Bexfest 2024

Bexhill’s open-air adults-only celebration of summer returns with a 1990s fancy dress theme. Headlining is Mercury Music Prize-winning rapper Ms Dynamite, plus early-noughties favourites Kosheen, Lisa Mafia and Romeo from So Solid Crew, Elisabeth Troy and Abi Flynn.

De La Warr Pavilion Terrace and West Lawn, Saturday, June 1, 2pm, from £33, dlwp.com

Spoken word

Caitlin Moran: What About Men?

Having spent a decade championing the lives of women and girls, Brighton-born Times columnist, novelist and screenwriter Caitlin Moran has turned her focus to men, exploring male unhappiness, mental illness, loneliness, academic failure and online radicalisation in her latest book.

Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, Sunday, June 2, 7.30pm, £35 (including book), brightondome.org



Following the release of a 45-year career-spanning compilation last month, Blancmange will be drawing on classics including Living on the Ceiling, Blind Vision and Don’t Tell Me, alongside a smattering from the 13 albums the reformed electronic band, led by Neil Arthur, has recorded since 2011 – the latest being last year’s Private View.

The Old Market, Hove, Sunday, June 2, doors 7pm, £27.50, theoldmarket.com


Rocket Fuel Comedy

Njambi McGrath introduces a line-up of hotly tipped comics, including two nominees for the Edinburgh Comedy Award’s Best Newcomer trophy – Paddy Young and Olga Koch – and BBC New Comedy Award-winner Dan Tiernan on a break from touring his sold-out Edinburgh show Going Under.

The Old Market, Hove, Thursday, June 6, 8pm, £15, theoldmarket.com


Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson’s songwriting muse is still as strong as it was from his early days in Fairport Convention to his duo with former wife Linda, and now 20 albums into his solo career. This tour is in support of his latest collection Ship to Shore – following an unheard-of-five-year gap by this prolific artist.

Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Thursday, June 6, doors 7pm, from £51.50, brightondome.org


Count Arthur Strong: ...And It's Goodnight From Him

The legend in his own lunchtime is doing an Elton John and embarking on his farewell tour. Or what could be the first part of it, at any rate. Expect tall backstage tales, told by a mind heavily prone to wandering.

Theatre Royal Brighton, Thursday, June 6, 8pm, from £27.42, atgtickets.com/venues/theatre-royal-brighton


Three Friday Nights

The singer who launched UK garage on an unsuspecting pop chart is taking over the decks at Goodwood Racecourse. Craig David is bringing his TS5 show to the racecourse near Chichester, launching a series of three post-racing parties also featuring Gok Wan on Friday 14, and Dimitri from Paris on Friday 21.

Goodwood Racecourse, Friday, June 7, gates 4pm, from £40, goodwood.com/horseracing/three-friday-nights


Julian Clary - Fistful of Clary

Billing himself as a renowned homosexual and national trinket, Julian Clary is embarking on a western-themed tour, packed full of references to chaps, rawhide and a man doing what he’s got to do. Also at Brighton Dome Concert Hall on Friday, June 14.

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Friday, June 7, 7.30pm, £31.50, eastbournetheatres.co.uk


Alfie Moore: A Face For Radio

Proof that May’s Brighton Fringe is a great place for spotting new talent, it was at a free comedy show that this former copper embarked on a new comedy career, which has since seen him broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Those who were late to the party can now pay to hear his stories about life on the frontline accompanied by his German shepherd Zeus.

The Old Market, Hove, Saturday, June 8, 7.30pm, £21, theoldmarket.com


Worthing Festival

The West Sussex seaside town’s celebration of local talent returns for two weeks, offering a range of music, dance, art, heritage, comedy and more.

Various venues across Worthing, June 8-23, various times and prices, timeforworthing.uk/worthing-festival


The Caretaker

Harold Pinter’s first big hit play is being revived with Adam Gillen, Jack Riddiford and Star Wars’ evil emperor Ian McDiarmid in the three roles. Set at the tail end of the 1950s, it depicts a battle for control between two brothers and a mysterious homeless stranger in the confines of a derelict room.

Minerva Theatre, Chichester, June 8-July 13, 7.15pm, 2.15pm matinees, from £10, cft.org.uk


The Merry Widow

The celebrated opera house’s chatelaine Danielle De Neise stars in this lavish new staging of Franz Lehar’s romantic comedy, set in the glittering ballrooms of 1900s Paris, but sung in English in a new libretto by Stephen Plaice and Marcia Bellamy. Look out for continuing productions of Carmen and Die Zauberflöte which launched the 2024 season last month, and a revival of Handel’s Giulio Cesare from Sunday, June 23.

Glyndebourne, June 9-July 28, various times and prices, glyndebourne.com/


Bloomsbury style painted lampshade

Curious House is taking inspiration from Vanessa Bell’s idiosyncratic style of interior design in Charleston. Jane McCall will be leading the day-long course teaching painting techniques to create your own unique lampshade, with another decorative painting course, this time for furniture, on Wednesday, June 12. Plus learn the Japanese porcelain art of kintsugi on Tuesday, June 18 with Emma Williams.

The Bell, Ticehurst, Tuesday, June 11, 10am, £140, curioushouse.net


Girls Night Out with Flat and The Curves

Having joined forces in 2020 during the lockdown when their work on stages across the globe dried up, comedy girl group Flat and The Curves earned themselves five stars from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for their combination of outrageous vocals and humour with light-hearted, cheeky self-penned songs based around feminist themes.

Chequer Mead Theatre, East Grinstead, Tuesday, June 11, 7.30pm, £28, chequermead.co.uk


The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseini’s international bestselling novel is now a stage play. It follows one young man’s search for redemption, after he witnessed an horrific incident during a Kabul kite-flying festival, but did nothing about it.

Theatre Royal Brighton, June 11-15, 7.30pm, 2.30pm matinees Thurs and Sat, from £13, atgtickets.com/venues/theatre-royal-brighton


Ria Lina: Riawakening

Having appeared on Mock the Week, Have I Got News For You, Late Night Mash and Live At The Apollo, comedian, writer, actor and respected scientist Ria Lina is sharing her views on post-pandemic life, navigating the new normal, relationships in a digital era and the complexities of motherhood.

Pavilion Atrium, Worthing, Wednesday, June 12, 7.30pm, from £16, wtm.uk


Party Games!

A view of an alternative future (if the long-awaited general election ever happens) Party Games! is penned by political insider Michael McManus and imagines a PM of the centrist One Nation Party – Game On’s Matthew Cottle - presiding over a hung parliament as he tries to deal with a discontented electorate and striking cheesemakers.

Connaught Theatre, Worthing, June 12-15, 7.30pm, 2.30pm matinees Thurs and Sat, from £16, wtm.uk


Madagascar the Musical

Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo are the toast of New York’s Central Park Zoo. But a mix-up, involving some penguins, sees them leave their safe haven for the island of Madagascar, and the madcap kingdom of Julien the lemur – played on stage by CBBC favourite Karim Zeroual.

Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, June 13-16, 6pm, 1pm matinee Fri, 2pm Sat/Sun, from £21, eastbournetheatres.co.uk


Horrible Histories: Rotten Royals

Mad, bad, and dangerous to know – and that was just the Tudors! The Horrible Histories team look back through our country’s rulers, uncovering the stories you never learned at school.

The Hawth, Crawley, June 13-15, various times, £22, £18 children, parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/the-hawth

Family theatre

The Lion Inside

The meek little mouse wants to make himself heard in the noisy jungle – and who better to go to for advice than the lion, whose roar makes everyone sit up and take notice? This stage version of Rachel Bright and Jim Field’s picture book is suitable for children aged three and up.

Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, June 14-16, Fri 1.30pm, Sat/Sun 11am and 2pm, from £10, wtm.uk


Kiri Pritchard-McClean: Peacock

In the past few years Kiri Pritchard-McClean has been a rising star of UK comedy, with appearances on all the usual panel shows under her belt. But away from the bright lights, she’s had a second career as a foster parent – and it’s this world she’s putting under the spotlight on this tour.

The Hawth, Crawley, Friday, June 14, 7.30pm, £19.50, parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/the-hawth


Katy Kirby

Texas-born, but New York-based singer-songwriter Katy Kirby plays Brighton’s newest grassroots music venue (by the team behind neighbouring Chalk) in support of her second album Blue Raspberry – which explores the crescendo and collapse of new love.

Dust, Brighton, Saturday, June 15, 7pm, £15, dustvenue.com


Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra

The host of Later and the annual New Year’s Eve Hootenanny is back to his day job – augmented by guest vocalists Imelda May, 19-year-old British bluesman Toby Lee and old favourites Ruby Turner, Louise Marshall and Sumudu Jayatilaka.

White Rock, Hastings, Saturday, June 15, 7.30pm, from £57.50, whiterocktheatre.org.uk

Flower Festival

Songs of Praise

Following last year’s Celebration in Flowers to mark King Charles III’s coronation, Holy Trinity has put together another weekend of events, backed by 15 songs and hymns creatively illustrated in flowers. Alongside the flower festival is a pop-up market on Saturday, and performances by East Sussex chamber choir Noteworthy Voices that evening and Eastbourne Silver Band on Sunday afternoon.

Holy Trinity Church, Eastbourne, June 15-16, various times and prices, holytrinityeastbourne.org.uk



This summer Wakehurst is celebrating the much-threatened landscape of the meadow, with the chance to visit the 40-acre South Park for the first time. Look out for a new children’s space also being launched, and performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by The Archway Theatre Company.

Wakehurst, June 14-September 10, 10am-6pm, see the website for summer prices, kew.org/wakehurst


It’s A Fine Life

On the 25th anniversary of his death, the songwriter Lionel Bart is remembered in this new biographical performance starring John Barr. Best known for penning the musical Oliver! and pop hits Living Doll and From Russia With Love, this tale traces his life from being the toast of the West End to his bankruptcy in the early 1970s following a couple of high-profile flops.

The Hawth, Crawley, Sunday, June 16, 3pm, £28.50, £25.50 children, parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/the-hawth


Table Manners

This first part of Alan Ayckbourn’s celebrated trilogy, The Norman Conquests, is also a great play on its own. It follows the machinations of librarian Norman as he tries to spirit his sister-in-law away to a dirty weekend in East Grinstead, only for a family gathering to scupper his plans.

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, June 20-29, 7.45pm, 2.30pm matinees Wed and Sat, from £20, eastbournetheatres.co.uk


Under One Roof Interiors Design Fair

Planning some renovations this summer? This is the perfect one-stop shop to meet architects, interior designers, and specialists in fabrics, flooring, furniture, tiles and joinery, plus scan stalls for the perfect additions to your home.

Sullington Manor Farm, Storrington, June 21-22, 10am-4pm, free, sullingtonmanorfarm.co.uk/event/home-interior-fair


Borde Hill Garden Festival

The Grade II listed garden hosts more than 40 independent stalls selling garden furniture, specialist plants and accessories, alongside live music on the South Lawn, curated talks from garden experts and food and drink pop-ups. There’s also a series of ‘fringe’ events, including a talk with Cath Kidston, wine tasting from Wiston Estate and floral masterclasses from Floral Evolution and Bloom and Burn.

Borde Hill, near Haywards Heath, June 22-23, 10am-5pm, from £15, £5 children, bordehill.co.uk


Barbara Kasten

American artist Barbara Kasten is taking the Art Deco surroundings of Bexhill’s seafront landmark as the inspiration for a new installation – marking her first ever solo UK exhibition having been creating interdisciplinary artworks since the 1970s. Also look out for the debut solo exhibition by Rebecca Bellantoni on the first floor, who creates abstracts from Black women’s writing, philosophy, metaphysics, geography and spirituality.

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, June 22-September 1, 10am-5pm, free, dlwp.com


Milkshake! Live on Holiday

Fans of Channel 5’s early morning offerings will be able to meet their heroes in the flesh, including Paw Patrol’s Chase and Marshall, Dora the Explorer, Pip and Posy, Milo and Milkshake! Monkey.

The Hawth, Crawley, Sunday, June 23, noon and 3.30pm, £21, £20 children, parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/the-hawth


Punt & Dennis: We Are Not a Robot

Hitting the road for their first tour in a decade, Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt will be drawing on their habit of following the news for Mock the Week and The Now Show, and dusting off the live comic chops which began as part of The Mary Whitehouse Experience.

Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, Sunday, June 23, 7.30pm, £30, brightondome.org


Bat For Lashes

A long-overdue return from the one-time Brighton resident singer-songwriter and triple Mercury Music Prize nominee Natasha Khan, in her first tour for five years supporting new album The Dream Of Delphi. Her latest album explores themes of spirituality, ancestry, folklore and her experiences of motherhood.

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, Tuesday, June 25, doors 6pm, from £26, dlwp.com


Sam Campbell: Wobservations

Taskmaster 2023 champion Sam Campbell adds an extra date to his Brighton shows. Having also scooped the Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2022, this is clearly a comedy star at the top of his game, specialising in the leftfield and surreal.

Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Saturday, June 29, 8pm, £22.50, brightondome.org


KVN Dance Company: Coppelia

Classical ballet fuses with contemporary dance and hip-hop in Kevan Allen’s take on Delibes’ much-loved ballet, about an eccentric toymaker and his lifesize clockwork doll.

Connaught Theatre, Worthing, Sunday, June 30, 7.30pm, from £24, wtm.uk