Easter family fun

Stuck for something to do in the Easter fortnight? The National Trust has a few suggestions – such as a Jungle Book trail at Rudyard Kipling’s old Sussex home Bateman’s, a lamb trail (naturally) at Rye’s Lamb House and a dragon eggs-travaganza at Bodiam Castle. Outside of the trust there are more family days out at Leonardslee Gardens with an Easter trail and the launch of a new art walk featuring more than 100 works organised by the Surrey Sculpture Society; preschoolers’ favourite Bluey is taking over Wakehurst; Borde Hill has a pirate adventure courtesy of Bertram Bunny; and Arundel Castle is launching its 2024 season with a Medieval Weekend. Check websites for tickets.

Bateman’s, Burwash, March 23-April 14, 10am-4pm; Lamb House, Rye, March 24-April 2, 11am-4pm; Bodiam Castle, March 29-April 14, 10am-4pm,; Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens, Lower Bedding, near Horsham, from March 29, 9am-5pm,; Wakehurst, March 27-April 14, from 10am,; Borde Hill, Haywards Heath, March 23-April 14, 10am-5pm,; Arundel Castle, Good Friday-Easter Sunday,


Community Programme Fundraising Exhibition

Having a creative life isn’t just reserved for people who can afford private studios or airy loft spaces in big cities. Pallant House’s Community Programme gives up to 250 people access to both the gallery and creative workshops. This exhibition will display works for sale donated by those taking part in the programme, with 100 per cent of proceeds being match-funded and donated to Partners in Art and future community work.

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until March 31, free,


Alison Goldfrapp

The eponymous frontwoman of synthpoppers Goldfrapp has struck out on her own with debut album The Love Invention, hoping to build on her band’s phenomenal success – having boasted nominations for Mercury Music, Brit and Grammy Awards, alongside bagging two Ivor Novellos.

Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Saturday, March 2, doors 7pm, from £39.50,


Joe Wells: King of the Autistics

There are 700,000 autistic people in the UK – so perhaps, understandably, two years ago Joe Wells decided to put himself forward as their king. Unfortunately, it all went wrong, as detailed in the YouTube star’s follow-up to his acclaimed I Am Autistic.

The Old Market, Hove, Saturday, March 2, 7.30pm, £15,


Anna Mieke

Nostalgia, family, memory, death and dreaming are all explored in Wicklow vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Anna Mieke’s surreal soundtrack, mixing lyrical folk and a dreamy acoustic sensibility.

The Folklore Rooms, Brighton, Saturday, March 2, 7.30pm, £14,


The Sooty Show

Considering he’s celebrating 75 years in showbiz, Sooty doesn’t seem too threadbare. Now on his third helper – Richard Cadell, who took the troublesome bear on from creator Harry Corbett’s son Matthew – the birthday celebration will also feature juggler Michael Jordan alongside Soo and bone-brained Sweep. Also at The Hawth, Crawley, on April 6.

Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, Saturday, March 2, 11am and 2.30pm, from £20,


The Society of Sussex Painters, Sculptors and Printmakers

When it launched in 1924 The Society of Sussex Painters, Sculptors and Printmakers was a contemporary of the Bloomsbury Group. The society, which stretches across East and West Sussex, held their inaugural show at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery, so it seems fitting that the 20-strong group has returned there for this centenary show.

Worthing Museum and Art Gallery, March 2-June 2, 10am-5pm, Wed, Fri and Sat, 10am-8pm Thurs, 11am-3pm Sun, free,


Connor Burns: Vertigo

A chance to catch an upcoming comedy star in an intimate space as Scot Connor Burns heads out on his debut national tour. Among the topics covered in this Edinburgh Fringe hit are coping with the cost-of-living crisis with a big family, his fascination with accents and why he won’t drink with Millennials. Komedia Studio, Brighton, Saturday, March 2, 7.30pm, £12.50,



Todd Boyce and Neil McDermott star in this classic two-hander by Anthony Schaffer – made famous on the big screen by Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. In the director’s chair is Rachel Kavanagh, whose work has been seen at the RSC, Chichester Festival Theatre and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, making this a top-flight night of tense double cross as a young man is unwittingly drawn into a mystery writer’s real-life web of deceit.

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, March 4-9, 7.45pm, 2.30pm matinees Wed and Sat, from £23.50,



English Touring Theatre brings Shakespeare’s tragedy – and the scourge of theatricals everywhere – to the stage in the first of two new productions this month. This contemporary version sees an ambitious couple spot an opportunity as a divided nation tears itself apart. Sound familiar?

Connaught Theatre, Worthing, March 5-8, 7.30pm, 2pm matinees Wed and Fri, from £16,

Music and Spoken Word

Vivid: A Reigning Women Celebration

Arguably the centre piece of The Old Market’s Reigning Women season is a showcase of new female talent, from soul vocalist Scarlett Fae to spoken word artist AFLO.The Poet. More shows in the season this month include Rosy Carrick getting musclebound on March 3, comedy from Jessica Fostekew on March 22, and a performance by Ceyda Tanc Dance on March 16-17.

The Old Market, Hove, Thursday, March 7, doors 7.30pm, from £10,


Fiona Allen: On The Run

Smack the Pony star Fiona Allen is on the road for her debut tour following a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, exploring family, marriage (to Sir Michael Parkinson’s son Mike), supermarket dress codes, sex robots and passive-aggressive school mums.

The Forge, Brighton, Thursday, March 7, 8pm, £17.72,


Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra: Mighty River - Celebrating Women

To mark International Women’s Day, BPO musical director Joanna McGregor has selected a programme of female composers, including British/Jamaican Eleanor Alberge’s Clouds, Errollyn Wallen’s exploration of slavery and freedom Mighty River and the Mississippi River Suite by the first African-American symphonic composer Florence Price.

Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Friday, March 8, 7.30pm, from £13,



To mark the release of a career-spanning best of collection, Glorious, Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward are making a series of personal appearances in HMV stores across the country, starting with Brighton.

HMV, Brighton, Friday, March 8, noon, free entry with preorder of Glorious,


Tom Houghton: It’s Not Ideal

His dad, General the Lord Houghton, was the ex-Chief of Defense Staff, so Houghton senior must be delighted with the career path his son has taken. Tom broke through to the mainstream last year by starring in Netflix hit The Circle and hosting both Very British Problems: Live and the Bad Manors podcast. Also at The Hawth, Crawley, on Friday, March 8.

The Forge, Brighton, Thursday, March 7, 8pm, from £14.50,


Geoff Norcott: Basic Bloke

Life as a self-confessed Tory comedian can’t be easy when the party he supports is making such a laughing stock of themselves. This new tour sees the star of Have I Got News For You and Eight Out of 10 Cats try to make sense of the current cultural and political scene by exploring how they affect the average bloke. Also at The Hawth, Crawley, on April 5.

Connaught Theatre, Worthing, Saturday, March 9, 8pm, from £19,


Sister Act

The Olivier-nominated stage version of the Whoopi Goldberg movie features original music from Disney favourite Alan Menken taking inspiration from the Motown hits favoured by Sister Deloris – a nightclub singer on the run from the mob in a convent after seeing something she shouldn’t have. Stars Landi Oshinowo in the lead role, with Coronation Street’s Sue Cleaver as Mother Superior from Thursday to Saturday.

Theatre Royal Brighton, March 11-16, 7.45pm, 2.30pm matinees Thurs and Sat, from £13,


Dreamcoat Stars

Keith Jack, star of Any Dream Will Do, is joined by fellow performers from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for a night of love musical favourites, drawn from Les Mis, We Will Rock You, Hairspray and Jersey Boys, alongside the show which made him famous.

Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, Friday, March 15, 7.30pm, from £24,


Ronnie, Reggie and Me - Fred Dinenage

He may be better known today as the host of How and Meridian’s nightly news, but when the twin gangsters who shook the East End, Ronnie and Reggie Kray, wanted to tell their story in the 1980s, it was Fred Dinenage that they turned to as their ghost writer. He shares the tales he uncovered from the gangland days of the 1960s with host Alex Dyke.

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Friday, March 15, 7.45pm, £27.50,


Jesus Christ Superstar

The rock opera that launched the careers of Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice returns in the revival production which won an Olivier in 2017. Taking the lead roles are West End stars Ian McIntosh as Jesus, Shem Omari James as Judas and Hannah Richardson as Mary.

Comes to Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, April 15-20.

The Hawth, Crawley, March 18-23, 7.30pm, 2.30pm matinees Wed and Sat, from £35,


Cluedo 2 – The Next Chapter

Cosy crime has become something of a genre in itself post-Richard Osman, and it doesn’t really get cosier than taking part in a board game about a murder. Taking its inspiration from the family favourite Cluedo 2 is a sequel to the original hit play penned by Birds of a Feather writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, starring Casualty’s Jason Durr as Colonel Mustard and Coronation Street’s Helen Flanagan as Miss Scarlett in a whodunnit set during the swinging 1960s.

Theatre Royal Brighton, March 19-23, 7.30pm, 2.30pm matinees Thurs to Sat, from £13,


Reginald D Hunter: The Man Who Could See Through S***

Reginald D Hunter isn’t just sick of the contradictory answers the media are shoving at us every day – he's sick of all the questions too. Expect to be taken to the very edge of comedy by this supercool legend of the stage.

Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, Wednesday, March 20, 8pm, £26,


N'famady Kouyaté

A chance to see the winner of the 2023 Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition in an intimate setting, as he combines the music of his West African heritage with indie, pop and jazz sensibilities.

Green Door Store, Brighton, Thursday, March 21, 7.30pm, £15,


Rockinghorse Children’s Charity Glitter Ball

Raise vital funds for babies, children and young people in Sussex by getting dressed up to the nines and experiencing a little Hollywood-style glamour on the Brighton seafront. Last year’s Glitter Ball raised £59,000 for Rockinghorse, and they’re hoping to better that with the help of headline sponsor The Agora Clinic.

Empress Suite, The Grand Hotel, Brighton, Saturday, March 23, 6.15pm-midnight, £1,095 for table of 10,


Yard Act

This Leeds indie band’s debut album The Overload was not only one of the best releases of 2022, it also got nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Their debut combined a spiky post-punk guitar-driven backdrop with frontman James Smith’s idiosyncratic and self-deprecating lyrical style. Its follow-up Where’s My Utopia? is eagerly anticipated.

Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Monday, March 25, doors 7pm, £26.25,



Launching a new production arm, with the aim of inspiring the next generation of theatregoers, Ambassador Theatre Group is creating a new affordable touring version of The Scottish Play by Hove-based company Out of Chaos, with only two actors playing all 20 roles.

Theatre Royal Brighton, Tuesday, March 26, 1.15pm and 6.30pm, from £8,


Ed Gamble: Hot Diggity Dog

The Taskmaster champion, Great British Menu judge and co-host of foodie podcast Off Menu with James Acaster, Ed Gamble goes back to his first love – stand-up – although it sounds like food is bound to play a part... Also at Brighton Dome Concert Hall June 13.

The Hawth, Crawley, Thursday, March 28, 7.30pm, £29,


Tom Ball

West Sussex teacher turned Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent All-Stars Tom Ball is back on the road, performing a mix of self-penned originals and classic covers from stage and screen. Earlier this year he announced a competition to find a rising star choir to accompany him on his debut album Curtain Call and join him on the road.

The Capitol, Horsham, Good Friday, 7.30pm, from £32.50,


Paddington in Concert

Enjoy a screening of the first Paddington film, starring Sussex’s own Hugh Bonneville and Nicole Kidman, accompanied by a live soundtrack from the London Concert Orchestra. Based on Michael Bond’s beloved books, the 2014 movie tells the story of the Peruvian bear’s arrival in the big city, and his attempts to stuff himself – and not get stuffed by Kidman’s taxidermist.

Brighton Centre, Easter Sunday, doors 2pm, £34.95,