What's On in April across Sussex: 9 top shows, concerts and exhibitions you won't want to miss!

Tapping up a storm at The Lord of the Dance in Eastbourne

Tapping up a storm at The Lord of the Dance in Eastbourne - Credit: Brian Doherty

You won't want to miss these fantastic things to see, do and enjoy across the county this month. Here's our round-up of the best!

THEATRE AND STAGE  
Until April 3
Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance 
Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

150,000 taps are made during every performance of Lord of the Dance 

150,000 taps are made during every performance of Lord of the Dance - Credit: Brian Doherty

With more than 150,000 taps per performance, Lord of the Dance performers must have worn out a lot of tap shoes as the phenomenon celebrates 25 years with a new show.  
For this special 25th anniversary supercut, Michael has incorporated seven Lord of the Dance performances from the original show through to Feet of Flames, The Impossible Tour, featuring 40 of the world's best young performers with music by composer Gerard Fahy. 
A combination of the precision dancing, swirling movement, rousing music and pyrotechnics transports audiences to a mythical time and place. Enjoy the toe-tapping show that has entertained people around the world for quarter of a century. 
£32 - £57, eastbournetheatres.co.uk  

April 12 - 16 
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s
School of Rock - The Musical
Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

Rock on at the School of Rock 

Rock on at the School of Rock - Credit: Supplied

Rock out this Easter at the Olivier Award-winning West End show that is coming to Eastbourne's Congress for the second week of the school holidays - making it the ideal family night out. 
School of Rock - The Musical, is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash hit based on the hilarious movie following Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a rock band while falling for the school's beautiful but upright headmistress.  
Debuting at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre in New York in 2015, the musical has picked up four Tony and the Olivier Award Outstanding Achievement in Music and will have the audience air guitaring in the aisles. 
£25.50 nightly performances at 7.30pm and 2.30pm matinees on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. eastbournetheatres.co.uk 


April 25 - 30 
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice 
Theatre Royal Brighton 

Two-time Drama Desk nominee Christina Bianco stars as Little Voice in the life-affirming play about a mother and daughter in this Northern fairytale. A timid girl has a hidden talent - she can sing just like the famous divas of the 20th Century including Judy Garland and Shirley Bassey. But when she's forced into the limelight, Little Voice becomes an overnight sensation, leading to a battle with her mother Mari Hoff.  With humour, heart and countless timeless classics all performed live on stage, Jim Cartwright's award-winning explores the highs and the lows of small-town dreams, family rivalry and finding your voice in a noisy world.
Tickets from £13 plus £.65 transaction fee, atgtickets.com 

April 28 - 29 
Barry Humphries - The Man Behind the Mask
Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne

Barry Humphries The Man Behind the Mask 

Barry Humphries The Man Behind the Mask - Credit: Supplied

You’re never too old, it seems, to try something new. Comedian and actor Barry Humphries will be shedding Dame Edna Everage's sequinned frocks to appear as himself in a one-man show stopping off at Eastbourne on his tour of the UK. 
Both the infamous Antipodean diva - 'Hello Possoms!' and Sir Les Patterson, with his food-spattered ties, will be making brief appearances on stage in film clips, but the entire evening will consist of Barry sharing anecdotes and observations from his fascinating life, both professional and personal. 
£22-£51.50 eastbournetheatres.co.uk 

MUSIC 
April 1 
Madonna Cabaret 
Ironwork Studios, Brighton 

Get into the groove as Brighton & Hove Pride pays homage to the music of the ultimate Material Girl, Madonna. Whether you're a self-confessed superfan or just admire the superstar's iconic fashion and music, join Pride at the Ironworks for a pop-tastic night celebrating Madge, who has been the reigning Queen of Pop for more than four decades. Come on, Vogue!
Tickets £5, £10 and £15 + £1.75 booking fee + £1 Brighton Rainbow Fund charity contribution. Ironworks-Studios.co.uk 

April 6 
Echo and the Bunnymen 
De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill

The epitome of a cult band, The Bunnymen achieved mainstream status with 20 top 20 hits and nine top 20 albums over a 40-year-career and still sound as fresh today as they did back in the 80s. 
Fronted by Ian McCulloch, the band's seminal albums, Crocodiles, Porcupine and Ocean Rain have influenced pop acts such as The Killers and Cold Play and their hits The Killing Moon and Nocturnal Me have reached a whole new audience on Netflix as the soundtracks of Stranger Things and Dead of Summer. 
Get out the crimpers, and hairspray, and head to the DLWP for this celebration of 40 years of incredible songs from the original hits through to anthems from the band's latest album The Stars & The Ocean & The Moon which Q Magazine called 'magical.' 
£36- £46 Under 14s need to be accompanied by an adult. dlwp.com 

Most Read

24 April 
Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra 
MENDELSSOHN | TCHAIKOVSKY | BEETHOVEN
De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill

Get ready for an exciting evening of classical favourites performed by the Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra as they are joined by sought-after local violinist Max Baillie.  
The concert is a journey of classical composers starting with Mendelssohn’s atmospheric concert overture The Hebrides, inspired by his 1829 visit to the Scottish island of Staffa. Its lyrical themes convey the power and stunning beauty of Fingal’s Cave and the rolling waves of the sea. 
The uplifting tempo is continued with Tchaikovsky’s exciting violin concerto which was written in 1878 while he was staying on Lake Geneva. Hailed as one of Tchaikovsky’s most creative works, the music is filled with lyrical melodies suggestive of the Slavic folksong that so often found its way into Tchaikovsky’s ballets. 
The concert will culminate with Beethoven’s most celebrated works, the 3rd 'Eroica' Symphony. Noted for its technical challenges, t as well as Beethoven’s customary energy, this piece balances thematic inventiveness, musical boldness, and harmonic vibrancy.
£13.50, £18.50, £23.50 Students/Under 18s go free dlwp.com 

EXHIBITIONS  

2 April  – 14 August 2022
Frank Auerbach: Unseen
Newlands House Gallery, Petworth, West Sussex

More than 65 works - including etchings, paintings and drawings -  of the contemporary painter Frank Auerbach will be displayed together for the first time in 30 years.  
The collection, which is on loan from the Tate, spans works from the 1950s until the present day and reflects on the influences and relationships that have informed his striking style.
The artist's unique pieces are created by painting a canvas before scraping away the paint to start again - a technique he repeats multiple times in one sitting. The collection includes his portraits of close friend Lucian Freud alongside etchings of his wife Julia and drawings from the 50s when he was at art school. 
Auerbach would often paint directly in front of the Old Masters in the National Gallery in London - and his cityscape works of the capital are informed by his study of these traditional English painters who often visited Sussex and infused Petworth’s local landscapes with a heroic character.
£13.50, family ticket £25 
newlandshouse.gallery

12 Apr - 17 Apr 
Revival, Art from Antiques, Antiques and Art
Colonnade house, Worthing 

Antiques and art collide for this incredible exhibition by artist and gallery owner David Apps and Sussex artist Jared Mort, who's also a decorative salvage and antique dealer. The pair met when Jared walked into David's Waterloo Square Gallery in Alfriston and now work together to make custom-made frames using myriad objects, including jewellery, combined with layered original artworks. 
Kitsch, evocative, this exhibition is British punk explosion meets DIY ethic.  
colonnadehouse.co.uk

Until 22 May  
Bringing to Light: Jananne Al-Ani curates the Towner Collection 
Towner, Eastbourne  

Jananne Al-Ani Black Powder Peninsula 

Jananne Al-Ani Black Powder Peninsula - Credit: Jananne Al-Ani


London-based, Iraqi-born artist Jananne Al-Ani has brought together a range of prints, photographs, moving images and paintings from a selection of over 5,000 works, which look at the world from a different perspective. 
Whether it's from an aerial view, contested geographies, through myriad light, space and patterns, Al-Ani has chosen works of Roni Horn, Jem Southam and Eric Ravilious - among others - to exhibit alongside two of her own, The Excavators and Black Powder Peninsula. 
townereastbourne.org.uk