16 things to do in Sussex this November

Glow Wild. Photo: Jim Holden

Glow Wild. Photo: Jim Holden - Credit: Jim Holden / RBG Wakehurst

There’s lots going on this month, from Artists’ Open Houses in Brighton and a magical lantern trail at Wakehurst to an evening with Strictly stars in Crawley

Joanne and Kevin Clifton at The Hawth, Crawley

Joanne and Kevin Clifton at The Hawth, Crawley - Credit: Archant


21 November-13 December

Artists’ Open Houses

Venues across Brighton and Hove

When the May AOH festival had to be postponed, organisers of this much-loved citywide event decided to amalgamate it with the Christmas Artists’ Open Houses into one extended four-week extravaganza.

This is a great way to get some of your Christmas shopping done while supporting local creatives: there will be a whole range of artworks, ceramics, jewellery, prints, photography and a whole host of unusual Christmas presents, cards and other gifts.

Alongside the main Artists’ Open Houses festival will be a new Virtual Open Houses strand, which will include virtual tours of artists’ houses and studios and online galleries.

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Until 15 November

Drawn to Nature: Gilbert White and the Artists

Pallant House, Chichester

Since its publication over 200 years ago Gilbert White’s The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne has inspired generations of naturalists, writers and artists. It was an immediate success upon its publication in 1789 and has never been out of print. It has over 300 editions, many of which were illustrated by an array of exceptional artists.

This exhibition reveals the many different visions of Selborne and its wildlife inspired by White’s writings, created by artists such as Thomas Bewick, Eric Ravilious, John Nash and Gertrude Hermes. It includes original prints, blocks and the First Edition illustrated by Samuel Hieronymous Grimm.

Tickets: adults £12.50, under-18s free


Until 10 January 2021

Towner International

Towner, Eastbourne

This new biennial exhibition of contemporary art features 24 artists selected by an esteemed panel after responding to an open call. The Brewers Award of £10,000, sponsored by Brewers Decorator Centres, will be awarded to one of the exhibiting artists along with mentoring from the Towner team. Artists include: Adam Chodzko, Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, Alexi Marshall, Arpita Shah, Ayo Akingbade, Benedict Drew, Carla Wright, Ian Land, Jack Shearing, Joe Packer, Jonathan Baldock, Julia Crabtree and William Evans, Maeve Brennan, Marianne Fahmy, Mohammed Sami, Mu-Tien Tammy Ho, Omar Vega Macotela, Paul Becker, Rita Evans, Ryan Orme, Saskia Olde Wolbers, Sherko Abbas, Stuart Middleton.

Tickets: free

Until June 2021

Rock ‘n’ Roll with Me: Bowie MacCormack 1973-76

Brighton Museum

An evocative exhibition of intimate photographs taken by David Bowie by his close friend Geoff MacCormack, who toured with him in the Seventies. It covers Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane periods and the ground-breaking Diamond Dogs tour as well as filming of The Man Who Fell to Earth and the recording of Station to Station.

Tickets: TBC

Until 7 January 2021

Ron Arad 69 Newlands House Gallery

Ron Arad’s work has been featured in dozens of prestigious public collections and has been widely exhibited in record-breaking shows, including at the MoMA (NYC), the V&A (London) and the Centre Pompidou (Paris). This major retrospective of the pioneering artist, architect and industrial designer’s work is the gallery’s first exhibition devoted to design. It will include pieces from the 1980s and 1990s alongside more recent works, including unseen releases for 2020 presented against the backdrop of the gallery’s Georgian townhouse setting.

Admission: £12.50

19 September-16 May 2021

Art, Life and Us: Christine Binnie, Jennifer Binnie and the Towner Collection

Towner, Eastbourne

Christine Binnie and Jennifer Binnie have a long-standing connection with the Eastbourne area and grew up in Wannock, attending Eastbourne College of Art and Design which firmly established their identities as artists.

Along with Wilma Johnson, the sisters are founding members of The Neo Naturists, a performance art collective which evolved in the early 1980s in London. This exhibition will feature their own work alongside their collections from the gallery’s collection to guide the visitor through a journey exploring themes of nature, the body, meaning and the cycles of life.

Free entry

Opens 30 October

Autumn Exhibition

Moncrieff-Bray Gallery, near Petworth

This seasonal show will have a strong emphasis on sculpture with works by leading British contemporary sculptors arranged in the sculpture garden. Paintings will include works produced specially for the gallery by amongst others David Humphreys, Oona Campbell, Vivienne Williams, Anthony Garratt, Rosie Copeland and some early works by last month’s Sussex Life interviewee John Hitchens.

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1 November

Celebrating Sondheim: Sunday in the Park with Daniel

Chichester Festival Theatre

Following the huge success of Concert in the Park, CFT Artistic Director Daniel Evans hosts another dazzling cornucopia of music and song to celebrate musical legend Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday. He will be joined on the Festival Theatre stage by stars from the West End to perform numbers from some of Sondheim’s major and lesser-known works. Performers will include Gabrielle Brooks, Clive Rowe and Jenna Russell.

Proceeds from this fundraising concert will support Chichester Festival Theatre’s work with vulnerable young people.

Tickets from £10

6 and 7 November

An Evening with Kevin and Joanne Clifton

The Hawth, Crawley

Join Strictly Come Dancing Champion siblings Kevin and Joanne Clifton for an intimate show produced for a socially distanced audience. The pair will sing songs from their CD, tell stories of their dancing lives and perform some of your favourite ballroom and Latin dances with their professional dance partners.

This production is suitable for a socially distanced audience and is being created and toured with the audience, theatre staff, cast and crew’s safety at the forefront.

Tickets: £35

17 November

Rich Hall, Suzi Ruffell, Andrew Ryan

Chichester Festival Theatre

Renowned for his expertly crafted tirades and quick-fire banter with audiences, the award-winning Montana native Rich Hall returns to Chichester. The working-class comedian of her generation, Suzi Ruffell has had five sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival, racking up critical acclaim. Acting as MC is Andrew Ryan, one of the most in-demand acts on the UK comedy circuit.

Tickets: from £10

20 November

Russell Kane: Live

Pavilion Theatre, Worthing

Multi award-winning comedian, presenter, actor, author and scriptwriter Russell Kane is best known for the BBC Sounds podcast, Evil Genius although he was also the first comedian to win both the Edinburgh Award and Melbourne Comedy Festival’s Barry Award in one year. His many TV appearances include The Apprentice You’re Fired, Antiques Roadtrip, Live at The Apollo, Celebrity Juice and I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here Now.

Following the success of his sell-out tour The Fast and The Curious throughout UK and Ireland, Russell has extended it far into 2020.

Tickets: TBC

1-21 November

The Magic Flute


True love conquers all in a colourful fairy tale that pits the forces of darkness against truth, goodness and light.

Prince Tamino is on a quest: to rescue the beautiful Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night, who has been kidnapped by her father Sarastro. But is all really as it seems? With the help of bird-catcher Papageno, Tamino must brave not only dragons and the forces of darkness but trials of fire and water if he is to arrive at the truth and gain Pamina as his wife. This 90-minute abridged staged concert of The Magic Flute will be performed in English and is directed by Donna Stirrup.

Tickets: £40-60.


31 October-1 November 2020

Bluebell Railway On and Off the Rails

Sheffield Park Station

Book on a special service of The Pioneer and transport yourself to a bygone era when railway stations were a hub for the transportation of goods on and off the rails.

Your journey begins at Sheffield Park and the special timetable for these weekends gives you time to get off at Kingscote Station and Horsted Keynes Station to visit the displays and return again in the same private compartment. There will be a team-hauled goods train, shunting displays and vintage vehicles on display at the stations.

Trains depart from Sheffield Park Station at 10am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm. Third class compartment £75, first class compartment £115.

3 November Half-day bird safari with Sussex Wildlife Trust

Chidham, Chichester Harbour

A circular walk around the Chidham Peninsula looking across the harbour as waders and wildfowl begin gathering for winter. The walk covers a variety of habitats, hedgerows, small copses, mudflats and farmland which can provide a wide variety of species. There is a chance of a lingering osprey, a late wheatear or two, and it is a good place for wintering greenshank and spotted redshank.

These courses are popular. If they are fully booked please request to be placed on the waiting list as SWT may run more

Tickets: £16 members, £23 non-members

21 November-23 December

Santa’s Christmas Cottage

Drusillas, Alfriston

Experience winter magic first-hand as you bring your little ones to visit Santa Claus in his cosy Christmas Cottage, meet the lovable husky dogs in their ice cave, sample some festive food and drink and marvel at the giant Christmas tree.

Tickets: TBC

26 November-30 December

Glow Wild


Now in its seventh year, this enchanting lantern trail brings the gardens to life with glowing lanterns, mesmerising projections, immersive soundscapes, and flaming torches.

Marvel at the UK’s tallest living Christmas tree decorated with 1,800 lights and join in a celebration of the hidden heroes of the plant and fungal world, from a grain of pollen or fungus spore to a seed on the wind. One of the key events in Sussex’s Christmas calendar.

Family ticket £46, adult £15, children four-16 £9, under-fours free

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