The Faces of Bloomsbury

For a limited time only, Charleston is hosting an exhibition of 10 rarely seen portraits of the Bloomsbury Group gathered from private collections, including early works by former Charleston residents Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell.

Charleston, Firle, near Lewes, until April 14, Wed-Sun 10am-5pm, £16.50, charleston.org.uk


Experience the arrival of spring at Petworth House with a new festival featuring talks, demonstrations, art and craft workshops, family activities including exploring the buggy-friendly paths of the Pleasure Garden on a free family trail and an enhanced display of radiant daffodils.

The Spring Festival at Petworth House and Park, Petworth, until 14 April, £12 adult, £6 child, nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/sussex/petworth


Creativity on the Downs

A new exhibition celebrates centuries of creativity on the South Downs, with a new display of excavated pottery and fabrics, the items used to make them and their accompanying stories.

The Beachy Head Story, Eastbourne, until April 14, 10am-4pm, free, heritageeastbourne.com


Tulip Festival

As ever it is in the lap of the gods as to when the annual stunning Arundel Tulip Festival begins, but anyone who has seen the breathtaking colours in the castle grounds will know it is an unmissable spring event. There is also a plant fair, complete with expert advice, on Sunday, April 21.

Arundel Castle, during April, 10am-5pm (not Mon), from £15, £7 children, arundelcastle.org


Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula The Sea Witch

Orange is the New Black star Shawna Hamic takes the title role in this parody musical telling the real story of what happened when Ariel, the Little Mermaid, played by River Medway of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK fame, decided she wanted to leave her life under the sea, in a show not suitable for under-16s.

The Hawth, Crawley, April 1-2, 7.30pm, from £28, parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/the-hawth


Sam Lee

Mercury Music Prize-nominated traditional song collector Sam Lee is back on the road to promote new album songdreaming. Recorded with former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, it takes its inspiration from nature and the land, using instrumentation taken from all over the world.

Komedia, Brighton, Wednesday, April 3, 7.30pm, £19.50, komedia.co.uk/brighton


Ukrainian Opera & Ballet Theatre Kyiv

Producer Ellen Kent returns with a double-bill of accessible opera featuring a full orchestra. Bizet’s tragedy Carmen is the story of a gypsy girl whose beauty leads a soldier to desert, while Madama Butterfly focuses on the titular character, played by Korean soprano Elena Dee, who is abandoned by her American naval lover with tragic results.

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, Carmen, Wednesday, April 3, Madama Butterfly, Thursday, April 4, 7.30pm, from £27, dlwp.com



The production team behind Eastbourne’s much-loved Christmas pantomime return with this Easter treat starring EastEnder Carli Norris as Horrabella the Witch and Georgia Rowland-Elliott as the girl with the unfeasibly long hair.

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, April 3-7, various times, £19, eastbournetheatres.co.uk



Another fairy-tale-themed show for the Easter holidays, this time from Let’s All Dance. The 45-minute performance is a twist on the original story, with the one-time porridge-stealer befriending a family of bears and teaching them the value of sharing. But it would appear Selfish Sid wasn’t listening.

The Hawth Studio, Crawley, Saturday, April 6, 1pm and 3pm, £11.50, £9 child, parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/the-hawth


The Residents

For more than 50 years the eyeball-masked mysterious Residents have operated on the very edges of the pop avant-garde. Each album release has thrown-up new surprises, from their early deconstructions of 1960s pop music, to their Commercial Album containing 40 one-minute-long songs, taking in experiments with film technology and a soundscape based around an Inuit tribe along the way. For this tour they are revisiting their 1988 concept album God in Three Persons.

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, Saturday, April 6, doors 7pm, from £36, dlwp.com


Get Thrifty

Alongside the open-air museum’s Easter egg trail, which runs from April 2-14, Weald and Downland Living Museum is also taking on the concepts of both make-do-and-mend and upcycling to show how people in the past reduced waste, and so saved money.

Weald and Downland Living Museum, Singleton, near Chichester, April 6-7, 10am-5pm, from £15.50, £7.50 children, wealddown.co.uk 


Dreams Are Free: A Celebration of British Jazz Saxophonist Bobby Wellins

Bognor-based jazz legend Bobby Wellins is being remembered eight years after his death with this special event in aid of Dementia Support. There will be a screening of the late Brighton Film School head Gary Barber’s bio-documentary Dreams Are Free, followed by a live set featuring Spike Wells and Mark Edwards from Bobby’s last quartet alongside Steve Watts on double bass and Mornington Lockett on saxophone.

The Showroom, Chichester University, Saturday, April 6, 7pm, £12.50, ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/chichester/the-showroom


Fresh from the Fringe

A double bill of critically acclaimed comedy shows, handpicked by former Taskmaster star Mark Watson. Mary O’Connell’s show Money Princess won the OnlyFans Creative Fund for Comedy, the biggest comedy cash prize ever awarded in the UK, while Lulu Popplewell’s Actually, Actually discusses her appearance in a famous Christmas film.

Worthing Pavilion Atrium, Saturday, April 6, 7.30pm, from £12, wtm.uk


Laetitia Yhap: An Ending to a Beginning

Having moved to Hastings from London in 1967, Laetitita Yhap soon became fascinated by the fishermen working on The Stade Beach, producing a series of handmade unusually shaped panels drawing on glimpses of their daily life. This exhibition draws on 25 years of work, showing the changes to their industry.

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, April 6-May 27, 10am-5pm, free, dlwp.com

Comedy Classical

MozART Group

This Polish quartet will be celebrating 30 years of not taking classical music too seriously next year. Despite graduating from prestigious academies of music in their home country, the four-piece has decided to use their muse to deconstruct classical pieces and create something both surprising and funny in its place.

Devonshire Park Theatre, Monday, April 8, 7.45pm, £32, eastbournetheatres.co.uk


Calendar Girls: The Musical

The tale of a Yorkshire WI’s fundraising semi-nude calendar is given the musical treatment, with songs from Take That’s Gary Barlow soundtracking Tim Firth’s script. Getting their kit off will be EastEnder Laurie Brett, Maureen Nolan, Lyn Paul of The New Seekers, Hollyoaks star Helen Pearson and Honeysuckle Weeks from Foyle’s War.

The Hawth, Crawley, April 9-13, 7.30pm, 2.30pm matinees Wed, Thurs and Sat, from £30, £27 child, parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/the-hawth


Diversity: Supernova

Ashley Banjo’s Britain’s Got Talent-winning dance troupe are back in Eastbourne with another spectacular show, which this year is supporting anti-poverty charity The Tressell Trust.

Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, April 11-13, 7.45pm Thurs and Fri, 2.30pm Sat, from £32.50, eastbournetheatres.co.uk


MC Grammar

The former teacher turned rapping-reading-ambassador MC Grammar is heading out on his first tour: Stop! It’s Grammar Time! He went viral back in 2019 with his rapped version of Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo and hasn’t looked back since, becoming a star of Sky Kids’ shows Wonder Raps and Rap Tales, as well as an ambassador for World Book Day.

The Old Market, Hove, Sunday, April 14, 2pm, £14.50, theoldmarket.com


The Funny Hole

A quartet of distinctive artists come together for a three-day exhibition of multimedia artwork and an idiosyncratic cabaret performance. Showing alongside each other are fine artist Jane Dinmore, performer Boogaloo Stu, visual artist Ladypat and surrealist John Lee Bird, who will be displaying part of his Dolls project, with the Saturday night cabaret show being performed among their artworks.

The Observer Building, Hastings, April 19-21, exhibition from 10am each day, free, show Sat 7pm, pay what you can, outsavvy.com/event/18154/the-funny-hole-cabaret


Piece Of Work

James Rowland’s Edinburgh Festival hit explores fathers, sons ‘and the hope that makes life bearable’ in his distinctive mix of storytelling, comedy and music – as previously seen in his shows Learning to Fly and The Songs of Friendship Trilogy.

Connaught Studio, Saturday, April 20, 7.30pm, from £13.50, wtm.uk


Paloma Faith

Superstar singer Paloma Faith is back on the road to promote her sixth album The Glorification of Sadness, which is being billed as her most personal release yet, exploring how you find your way back from leaving a long-term relationship. The promotional shots for her latest tour seem shorn of the usual bright colours and wacky fashions, suggesting we’re going to see a very different Paloma this time out.

Brighton Centre, Saturday, April 20, doors 6.30pm, from £40.95, brightoncentre.co.uk


The Feast of Fiddles

Starting life 30 years ago as a one-off special concert featuring a supergroup of folk fiddle-players, Feast of Fiddles now has 28 spring tours, 26 festivals and seven albums to its name. Held together by drummer Dave Mattacks, the line-up features former members of Band of Two, Bully Wee, the Sandy Denny Project, Steeleye Span and Joe Brown’s band, including Hastings’ own Garry Blakeley.

Izzard Theatre, Bexhill, Monday, April 22, 7.30pm, £27.50, bexhillcollege.ac.uk/theatre


An Officer and a Gentleman: The Musical

Soundtracked by power-ballads from the 1980s – including songs made famous by Bon Jovi, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and Blondie – this stage version of the 1982 hit movie follows the fortunes of lovers officer candidate Zack and fiery factory worker Paula.

Theatre Royal Brighton, April 23-27, 7.30pm, 2.30pm matinees Wed, Thurs and Sat, from £13, atgtickets.com/venues/theatre-royal-brighton


Kula Shaker

The original line-up of the band, which had hundreds of student union dancefloors make up their own cod-Sanskrit to the choruses of 1996 hits Tattva and Govinda, has reunited for the first time since 1998 to make their seventh album Natural Magick.

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, Tuesday, April 23, doors 7pm, £33.50, dlwp.com


The Noise Next Door

Shoreham-based comedy improv four-piece The Noise Next Door head out on tour with their new show Freewheeling. Although obviously there’s no telling what that might contain.

Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, Thursday, April 25, 7.30pm, from £12.50, wtm.uk


Ute Lemper: Time Traveller

Having previously reinterpreted the works of Brecht and Weill, the chanson of Brel and Piaf and won an Olivier Award for her take on Velma Kelly in Chicago, chanteuse Ute Lemper is coming to Hove to perform songs from across her four-decade career and her new album Time Traveller.

The Old Market, Hove, Friday April 26, 7.30pm, £33, theoldmarket.com


Personal Trainer and Pom Poko

A chance to see a pair of hotly tipped European artists from the cult label Bella Union in a cool double bill. Personal Trainer are Dutch indie-rockers much beloved by BBC 6Music, while Pom Poko hail from the non-conformist pop-punk scene of Norway.

Concorde 2, Brighton, Friday, April 26, doors 7pm, £18, meltingvinyl.co.uk


Frank Sinatra: The Retirement Concert

Old Blue Eyes was a pioneer in many fields of the music industry – not least the fake farewell show, originally held in 1971, only two years before the then 55-year-old returned to the musical fray for another couple of decades. Richard Shelton, who is best known for his role as a murderous doctor in Emmerdale, previously played the Chairman of the Board in Rat Pack Confidential. Backed by the Syd Lawrence Orchestra he will recreate the atmosphere and style of those would-be goodbye shows.

Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, Saturday, April 27, 7.30pm, £32, eastbournetheatres.co.uk


Bloomin’ Brilliant: The Life and Work of Raymond Briggs

A posthumous celebration of the work of author/illustrator and longtime Westmeston resident Raymond Briggs, who died two years ago. The exhibition will bring together 30 items from Raymond’s estate, including his writing and drawing desk, alongside more than 100 original artworks from The Snowman creator’s 60-year career.

Ditchling Museum of Art+Craft, April 27-October 27, Wed-Sun 10.30am-5pm, £9, under 18s free, ditchlingmuseumartcraft.org.uk


Out of the Blue

Part of the University of Sussex’s marking of Climate Justice Week is this performance by Belgian theatre artists Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere. From a small apartment in Brussels the pair connect with three ships involved in industry, science and activism on the ocean to create a picture of the deep-sea mining industry.

Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Brighton, Sunday, April 28, 8pm, £12, £10 concessions, attenboroughcentre.com



James Wilton Dance explores a pagan world of gods and demons and our connection with the earth – all soundtracked by a new score by Michal Wotjas.

Connaught Theatre, Worthing, Tuesday, April 30, 7.30pm, from £10, wtm.uk


Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Based on the true story of a schoolboy who went to his high school prom in drag, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie features songs by The Feeling’s Dan Gillespie Sells and songwriter Tom MacRae, and performances by Ivano Turco as Jamie with guest appearances by Strictly Come Dancing’s Kevin Clifton and X Factor star Sam Bailey.

Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, April 30-May 4, 7.30pm, 2.30pm matinees Thurs and Sat, from £28, eastbournetheatres.co.uk