Events and things to do in Sussex - January 2017

Alice In Wonderland by Ballet Theatre UK at Brighton Dome Concert Hall

Alice In Wonderland by Ballet Theatre UK at Brighton Dome Concert Hall - Credit: Archant

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


Assessment Days - Friday 13 January

St Andrew’s Prep, Eastbourne

Apply by 5pm on Friday 13 January. St Andrew’s Prep is a day and boarding school for girls and boys aged 9 months to 13 years. Set in a stunning location in Eastbourne, they believe that excellence should be recognised and we therefore offer scholarships to children who show outstanding potential, either academically or in Art, Drama, Music or Sport. External candidates in Years 2 to 6 can apply. The next Scholarship Assessments take place from 19 to 21 January for Scholarship awards commencing in Autumn 2017.


Most Read

The Mythic Method - Now until 19 February

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester

Classicism in British Art 1920-1950 - A major exhibition exploring how modern British artists drew on classical myth and ideals in a return to order following World War I. Featuring playful and surreal versions of Greek myths from the 1920s and 1930s by John Armstrong, William Roberts and Edward Burra; idealised depictions of stylish contemporary goddesses by Meredith Frampton, Dod Procter and Wyndham Lewis; studies for ambitious mural schemes by Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Eric Ravilious; and classically inspired sculptures by Frank Dobson, Henry Moore and Glyn Philpot.

Standen Bothy Now until 23 April

Standen House and Garden, East Grinstead

Arts & Crafts principles live on at Standen with a new art installation. Artist Will Shannon has created an artwork on the sandstone rocks of the National Trust’s Grade II listed garden at Standen. Using the principles of Arts & Crafts craftsmanship, Shannon has created a temporary installation in the form of a dwelling named Bothy using materials found in the Sussex landscape.

Turner and the Age of British Watercolour - 7 January-12 March

A new exhibition at the National Trust’s Petworth House celebrates the age of British watercolour with works by JMW Turner and leading British artists of his generation. Thirty six of the exhibits in the show are on loan from the Cecil Higgins Collection, Bedford, and two additional works from London’s Martin Gregory Gallery.

08442 491895;

Keith Tyson: Turn Back Now - 28 January-4 June

The Jerwood Gallery, Hastings

20 Years of Studio Wall Drawings - The critically acclaimed Jerwood Gallery hosts an exhibition of work by Brighton-based 2002 Turner Prize winner Keith Tyson. Keith Tyson: Turn Back Now forms a visual diary of Tyson’s practice – many pieces have never been publicly exhibited before.


Alice in Wonderland - 1-2 January

Concert Hall, Brighton Dome

2.30pm and 7.30pm. A captivating new ballet based on Lewis Carroll’s much-loved children’s books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Come with Alice on a magical adventure as she tumbles into Wonderland, guided by the White Rabbit. She meets some astonishing characters including the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, a studious caterpillar and mischievous twins Tweedledum and Tweedledee. For audiences of all ages. Tickets: £10-£19.50, under 16s half-price.

01273 709709;

Moscow City Ballet

Festival Theatre, Chichester

3-4 January: Romeo and Juliet, 5-8 January: The Nutcracker. Moscow City Ballet returns to Chichester to present two classic productions featuring beautiful classical scores from Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky, performed by a live orchestra. Tickets from £15.

01243 781312;

Holiday on Ice: Believe - 4-8 January

Brighton Centre

Directed and choreographed by Olympic and four-time world champion Christopher Dean, Believe is an exciting and fast-paced production telling the modern day story of the Shakespeare classic about desire, jealously and true love, Romeo and Juliet. Featuring Olympic-level choreography combined with live music, beautiful décor, glamorous costumes and hi-tech special effects. Tickets: children under 16 £15-£50, adults £25-£50, senior citizens £22-£50, family £70-£90.

08448 471515;

From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads - 8-11 January

The Old Market, Hove

Adrian Berry’s acclaimed sell-out production. Powerful and touching, music and magic realism collide in this darkly funny and moving tour-de-force solo show featuring Alex Walton and the voice of comedian Rob Newman. With a blistering Bowie soundtrack, the life of the pop fan is dissected in this tale of unnatural teenage wildlife. Tickets: £12.50 (£10 concessions).

01273 201801;

Vampires Rock: The Ghost Train - 9 January

Theatre Royal Brighton

7.30pm. Amidst mischief and mayhem, this hilariously funny show lives up to its rocking reputation. Packed with aerial silk stunts, fire routines, guitar gods and vampettes performing some of the best rock anthems of all time including tracks from Guns ‘n Roses, AC/DC, Meat Loaf and many more. Tickets: £27.40-£29.40.

08448 717650;

RSC Live: The Tempest - 11 January

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill

7pm. On a distant island a man waits. Robbed of his position, power and wealth, he has been isolated by his enemies. But this is no ordinary man, and this no ordinary island. Prospero is a magician, able to control the very elements and bend nature to his will. Simon Russell Beale returns to the RSC after 20 years to play Prospero in this groundbreaking production directed by artistic director Gregory Doran. Shown on the De La Warr Pavilion’s big screen. Tickets: £12.

01424 229111;

Worthing Symphony Orchestra: Nicola Benedetti - 12 January

Assembly Hall, Worthing

7.30pm. An evening to savour: Dvorak’s ever popular New World Symphony, The Land of the Mountain and the Flood by Hamish MacCunn and Nicola Benedetti returns to play Beethoven’s magisterial Violin Concerto. Tickets: £19-£28.

01903 206206;

Tommy Emmanuel: It’s Never Too Late - 12 January

The Hawth, Crawley

7.30pm. With special guest Clive Carroll. A two-time Grammy nominee whose five-decade career has garnered hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide, Tommy Emmanuel brings his passionate and infectious live show to town. Tickets: £27.50

01293 553636;

Dave Drake - 14 January

Meeting House, University of Sussex

2pm. The Brighton-born jazz pianist returns home to play a solo show in support of Jo Cox’s Fund. Now living in New York the 21-year-old first played a duet with Barry Harris at the age of 13, and appeared with Wynton Marsalis twice in 2012. Tickets £16/£10.

From the Jam - 14 January

The Hawth, Crawley

7.30pm. Led by the The Jam’s original bassist Bruce Foxton, From The Jam recreates the excitement of the years 1977 to 1982 and plays all the classic tracks from the back catalogue. Expect to hear classic hits such as Going Underground and Start as well as songs from Bruce’s solo career. Tickets: £22.50.

01293 553636;

Boatman and Friends in Conversation - 19 January

Waterstones, Brighton

7pm. One of Britain’s most innovative compilers of cryptic crosswords, Keymer resident Ashley Knowles in discussion with John Halpern (Paul in the Guardian, Mudd in the Financial Times, Punk in the Independent) and Hugh Stephenson (Guardian crossword editor). See My Sussex Life on page 202 for more.

01273 206017;

The First Ladies of Swing, Clare Teal - 20 January

Festival Theatre, Chichester

7.30pm. From swing to sublime ballads Clare Teal’s concerts with her 17-piece Hollywood Orchestra, conducted by the internationally acclaimed trumpeter, composer and arranger Guy Barker, mix fabulous arrangements with warmth and witty story-telling. Clare and the band will explore timeless classics and celebrate giants of the Great American and British Songbooks through to the work of more contemporary writers crafting the standards of today. Tickets from £15.

01243 781312;

Ruby Turner - 21 January

The Capitol, Horsham

Ruby Turner is renowned for hits such as If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me), I’d Rather Go Blind and the US R ‘n’ B chart-topper It’s Gonna Be Alright, as well as her work with Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra as a regular featured vocalist – providing many Hootenanny highlights. Tickets: £22

01403 750220;

Alladin - 24-28 January

Eastergate Parish Hall, Barnham Road, Eastergate

7.30pm. The Eastergate Players are celebrating their 40th anniversary with their production of Aladdin, which they first performed in 1977. Saturday matinee 2pm.

Tickets are available from either D&D Cycles in Barnham or online. Cost: £8 adults, £6 concessions (under 16 and over 65) and £6 groups of 10+.

Banff Mountain Film Festival Tour - 25 January

Concert Hall, Brighton Dome

7.30pm. Experience an extraordinary collection of short films from the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival. Follow the expeditions of some of today’s most incredible adventurers, see amazing footage of adrenaline-packed action sports and be inspired by thought-provoking pieces shot from the far-flung corners of the globe. Tickets: £15.50, concessions/groups of six plus £13.50.

01273 709709;

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt - 28-29 January

Theatre Royal Brighton

Michael Rosen’s award-winning book We’re Going On A Bear Hunt is brought vividly and noisily to the stage. Join our intrepid adventurers on their quest to find a bear. Expect catchy songs, interactive scenes and plenty of hands-on adventure. Times vary. Tickets: £15.15

08448 717650;

Rent - 31 January-4 February

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne

7.45pm. The 20th anniversary production of Jonathan Larson’s groundbreaking musical Rent, inspired by Puccini’s opera La Bohème. Wednesday and Saturday matinees 2.30pm. Tickets: £26.

01323 412000;


Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters: Living on the Edge - 500 Years by the Sea - 31 December-3 January

Birling Gap Visitor Centre, East Dean

10am-4pm. The archaeology of the Seven Sisters covers thousands of years, telling a complex story of continuous human occupation along this dramatic coastline. This free exhibition details the incredible findings of the Seven Sisters Archaeology Project.

Winter Character Tours

Bodiam Castle, Robertsbridge

This winter, medieval characters are on hand to transport visitors back in time with tales of low and high status life and a special graffiti tour offering an insight to some of the motifs on the castle stonework. Tours run daily throughout January and are free on top of normal admission: adults from £8.20, children from £4.10.

11am and 3pm: high status life in the castle; Noon and 2pm: low status life in the castle; 1pm: graffiti tour

The Big Garden Birdwatch - 28-30 January


The world’s largest garden wildlife survey is now in its 38th year. Since it began it has provided valuable information about the wildlife using our gardens and parks in winter. For a free Big Garden Birdwatch pack, text BIRD to 70030 or visit

A Winter Ramble - 29 January

Sussex Wildlife Trust

10.30am-2pm. Join Sussex Wildlife Trust for a closer look at the bird life of Pett Level and watch wigeon, curlew, lapwings, marsh harriers and peregrine falcons. Wrap up warm for this fascinating three-mile walk, guided by Phil Jones and Chris Bentley of Rye Harbour nature reserve, along the beach and inland alongside the canal. Bring a packed lunch and binoculars, a few pairs will be available to borrow. Meet at the roadside pool at Pett Level, between Hastings and Rye, TQ903146. No booking necessary, but donations appreciated. Stout footwear recommended.

01797 227784;