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Things to do in Sussex this month

PUBLISHED: 10:37 02 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:10 11 October 2017

Chloe Edwards-Wood and Alastair Norman in Dreamboats and Petticoats at Theatre Royal Brighton

Chloe Edwards-Wood and Alastair Norman in Dreamboats and Petticoats at Theatre Royal Brighton


We round up some of the best events and things to do across Sussex this month

Discover weekly events and photography in the links above

Wear it pink

This October, Breast Cancer Now is encouraging the UK public to dig out their pink glad rags for their flagship fundraiser, wear it pink, on Friday 20 October.

Wear it pink, the UK’s biggest pink fundraiser which takes place during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, calls on supporters to ditch their everyday colours and pull on some pink to raise money for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving breast cancer research.

The fundraising event, back for its 16th year, encourages supporters to hold events in their homes, schools and workplaces and make a donation to Breast Cancer Now to help the charity achieve its aim that by 2050 nobody will die from breast cancer.

The charity’s flagship fundraising day started in 2002 and has so far raised over £30 million for vital breast cancer research.


The Art of Puppetry: Making Magic in the Museum - Until 30 November

Hove Museum & Art Gallery, Hove

One of the oldest and most magical theatrical traditions is brought to life in this fabulous free family-friendly display of the world of puppets and puppetry artists. See the rich and colourful puppets, stage sets and paintings of several Sussex artists who explore old and new stories through their creations. Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 2pm-5pm, closed Wed.

William’s Footsteps and Other Paths - 21 September-3 October

The Grange, Rottingdean

An exhibition by artist Rafaele Appleby in William Nicholson’s house, The Grange in Rottingdean. William Nicholson was Rafaele’s great-grandfather and the exhibition is Rafaele’s response to him. Travelling in her mobile studio, she visited many of the places around Rottingdean where her great-grandfather used to paint, to gather inspiration for her paintings.

Chalk, Flint, Clay, Shore: Artists Working in Sussex - 23 September-5 November

Gallery57, Tarrant Street, Arundel

This exhibition shows paintings, drawings, mixed media, printmaking and ceramics by artists working in Sussex, including paintings by the winner of Sussex Life’s Landscape Artist of the Year 2016, David Scott Moore.

Oona Campbell: Cloudscapes - 30 September-21 October

Moncrieff-Bray Gallery, Egdean, Petworth

Oona has been familiar with Sussex since she was a student at Brighton Art School where she fell in love with the South Downs but is equally at home exploring the Highlands.

In this new series of paintings, Oona has focused on Petworth Park together with images of West Wittering and others from Scotland. They are united by the dramatic cloudscapes that roll across our skies and nature’s light effects, especially at dawn and dusk. Subjects range from Capability Brown’s carefully manipulated landscape of Petworth Park and the long sandy beach of West Wittering to the mist of an early morning on the Jurassic coast of Dorset and the wild moors of Scotland’s Applecross Peninsula.

Will Hanekom and Sarah Watson - 28 October-19 November

Regency Town House, 13 Brunswick Square, Hove BN3 1EH

Wonderland is a project by learning disabled artists Sarah Watson and Will Hanekom on a theme which has captured their imagination. The exhibition is new work in a variety of media, film, painting, illustration, drawing and photography. It is the first time Sarah and Will have exhibited their work together and the biggest exhibition of their work to date. Wonderland is a HOUSE Biennial Associate Artist Exhibition, supported by Arts Council England. Wednesday to Sunday 11-5 (Closed on Monday and Tuesday). Free entry.


King Lear - 22 September-28 October

Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Tender, violent, moving and shocking, King Lear is considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written. This is an explosive, charged and contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s epic masterpiece in the intimate setting of the Minerva Theatre with a top-flight cast including Sir Ian McKellen, Sinéad Cusack, Phil Daniels and Jonathan Bailey. Tickets from £20.

Battle Festival - 1-31 October

Highlights include international dancer and choreographer Joseph Toonga, guitar virtuoso and composer Eduardo Niebla who is one of the most potent forces in flamenco jazz fusion, demonstrations with artist in residence Martin Brockman, workshops with Glyndebourne Education, and a range of African storytelling, drumming and singing events with Indigenous People. The festival also features world-class classical concerts by some of the UK’s finest chamber musicians and soloists, plus literary, film, poetry, comedy and culinary events.

Hancock’s Half Hour - 7 October

The Capitol, Horsham

7.45pm. To celebrate more than 60 years of Hancock’s Half Hour, Dead Ringers impersonator James Hurn is performing three classic episodes, voicing the entire cast. Tickets: £14, concessions £12.

Dreamboats and Petticoats - 2-7 October

Theatre Royal, Brighton

7.45pm. Set in 1961, emotions are running high as young musicians Norman and Bobby compete to win a national songwriting competition and, more importantly, the attention of the gorgeous Sue. But when Bobby discovers that shy Laura is no slouch on the piano, love and rock and roll fame beckons. Thurs and Sat matinees 2.30pm. Tickets: £17.90-£46.90.

Private Lives - 10-14 October

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne

7.45pm. Strong passions and stronger personalities set the stage for a classic battle of the sexes. Full of razor-sharp wit and quick-fire dialogue, Private Lives is Noël Coward’s most popular and enduring stage comedy. Wed and Sat matinees 2.30pm. Tickets: £15.50-£21.50, under 16s and students £9, under 25s £10.

Gary Numan - 16 October

The Dome, Brighton

7pm. Electronic and industrial music pioneer Gary Numan on tour in support of the release of his new album Savage.

Gary Numan’s influence on electronic music has been recognised by a diverse array of the world’s greatest artists. Tickets: £31.50.

Fame - 17-21 October

The Old Market Theatre, Hove

Brighton Theatre Group Youth’s show follows the final class of New York City’s celebrated High School for the Performing Arts, from admission in 1980 to graduation in 1984. The struggles, fears, triumphs, prejudices, substance abuse and even the death of one of the students are depicted with razor-sharp focus as the young artists navigate the worlds of music, drama and dance.

Fame is recommended for all ages with parental discretion, as there is mild reference to substance abuse. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. Tues-Wed and Fri 7.30pm, Thurs and Sat 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets from £15, concessions available.

Brighton Early Music Festival: Roots - 27 October-12 November

Brighton Early Music Festival 2017 explores the origins of some of classical music’s best-loved forms. This is the festival’s biggest ever offering with more than 30 events taking place this autumn.

The 2017 festival has the title Roots with flagship events including two new opera productions – Monteverdi’s Orfeo and Rameau’s Pygmalion which bookend the early period of operatic development.

The festival is known for championing young artists through its scheme for emerging ensembles, Early Music Live! This year groups include the Consone String Quartet, Ensemble Molière, Musica Poetica and the Little Baroque Company.

Folk enthusiasts can enjoy performances by Old Blind Dogs with singer Siobhan Miller and The Askew Sisters. Tickets for all festival events from £5 to £28.


Shoreham Wordfest 2017 - 28 September-19 October

Modernism: writing a new world. This year’s festival looks back at the impact of the radical writers, artists and thinkers who lived in Sussex in the early 20th century, and looks forward at Sussex Modernism now; new writing, new thinking and how to make sense of a challenging and changing world.

Highlights include an exhibition of images from the Farley Arts Trust in the Ropetackle café, a play about the life of iconic photographer and model Lee Miller and an evening with poets Attila the Stockbroker and Murray Lachlan Young.

House Biennial - 30 September-5 November

Across Brighton and Hove

Having previously run alongside the Brighton Festival in May, House is back as an autumn biennial festival. And for its first year in this new format it is following the theme of Excess with exhibitions and film screenings. Alongside lead artist Laura Ford, who is taking inspiration from the Prince Regent as featured in last month’s Sussex Life, there are commissioned displays and events by Natasha Caruna, whose immersive Timely Tale is set in a medical waiting room, a joint exhibition using recycled materials by Andrew Omoding and Antony Stevens, and a community piece by Becky Warnock created with Brighton Table Tennis Club.

Cuckfield Book Festival - 6-8 October

Featuring a packed programme of talks, discussions and workshops, the festival includes a great mix of authors such as Dame Harriet Walter DBE, Sir Anthony Seldon, Anne Sebba, crime novelist Elly Griffiths, Damian Barr and ghostwriter Andrew Crofts.

Big Fish Little Fish - 7 October

Stanmer House, Stanmer Park, Brighton

Award-winning family rave Big Fish Little Fish is coming to Brighton for the first time. The event is for children aged up to eight years old, encouraging all family members to join in. This animal fantastical-themed party brings together top DJs playing electronic music tailored for adults as much as their children, fun craft, face painting and play activities for children, and a multi-sensory dancefloor experience with glitter cannons, bubble machines and giant balloons.

Autumn Countryside Show - 7-8 October

Weald & Downland Museum, Singleton, near Chichester

10.30am-5pm. The festival celebrates and showcases many traditional countryside activities. Experience the sights and sounds of the countryside, and celebrate the end of the harvest at this wonderful seasonal show.

Kemp Town Community Market - 14-28 October

St James’s Street, Kemp Town, Brighton

Local producers, suppliers, art makers, traders and charity stalls from Kemp Town, Brighton and Sussex all join together to sell handmade and homemade food produce, arts and crafts, retro and vintage, in the splendid surroundings of St Mary’s Church, in Kemp Town, Brighton.

Free admission, disabled access, children’s crèche facilities, teas and coffees.

Harvest, Hops and Horseracing - 15 October

Goodwood Racecourse, Goodwood, Chichester

The season finale has a relaxed, laidback feel with the atmosphere of a harvest festival. Featuring real ales and craft beers, roaring fire pits, roast chestnut stalls, traditional hog roasts plus rural pursuits and crafts.

Make and Create Hobby Fair - 22 October

Holiday Inn Hotel, Brighton

10am-4pm. More than 40 exhibitors will delight all knitting, sewing, needlecraft, stamping, paper craft and quilting enthusiasts.

The event will be the ideal place for makers, designers and artisans to stock up with a wide range of products. Plus see new innovations and techniques.

Demonstrations and Make and Take Workshops with complete beginners to expert masterclasses will be taking place all day. Admission £3 in advance and under 16s go free.

Moorcroft Racehourse Welfare Centre Raceday - Monday 23 October


Giddy up for the annual Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre Charity Raceday. Kicking off proceedings is the infamous Shetland Pony race followed by 7 horse races.

Mud, Mess and Marshmallows - 24 October

Sussex Wildlife Trust

Seven Sisters Country Park, near Seaford BN25 4AD

10.30am-3pm. Bring the family for a messy adventure in the woods. Toast some marshmallows round the campfire. There will be lots of fun activities – build a den, hunt for bugs, make a mud monster and lots more.

Suitable for children aged five to 11 years old. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Drop-in event (no booking) – donations appreciated. Meet at the Pump Barn behind the visitor centre. Car park fees apply – pay and display.

Museums at Night - 26-28 October

Across Sussex

Hundreds of UK museums, galleries and historic spaces will be opening their doors after dark to put on a fantastic array of special nighttime events. Many events are free.

Spooky Events in Sussex

• 14/15 and daily 21-29 October Pumpkin and Spook Fest, Tulleys Farm, Turners Hill

• 21-29 October Halloween Shriek Week, Drusillas Park, Alfriston

• 21-29 October Halloween Hunt and Pumpkin Prowl, Alfriston Clergy House, Polegate

• 21-29 October Spellbinding Halloween, Borde Hill Garden, Borde Hill Lane, Haywards Heath

• 20-29 October Folklore and Fairy Tale Trail, Bateman’s, Burwash

• 25-27 October Hijack Halloween, workshops at 10am, noon and 2pm, Komedia, Gardner Street, Brighton

• 28-29 October Crones’ Corner, Bodiam Castle, Robertsbridge

• 28-29 October Halloween Weekend, Michelham Priory, Upper Dicker, Hailsham

• 21-29 October Halloween Fun, Newhaven Fort, Newhaven

• 23-27 October Petworth Academy for Witches and Wizards, Petworth House and Park

• 27 October Halloween Horrors, Sussex Wildlife Trust, Woods Mill, Henfield

• 28 October Halloween Trail, Amberley Museum, Amberley, Arundel

• 29 October Myminidisco – Halloween Special, Komedia, Gardner Street, Brighton

National Trust Autumn Colour in Sussex

As long summer nights give way to cooler autumn days, the colours in the trust’s glorious gardens slide gently into warming tones.

Visit Sheffield Park and Garden, Bateman’s and Standen in East Sussex and Nymans, Petworth House and Park, Uppark House and Garden, the Slindon Estate and Woolbeding in West Sussex to enjoy autumn colour. Or download a 4km Kipling Countryside walk from the trust website starting from his East Sussex Burwash home Bateman’s.


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