20)

Starring Gavin & Stacey’s Matthew Horne and Downton Abbey’s Ed Speleers and based on the Oscar-winning film with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman, it’s the funny and tear-jerking story of self-centred salesman Charlie Babbitt who finds out he has a long-lost older brother, Raymond – autistic savant – who has inherited the family fortune. Charlie sets out to get ‘his half’ of the cash via a road trip that ends up bringing the men together. It’s on in Eastbourne this week with adult tickets from £19, then Brighton in Oct.

Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Thurs 20 – Sat 29 Sept (and Hastings Oct 22-27)

Think you could manage to see Dirty Dancing one more time? Of course you could. The stage musical version, lift, watermelon and all is coming to the Brighton for a run of just over a week. Tickets are from £21.90. It’s also coming to Hastings‘ White Rock Theatre Tues 23 – Sat 27 Oct.

#HolidayInspirations Show, Salomons Estate, Tunbridge Wells, Sat 23 Sept

Back from your summer hols and in need of planning next year’s break? Get all your holiday inspo under one roof when a long list of tour operators covering adventure, safari, luxury, cruise and more gather for Baldwins Travel Group’s #HolidayInspirations Show, at stunning Salomons Estate. Better still, when you book your free tickets you can enter the Prize Draw to win a seven-night holiday for two to Antigua (pictured) courtesy of Caribtours and Blue Waters.

Wisdom of a Fool, The Capitol, Horsham, Fri 28 Sept

From the 1950s onwards Norman Wisdom entertained millions with his hapless slapstick routines on stage and screen.
Jack Lane has brought the star’s crazy clowning back into the spotlight on this tour, wearing the actual ill-fitting ‘gump’ suit that Norman wore, loaned by the Wisdom family. His act has been getting standing ovations – see it for yourself when it comes to Horsham at the end of Sept. Tickets are £18.50.

Lewes Fossil Fest, Linklater Pavilion, Lewes, Sun 23 Sept

Dinosaur crazy kids? Bring them along to the Lewes Fossil Festival on Sun 23 Sept where there will be films, craft activities and even real dinosaur bones. The fun runs 11am-3pm at the Linklater Pavilion. Entry is £3 per child, grown-ups go free.

Harvest Food and Wine Pairing, Wiston Estate, Washington, Wed 26 Sept and Fri 5 Oct

Lovely Wiston Estate, where this year’s Muddy Award winners’ drinks were held, is hosting two food and wine pairing events. Enjoy a talk about the estate, a tractor trailer ride visit to the winery, then a tutored tasting of four sparkling wines with local produce from the likes of Charlie’s Trout, Noble and Stace chocolates, The Artisan Bakehouse and more. The 26 Sept event will be a lunch, the 5 Oct one will start at 6.30pm. Tickets are £30. Regular tours are also available. Select which you want from the drop down menu on the link.

Austentatious, Brighton Dome, Sun 23 Sept 

Austentatious, What's On in Sussex

Photo by Robert Viglasky

The hugely popular Austentatious show takes the bonnets and conventions of Jane Austen and throws them into a ridiculous improvised story based on an audience suggestion. Haddock and Hostages is a memorable one I’ve seen before and I’m looking forward to the next instalment! Fancy it yourself? Tickets are from £16.

Family Race Day Plumpton Racecoure, Sun 23 Sept

There’s a Family Raceday coming up at Plumpton on Sun 23 Sept with rides, face painting and Paw Patrol heroes to meet throughout the day as well, of course as horse racing. The Muddy clan enjoyed the one at Easter – dog too as four-legged friends are allowed on a lead in the central picnic area. Advance tickets are from £13 & under-18s go free!

Evita, The Hawth, Crawley, Tues 18 Sept – Sat 22 Sept (and Brighton 30 Oct – 3 Nov)

Photo by Pamela Raith

Dont cry for me… I’ve got tickets for Evita and if you haven’t and you want some you need to get on it quick. The latest production of the well-loved Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is coming to Crawley with limited availability already on some nights. It then heads to Brighton next month. Watch Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, journey from humble beginnings to extraordinary wealth and power via some famous tunes.

King Lear, National Theatre Live, various cinemas, Thurs 27 Sept

Ian McKellen takes the lead in the National Theatre’s latest production of King Lear broadcast live to cinemas across the land on Thurs 27 Sept. The modern staging is an original Chichester Festival Theatre production so kudos for Sussex. It’s worth stomaching the eye-gouging scene to see McKellen in action, so find your nearest cinemas with a screening via the link below.

Snailspace, Brighton, Sat 15 Sept – 18 Nov

Remember the Snowdogs? Well the street art concept is back and this time it’s giant snails invading the streets of Brighton. 50 sculptures have been decorated by artists and will later be auctioned to raise money for Martlets hospice. Celebrity sponsors with personalised creations include Peter James and Fatboy Slim. Follow the snail trail by picking up a map or downloading the app.

Hurst Festival, Hurstpierpoint, Sat 15 – Sun 30 Sept 

This South Downs village punches above its weight when it comes to festival time with a packed programme spanning arts, laughs and family events. On the music side there’s jazz, blues, classical and Mark Chadwick from The Levellers, while other events include Hurst Open Studios, bushcraft for kids, a comedy night, a family food forage, a Jimmy Hill tribute night (he was a local) and even a pig walk.

Flowers for Mrs Harris, Chichester Festival Theatre, Sat 8 – Sat 29 Sept

Clare Burt, Joanna Riding and Gary Wilmot lead the cast for Flowers for Mrs Harris, based on the novella by Paul Gallico. In the post-war years, Ada Harris spends her days dusting, darning, polishing and scrubbing. But her first glimpse of a ravishing Christian Dior dress sets her off on a journey that will change her life forever, as she in turn transforms those around her. Tickets are from £10.

Empathy Museum: A Mile in My Shoes, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex, Brighton, 14-23 Sept 

Here’s a great idea. The Empathy Museum’s acclaimed immersive installation A Mile in My Shoes will be open – in a giant pop up shoe box – at Sussex Uni’s Attenborough Centre. Visitors are invited to walk a mile – literally – in someone else’s shoes, listening to their story on headphones. From a Syrian dentist to an Australian sex worker, a florist to a sheep farmer, there’s a diverse collection of audio stories and shoes from all over the world. Each story lasts 10 minutes and the museum will be open 11am-5pm daily. Entry is free.

Scalamara Film Festival, Brighton and other Sussex locations, Sat 1 – Sun 30 Sept

Film buff? Cinema festival Scalamara runs throughout Sept, showcasing classic, rare and locally-made films. Seaford, Redout Fortress Eastbourne, Isfield, Hastings, Worthing, Lingfield, Forest Row and Hurstpierpoint all have special community screenings but Brighton and Hove has the biggest glut of events including a women over 50 film showcase and a screening of 1928 film The Passion of Joan of Arc with a live score.


Artisan Bakehouse autumn public opening, Ashurst, 4 Sept – 28 Sept, and workshops, various dates

Feast on expertly made treats at Artisan Bakehouse at Ashurst near Steyning every Tues, Weds, Thurs and Friday from 4 Sept to 28 Sept. It’s open from 12am to 5pm on these dates for seasonal handmade lunches, puddings, cakes and cream teas with freshly-baked warm breads and scones. It’s best to book ahead to ensure a slot. Also check out the workshops coming up, including a chance to make festive macrons that’s sure to sell out in advance.

Music for Aardvarks, new term and free trail sessions, Brighton and Hove, from Thurs 6 Sept

Got a wee one and need an antidote to twee sing-alongs? Check out Brighton and Hove’s Music For Aardvarks, which uses rock ‘n’ roll, blues, indie and folk to enthuse children… and stop adults feeling like they’re losing their minds. The new term starts 6 Sept and you can join a free trial class. Some of the songs are real ear-worms, I warn you!

Women + Activism, film season, Depot, Lewes, throughout Sept

Lewes cinema, Depot Lewes, Lewes Depot Cinema, independent cinema lewes, independent cinema sussex

This season of films and events at Depot is sharing feminist stories of revolution. Asking ‘one hundred years since the first women got the vote in the UK, fifty years since the protests of May ’68, where is the feminist revolution now?’ I caught a film here the other week and it was such a nice experience. Come early for the bar and a bite to eat.

Various shows, Brighton Open Air Theatre, until 30 Sept

B.O.A.T in Dyke Road Park is a lovely space to lounge with a picnic and catch adults and kids shows, comedy and more. The Sept programme includes The Railway Children (2 Sept), The Wizard of Oz (29 Sept) and the Brighton Beach Boys (30 Sept).


Wine Rebellion Tour, Brighton, Sat 29 Sept

More wine tasting opportunities are coming up courtesy of Brighton Food Tours who run the VIB (Very Independent Brighton) walks. The expert scoffers are turning to drink – in the best possible way –  with Wine Rebellion Tours – ‘anti-snobbery’ visits and tastings at some of the city’s best quaffing spots. There’s one coming up on Sat 29 Sept and another on Sat 17 Nov. It’s £65 for three hours with sommelier guiding and samples.

Jason Donovan and the Amazing Midlife Crisis, The Capitol, Horsham 26 Sept/ Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Thurs 18 Oct

He’s certainly got a good line in self-deprecating humour. Celebrating his 50th birthday and with a wealth of tantalising tales under his belt, this autobiographical show will zigzag back and forth through Jason Donovan’s life, with stories about Neighbours, Ten Good Reasons, Kylie, Joseph, I’m A Celebrity, Strictly and more. He’s back at Horsham after a stint a few months back and in Eastbourne in Oct. The show includes an audience Q&A.

Small Wonder festival, Charleston, Firle, near Lewes, Fri 28 – Sun 30 Sept 

I love a good short story and the form is enjoying something of a resurgence. Charleston is ahead of the curve with its annual Small Wonder festival, an atmospheric occasion that bring together author talks, workshops and performance in a huge marquee. Among sessions, The wonderful Lionel Shriver of We Need to Talk About Kevin fame will be highlighting US satirical writing along with Tom Rachman and Sarah Churchwell in ‘Land of the Free’.

Wefifo at Waitrose with Lerato, Hove, Thurs 27 Sept

Roasted plantain, aubergine and tomatoes from a previous Lerato feast

African foodie Lerato, who runs wonderful supperclubs in Eastbourne and Brighton, has teamed up with Waitrose for a pop-up feast in Hove. It will combine the best of British and African produce and flair in a sociable sharing table format. Expect stew, roasted aubergine, spicy banana fritters and more. Tickets are £45, including matched wines. Look out too for her Sussex cooking classes.

Shipley Arts Festival concert, Windlesham House School, Washington, Sun 30 Sept

Fancy soothing your soul with a bit of classical? As part of the Shipley Arts Festival the Bernardi Music Group / Stradivarius Piano Trio will close the month at Windelsham House School performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no.3 BWV 1048; Mozart’s piano concerto no. 12 K.414 and Mendlessohn’s Octet in E flat major op.20. Tickets are £36.50 including canapes and Wiston sparkling wine. Proceeds will support the school’s Windlesham Foundation.

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