Events and things to do in Sussex - February 2017

Kaiser Chiefs, Brighton Centre

Kaiser Chiefs, Brighton Centre - Credit: Archant

Our guide to the best events in and around Sussex. Edited by Erica Gilbert


Basement and Tunnel tours - Every Monday until 27 March

The Royal Pavilion

Come along for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the basement and tunnel of the Royal Pavilion and discover more about life below stairs for the servants, from the rat catcher to George’s IV’s principal private secretary. 4.15pm -5pm £12, members £10, book in advance.

Brighton Science Festival - 11-19 February

The Brighton Science Festival is bulging at the seams with activities for children and young people to get hands-on with science.

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Don’t miss the ever-popular Bright Sparks weekend at Hove Park School (11-12 February) – a treat for young people aged seven and up, with dozens of activities. There will also be a full programme of workshops throughout the half-term week, giving young people the opportunity to get their hands busy, create, invent, and make friends.

Throughout the festival scientists, communicators and performers will be rolling up their sleeves and presenting a thrilling feast of top entertainment.

Wild About Winter - 14 February

Sussex Wildlife Trust

10.30am-12.30pm. Bring the children along to go Wild about Winter with Sussex Wildlife Trust’s crafts and activities. This fun family event at Seven Sisters Country Park is suitable for children aged five-11 years, who must be accompanied by an adult.

There will be an opportunity to get busy in the Pump Barn making animal masks from natural materials. You can help your local wildlife by making a bird feeder, mini bug hotel or wild flower pot to take home. Weather permitting, there will be a treasure hunt and campfire in the woods with a warming hot chocolate.

Rye Bay Scallop Week - 18-26 February

Rye’s restaurants showcase an array of different scallop dishes throughout the week. Tasting events, cookery schools and demonstrations, tours, trails and walks, with a backdrop of live music, make for a fun indulgence in this local delicacy. Don’t miss the What a Load of Scallops race, now in its 15th year.

Winter Half-Term Family Activities - 20-24 February

Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, Chichester

11am-3pm. Put on your winter woolies and wellies, and warm up with a week of creative activities and countryside skills, including outdoor trails, arts and crafts to inspire all the family. Regular admission charges apply. The museum will open at 10.30am and close at 4pm.

Mums Enterprise Roadshow - 23 February

Amex Community Stadium, Brighton

The Mums Enterprise Roadshow is a free event that brings together more than 40 exhibitors, eight taster workshops, networking and a Q&A panel specifically curated for mums seeking inspiration and those wanting to start or grow a business. Topics are focused around freelancing, funding, franchising, starting and growing a business.


Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion - 28 January-23 April

Two Temple Place, London WC2

The exhibition examines why radical artists and writers such as Eric Ravilious, Vanessa Bell, David Jones, Edward Wadsworth, Lee Miller and Edward Burra were drawn to the rolling hills, seaside resorts and quaint villages of Sussex in the first half of the 20th century and how, in the communities they created, artistic innovation ran hand in hand with political, sexual and domestic experimentation.

Sussex Modernism is created by the Bulldog Trust in partnership with nine Sussex museums and galleries: Charleston, Farley Farm House, West Dean, De La Warr Pavilion, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft, Jerwood Gallery Hastings, Pallant House Gallery and Towner Art Gallery. Curated by Dr Hope Wolf, University of Sussex.

The Museum of Art - 4 February-15 April

Towner Gallery, Eastbourne

Inspired by the eclectic collections amassed by 19th century collectors, The Museum of Art uses works from the Towner Collection to playfully reflect the mood and character of a Victorian museum.

This display includes the Towner Bequest and works by Henry Moore, Victor Pasmore and Christopher Wood.

Transferences: Sidney Nolan in Britain - 18 February-4 June

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester

A major exhibition marking the centenary of the birth of Australian-born artist Sir Sidney Nolan (1917-1992), a leading figure of international 20th century art. Iconic works from the 1950s and 1960s including paintings of the Australian outlaw Ned Kelly and the unfortunate explorers Burke and Wills are shown alongside Nolan’s sets and costumes from the 1962 Royal Ballet production of The Rite of Spring.

I, Claude Monet, Exhibition on Screen - 21 February

The Hawth, Crawley

7pm. From the award-winning director Phil Grabsky comes this fresh new look at arguably the world’s greatest artist – through his own words.

Using letters and other private writings I, Claude Monet reveals new insight into the man who painted the picture that gave birth to Impressionism and who was perhaps the most influential and successful painter of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Read more on page 42.


Ross Noble: Brain Dump - 2 February

The Hawth, Crawley

8pm. Famed for his super-quick, freewheeling style and highly imaginative flights of fancy, a Ross Noble show is always unmissable. Recommended age range: 15 years plus. Tickets £26.50.

The Barber of Seville - 3 February

Minerva Theatre, Chichester

7.45pm. Experience opera like you’ve never seen before, as Pop-Up Opera take to the stage with a daringly unfussy production of Rossini’s sparkling comic masterpiece, laying bare the characters in all their glorious eccentricity. Tickets: £20.

Running Wild - 10-18 February

Festival Theatre, Chichester

Originated by Chichester Festival Youth Theatre at Cass Sculpture Foundation, Michael Morpurgo’s story of love, loss, loyalty and living for the moment won a prestigious UK Theatre Award. With incredible puppetry by former

War Horse puppeteers Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié, this impressive and moving production will transform the Festival Theatre into a jungle.

For Lilly, going to Indonesia isn’t just another holiday with mum. It’s a new start, and the chance to ride an elephant called Oona. But then the tsunami hits and Oona charges deep into the jungle, her young rider desperately clinging on. At first there’s wonder, discovery and treetop adventures amongst the orangutans but, as thoughts turn to mum left behind, tigers prowl, hunger hits, and Lilly must learn to survive the rainforest. Then come the hunters... For eight years plus. Times vary. Tickets from £10.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - 11 February

Heresy II Heritage Tour

Assembly Hall, Worthing

7.30pm. The Ukes of GB provide pure entertainment, deadpan British humour and foot-tapping music. It is always doing the unexpected, whether by reimagining folk songs, twisting classical music favourites, uncovering quirky versions of rock covers, or playing the performers’ own all-original compositions. Tickets: £24, concessions £22.

The Princess and the Frog - 12 February

The Hawth, Crawley

1pm and 3pm. Let’s All Dance Productions returns with another beautiful ballet to charm audiences young and old. An original score, gorgeous costumes and crystal clear storytelling draw you into the magical world of ballet and make it accessible to all. Tickets: £8.50.

Worthing Symphony Orchestra Valentine’s Concert - 12 February

Assembly Hall, Worthing

2.45pm. A concert full of dazzling joy and brilliance. Mendelssohn’s 1st Piano Concerto with Ukrainian pianist Olga Paliy, The Wedding-Cake Caprice by Saint-Saens and Beethoven’s ebullient Second Symphony.

Tickets: £19-£28.

Not Dead Enough - 13-18 February

Theatre Royal, Brighton

7.45pm. Author Peter James returns to the stage with the world premiere production of Not Dead Enough.

Starring award-winning actor Shane Richie as DS Roy Grace and Laura Whitmore, one of the stars of 2016’s Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday matinees 2.30pm. Tickets: £16.90-£56.40.

The Complete Deaths - 14-18 February

Minerva Theatre, Chichester

There are 74 onstage deaths in the works of William Shakespeare (75 if you count the black ill-favoured fly killed in Titus Andronicus). Spymonkey will perform them all – sometimes lingeringly, sometimes messily, sometimes movingly, sometimes musically, always hysterically.

Directed by Tim Crouch, The Complete Deaths was created as a solemn, sombre and sublimely funny tribute to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Tickets from £22.

Tango Fire - 22 February

The Dome, Brighton

7.30pm. International tango superstar German Cornejo’s dance troupe the Tango Fire Company of Buenos Aires is the world’s leading tango company. As one of the world’s most popular dance forms, this exhilarating show combines rawness and sophistication with the seductive and sultry side of tango, evoking the intoxicating passion of late-night Buenos Aires.

Ellen Kent Opera

Theatre Royal, Brighton

23 February: La Boheme - 7.45pm. La Boheme is one of the most romantic operas ever written. It tells the tragic tale of the doomed, consumptive Mimi and her love for a penniless writer.

24 February: Aida - 7.45pm. Aida, the grandest of all Ellen Kent’s operas, is a tragic story of war, jealousy and revenge at whose heart is the doomed love of the beautiful Ethiopian slave girl, Aida, and the Egyptian hero, Radames.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles. Tickets to both performances: £21.90-£44.40.

Babe - The Sheep-Pig - 23-26 February

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne

When Babe arrives at Hogget’s Farm he is taken in by trusty sheepdog Fly and discovers a talent for herding. With the help of his adopted Mum, our polite piglet soon wins over the most suspicious of sheep. But can a small pig make it in a dog’s world, and when his farmyard friends are in trouble, can Babe save the day?

An enchanting family favourite, as the classic novel comes alive with plenty of laughter, thrills, stunning puppetry and original music. Times vary. Tickets: £15.50, £19.50.

Hastings International Pinao Concerto Competition - 23 February-4 March

White Rock Theatre, Hastings

A chance to hear brilliant young musicians aged between 16 and 30 from all over the world. Six finalists play a concerto of their choice with the world-class Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The winner receives a cheque for £10,000 and the chance to play in concert with the RPO and perform in the United States.

Castalian Quartet - 26 February

Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex, Brighton

11am. The Castalian Quartet last performed in Brighton in 2012, as a young ensemble just starting out. Now it returns as a recognised force on the chamber music scene, performing masterpieces by the two titans of the string quartet format, Haydn and Beethoven, alongside a dazzling work by the British composer Thomas Adès, premiered in 2011. Tickets: £18.50, concessions £16, free tickets for eight to 25 year olds.

The Kaiser Chiefs - 28 February

Brighton Centre, Brighton

The Kaiser Chiefs bring their 2017 tour to Brighton singing their biggest hits. Tickets from £21.75. Doors open 6.30pm.