Events and things to do in Sussex - April 2016

PUBLISHED: 11:59 24 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:59 24 March 2016

London Harness Horse Parade (

London Harness Horse Parade (

Our guide to the best events in and around Sussex. Edited by Erica Gilbert

The London Harness Horse Parade - 28 March

South of England Centre, Ardingly

This year’s annual event celebrates the 50th anniversary of the amalgamation of The London Cart Horse Parade (first started in 1885) and the London Van Horse Parade (started in 1904). It depicts transportation through the ages.

Into the West - 1-2 April

Corn Exchange, Brighton: 01273 709709

Travelling Light introduces a new generation of audiences to this internationally acclaimed story of grit and magic, love and loss, hope and discovery. For age seven and above.

Times vary. Tickets: £10, Easter Holiday family of four ticket £60.

Sir Thomas Allen and Joseph Middleton - 8 April

St Albans Church, Frant

8pm. Britain’s favourite baritone returns to St Alban’s church and the Frant Music Festival with a Programme of Vaughan Williams, Butterworth and traditional songs, accompanied by Frant’s popular pianist, Joseph Middleton. Doors open 7.30pm. Tickets £20. For more information, email, tel: 01892 752661 or visit the website.

Dogs Don’t Do Ballet - 8-9 April

Biff is a dog, but he’s not your usual kind of dog. Instead of chasing sticks and fetching newspapers, Biff loves tutus, tiaras and ballet! Watch as Biff sneaks into the class of the fearsome ballet teacher, Miss Polly, practises pirouettes in the park and finally gets to go to the ballet. Featuring music from Fauré, Elgar and Tchaikovsky, this ballet is also an ideal introduction for young children to classical music.

Join Ballet Black for their first family ballet, based on the bestselling book by Anna Kemp and choreographed by Christopher Marney. Full of fun, magic and one very special dog. Suitable for the whole family, three years and above. Times vary. Tickets: £12, Family of four £40.

Connaught Theatre, Worthing: 01903 206206

Sussex Wildlife Trust Beginning Nature Photography - 9 and 10 April

10am-4pm. Learn how to make a good wildlife picture really stunning by joining Sussex Wildlife Trust’s nature photography workshop led by professional wildlife photographer David Plummer.

This two-day course held at Woods Mill nature reserve at Henfield will offer wonderful opportunities to photograph wildlife with help and advice from an expert to produce that really special picture.

Please bring your own camera and equipment, a packed lunch, notebook and pen. Stout footwear and clothing suitable for the weather recommended.

Booking is essential. For further information, costs and online booking please visit or call 01273 497561

Blake - 9 April

7.30pm. Brit-Award winning vocal group Blake are back on tour in the UK with a highly anticipated new show. Mixing pop, classical and musicals they will be joined on stage by award-winning choirs, live instrumentalists and special guests. Tickets £21.

White Rock Theatre, Hastings; 01424 462288

Dr John Cooper Clarke - 14 April

7.30pm. Dr John Cooper Clarke shot to prominence in the 1970s as Britain’s best-loved and most important performance poet. He is as vital now as in his heyday, when his satirical and very funny verse, delivered in a unique rapid-fire performance style, resonated with the punk movement.

His latest show touring across the world is a mix of classic verse, extraordinary new material, and hilarious ponderings on modern life. Age 14 and above. Tickets: £19.50, £21.50, students £15, £17.50.

Connaught Theatre, Worthing: 01903 206206

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour - 15 April

7.30pm. Experience an evening of extraordinary short films from the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival. Follow the expeditions of some of today’s most incredible adventurers, see amazing footage of adrenaline-packed action sports and be inspired by thought-provoking pieces shot from far flung corners of the globe. Tickets: £15, £13 concessions.

Concert Hall, Brighton Dome, Brighton: 01273 709709

Bluebells with The National Trust

Now that spring has arrived, here are some of the best places in Sussex to visit to spot dramatic carpets of bluebells:

• The Slindon Estate, near Arundel: woodland flowers such as violets, primroses and wood anemones can be found in abundance, but the real springtime star is the carpets of bluebells that cover the woods.

• Nymans, Handcross, near Haywards Heath: there are carpets of delicately scented bluebells in the wild garden at Nymans, and throughout the ancient woodland.

Sheffield Park and Garden, Uckfield: the bluebells enhance and contrast beautifully with the naturalised planting in the historic ‘Capability’ Brown designed garden and its wider parkland, creating a spectacular spring show.

• Standen, East Grinstead: bluebell fans are spoilt for choice at Standen, which offers several areas of bluebell coverage totalling around 20 acres. The most popular site is the four acres of bluebells within Rockinghill Wood, followed by Hollybush Wood.

London Philharmonic Orchestra - 17 April

3pm. The LPO is joined by classical guitar superstar Milos, who will transport you to 1950s Spain with Rodrigo’s Fantas a para un gentilhombre – based on six Spanish folk dances. Closing the concert are excerpts from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet ballet music in celebration of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary year. Tickets: £13-£29. Under 16s and students £5, family of four £40.

Congress Theatre Eastbourne: 01323 412000

Gregory Porter - 19 April

7.30pm. Grammy Award-winning jazz and soul singing sensation Gregory Porter will be coming to Brighton as part of his 2016 tour. Tickets: £32, £39.50, £44.50.

Concert Hall, Brighton Dome, Brighton: 01273 709709

Of Mice and Men 2016 - 19-23 April

7.45pm. Set in America during the Great Depression, this classic play tells the story of George and Lennie, two migrant farm workers who go in search of new beginnings in the hope of attaining their shared dream of putting together enough money to buy a small piece of land and building a home.

After a long and exhausting journey, the pair arrive at a farm in California where they seek work. But they are no strangers to trouble and soon find themselves reeling from the fallout of an innocent misunderstanding which spirals out of control and leaves the two men, bound together by friendship, facing an earthshattering climax. Thursday and Saturday matinees 2.30pm. Tickets: £11.90-£36.40.

Theatre Royal, Brighton: 0844 871 7650

Worbey and Farrell: Four Hands, One Piano! - 22 April

7pm and 10.30pm. Two one-hour evening performances in the wonderful music room at Brighton’s Royal Pavilion.

Come and be amazed by Worbey and Farrell…where four hands and one piano raise the roof. Following sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival, and prestigious venues around the world, the internationally acclaimed piano duo bring their unique take on the world’s greatest music to the Royal Pavilion’s Music Room for one night only. Expect spectacular arrangements, original compositions and utterly sensational pianoplaying. Tickets: £32.50, book in advance (includes a pre-show glass of white wine/soft drink).

For tickets tel: 03000 290902.

Tulip Festical - 22 April-7 May

Ticehurst, Near Wadhurst, East Sussex

11am-5pm. The Tulip Festival was initiated to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the tulip’s arrival in Europe from Persia. In late spring 30,000 tulips of over 100 varieties create dazzling displays in every flower bed, pot and border at Pashley. Entrance £10.50.

The Garden Show at Firle Place nr Lewes - 22-24 April

10am-5pm daily. Plenty of garden-related gifts, artisan work, craft and home products, garden furniture, sundries and the most delicious country foods.

Firle Arts and Craft Market will again be held in the beautiful Old Georgian Riding School showcasing local art and design work. There is the Fabulous Flower Festival and ‘Herbal and Healthy’ refreshments in St Peters Church (rumour has it there will even be sheep and lambs in the church).

Plant Doctors Steve and Val Bradley will be back by popular request to help solve gardening problems and whilst they are on their lunch break various exhibitors will be using their tent to chat about plants, planting and other aspects of gardening. Tickets: adults £7, seniors £5, child £3, (four years and under go free), family £18 (two adults and four children). Telephone: 01243 538456.

Wakehurst Place in April

• 12 April - 6 September Badger Watching evenings - This year’s Badger Watching evenings for adults and children run on Tuesday evenings and cost £12 for adults and £6 for children. To book, please call 01444 894067.

• 24 and 29 April Walks to Celebrate Spring - Guided walks of various durations from 45 minutes to two hours. All walks leave from the ‘Guide Meeting Point’ and are free of charge.

For more information telephone 01444 894067 |

Mayfield Festival of Music and the Arts - 24 April-8 May

The Mayfield Festival of Music and the Arts is an English arts festival primarily devoted to classical music, also featuring chamber, jazz and film. It is a biennial event centred in the ancient and beautiful village of Mayfield in East Sussex, just south of the spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra - 28 April

7.30pm. Jools Holland will be performing tracks spanning his entire solo career as well as songs taken from his new duets album Sirens Of Song. Also featuring the astounding vocals power of Ruby Turner. Tickets: £37-£41.

White Rock Theatre, Hastings: 01424 462288

Latest from the Sussex Life