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Things to do in Sussex this December

PUBLISHED: 11:13 04 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:16 05 December 2018

Ben Adams and Joanne Clifton in The Rocky Horror Show (Photo by Shaun Webb)

Ben Adams and Joanne Clifton in The Rocky Horror Show (Photo by Shaun Webb)


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


The Snowman - Until 6 January

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

Believe it or not, it’s been 40 years since Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman was first published, and since then it has captured the imaginations of children and adults alike across generations. Together with Penguin Ventures, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery is showcasing some of the stunning original artwork created by the Sussex based author and illustrator.

Something Glowing and Alive - Until 16 December

Martyrs’ Gallery, Lewes

This exhibition will celebrate the work of three luminaries of 20th century art, Marc Chagall, John Piper and Graham Sutherland. In association with Goldmark Gallery, prints, lithographs and original drawings will be on show, and all profits from sales will be donated to the St Michael’s Church Organ Appeal. Doors to the exhibition will be open between noon and 5pm from Thursdays to Sundays.

Hannah Perry: Gush - Until 27 January

Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne

Showcasing a new body of work by Hannah Perry, the collection will feature large scale dynamic sound sculptures, as well as a candid and personal exploration of mental and emotional health in our contemporary society. This is Perry’s first major UK art exhibition outside London.

Trio - 1-9 December

The Crypt Gallery, Seaford

Chris Hill, Tina McKenzie and Moira Wills have taken their inspiration from personal stories of people around the world, as well as from within Sussex itself. Each has acquired prestigious reputations both in the UK and abroad, with national collections including the V&A Museum.


Krater Christmas Parties - 30 November-22 December

Komedia Brighton

With performances by top comedians, delicious food and dancing until late, the Krater Christmas Parties are the ideal way to get into the festive spirit. The strong line-up includes Jen Brister, Rob Deering and The Noise Next Door, combined with a menu of hearty favourites such as slow roast pork belly. Tickets: from £48 per person.

Tabby McTat - 1-2 December

Connaught Theatre, Worthing

From the Sussex-based author of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson, Tabby McTat has become a firm favourite with younger children. Freckle Productions, tell the story of a busker’s cat with original songs and inventive puppetry. Tickets: £12.50, or £46 for a family of four.

Kate Rusby - 4 December

Brighton Dome

Joined by her multi-talented band and fabulous brass quintet, Kate Rusby presents her hugely popular Christmas concert. Tickets: £27.

Much Ado About Christmas - 4-22 December

Marlborough Theatre, Brighton

Bingo has never sounded so fun! Join Derek Daniels, aka Boogaloo Stu, and Lorraine Bowen for a festive game, complete with Christmas songs and a few Shakespeare quotes thrown in. Tickets: £12.

Christmas Concerts - 4-8 December

Chichester Festival Theatre

Fresh from releasing new album Lest We Forget, Chichester Cathedral Choir is joined by The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines for a night of Christmas classics. Tickets from £10.

Katie Melua - 6 December

Brighton Dome

Fifteen years on from her chart-topping debut, Katie Melua is back with her Ultimate Collection. With the Gori Women’s Choir. Tickets from £21.50.

Bridget Christie: What Now? - 8 December

Chichester Festival Theatre

The Edinburgh Comedy Award winner discusses everything from Trump to nuclear apocalypse. Tickets: £18.

The Rocky Horror Show - 13 December to 5 January

Theatre Royal, Brighton

Richard O’Brien’s show has been performed intenationally for more than 45 years. It is now back in Brighton by popular demand. Strictly Come Dancing champion Joanne Clifton plays Janet, alongside Stephen Webb as Frank and Ben Adams as Brad. Tickets from £13.

Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel Christmas Show - 19 December

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill

The journalist turned 1970s pop star Steve Harley performs hits such as Judy Teen, Mr Raffles and UK number one Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me). Tickets: £30.

Richard Durrant’s Candlelit Christmas Concert - 21 December

St Mary’s and St Peter’s Church, Wilmington

Richard Durrant shares music from the folk, pagan and Christian traditions, accompanied by vocalist Amy Kakoura and Nick Pynn on violin. Shows at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets: £16.


Plumpton Racecourse, December Fixtures

• Festive Fun Raceday – Monday 3 December: Gates open: 10:30am | First race: 12:30pm | Last race: 3:30pm

• Christmas Raceday – Monday 17 December: Gates open: 10:30am | First race: 12:35pm | Last race: 3:35pm

• Sussex National – Sunday 6 January: Gates open: 10:40am | First race: 12:40pm | Last race: 3:40pm

Glow Wild - 22 November – 16 December

Wakehurst, Ardingly

The paths of Wakehurst come alight with lanterns and fire installations for the fifth mesmerizing display. An avenue of oaks housing glowing native owls will welcome you on your arrival, and the mansion itself will be transformed with a stunning projection of a native wild flower meadow.

Phileas Foggs’ World of Adventures - From 24 November

Crowhurst Road, Hollingbury Industrial Estate, Brighton

Claiming to be a world first, this immersive theatrical adventure is the brainchild of Eastbourne businessman Graham Owen. A former police building has been transformed into a world of Victorian wonder by the set-building team behind Star Wars, James Bond and Harry Potter. The multi-million pound project features a mix of scare rooms, escape rooms and interactive experiences. As well as adult and family game options, there is also a Victorian-inspired bar, garden room, board room and snooker room. In December the whole space will be transformed into a winter wonderland. Tickets from £37.50.

Just So Christmas - 1 December – 6 January

Bateman’s, Burwash

The stories of Rudyard Kipling are weaving their magic around Bateman’s this Christmas, complete with handmade decorations in opulent fabrics inspired by the author’s travels around India. Tickets from £10.90/£5.45.

Badlyfest - 5 December


Festival of Christmas Trees - 7–9 December

The Church of Holy Cross, Uckfield

Holy Cross Church will become home to 100 Christmas trees in their annual spectacular display. Each tree is sponsored and decorated by local organisations, schools, charities and individuals. Guests will be treated to live entertainment, seasonal refreshments and hot lunches, as well as biscuit decorating and face painting for younger visitors. Entry is free but donations are much appreciated.

Dr Annie Gray - 13 December

Grove Road, Eastbourne

Food fans have a festive treat in store as BBC presenter, cook, writer and historian Dr Annie Gray, reveals the secret history of the Christmas Dinner, from medieval banquets to Edwardian feasts. Presenter of BBC2’s Victorian Bakers and The Sweetmakers at Christmas, Annie appears regularly on TV and radio as a food expert, working with the likes of James Martin, Heston Blumenthal and The Great British Bake Off.


Aladdin - 30 November - 1 January

Worthing Pavilion Theatre. See our interview with Dame Dave Lynn in our December issue. Tickets from £12.

Sleeping Beauty - 4 December - 6 January

The Capitol Horsham. Featuring Hollyoaks star James Fletcher and Bad Girls’ Nicole Faraday. Tickets from £22.50.

Aladdin - 7 December - 6 January

The Hawth, Crawley. With EastEnder Shaheen Jafargholi and Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner. Tickets from £18.50.

Cinderella - 7 December - 13 January

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne. Chris Jordan’s family favourite starring Tucker and Martyn Knight. Tickets from £14.50.

Peter Pan - 14-31 December

Attenborough Centre of the Creative Arts, Brighton. JW Productions’ homegrown follow-up to 2017’s Pinocchio. Tickets from £10.

Jack and the Beanstalk - 14-30 December

White Rock Theatre, Hastings. Starring EastEnder Michelle Collins and X Factor legend Chico. Tickets from £20.

Jack and the Beanstalk - 20-29 December

Hilton Brighton Metropole. Read our interview with writer Keris Lea in our December issue. Tickets from £19.99.


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