Events and things to do in Sussex - October 2015

ABC Animal Sanctuary Coffee Pop In

ABC Animal Sanctuary Coffee Pop In - Credit: Archant

Our guide to the best events in and around Sussex

28 September-3 October - REBECCA

Kneehigh Theatre Company

7.45pm. Following the mysterious death of his first wife, Maxim de Winter returns to Manderley with his new young bride. Surrounded by memories of the glamorous Rebecca, the new Mrs De Winter is consumed by jealousy. She sets out to uncover the secrets of the house and a past fiercely guarded by the sinister housekeeper Mrs Danvers. Thursday and Saturday matinees 2.30pm. Tickets: £10-£32.40.

Theatre Royal, Brighton: 0844 871 7677

1-31 October - BATTLE FESTIVAL

Battle Festival is back with a bang in 2015 after last year’s inaugural event was hailed a smash hit. This time around, the festival will be a full month-long affair, with a widely varying programme of festival and fringe events taking place throughout the town. Classical and contemporary concerts are scheduled, with a cast including big name performers like Hollywood and RSC actor Anton Lesser. Visual arts exhibitions take place throughout, along with an unrivalled Masterclass initiative of talks, workshops and classes. Foodies will love the culinary showcase of Sussex’s finest artisan producers. October - CHICHESTER CHAMBER CONCERTS: CARDUCCI STRING QUARTET

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7.30pm. Programme: Haydn String Quartet Op.33 no 2 The Joke

Shostakovich String Quartet No 3

Arvo Pärt Summa

Beethoven String Quartet Op.18 no 4

Tickets £17 from Chichester Festival Theatre; 01243 781312

2 October - SOIL AND SOUL

7pm. Following the call from Pope Francis to be good stewards of creation and care for our world, Anglican academic, theologian and former Archbishop of Canterbury, The Rt Revd and Rt Hon The Lord Williams of Oystermouth, aka Rowan Williams, is bringing his response and passion for the natural world to Sussex. He will be speaking on Christianity and the environment, on Friday 2 October at Firle Place, as part of a new Soil and Soul festival. Tickets: £10. October - AUTUMN SHOW AND GAME FAIR

South of England Showground, Ardingly

9am-5pm. Seasonal food, family fun, a wide range of traditional country pursuits and great shopping are on offer at the Autumn Show & Game Fair on 3 and 4 October at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex. Visitors can join in and have a go at some of the best aspects of British country life including gundog scurries, clay pigeon shooting, fly fishing, archery and dog agility to help celebrate the Autumn Harvest. October - APPLE AFFAIR

West Dean Gardens, Near Chichester

10am-5pm. West Dean Gardens’ Apple Affair is a celebration of the best of the British autumn harvest, including the impressive apple harvest from West Dean’s own orchards and pumpkins and gourds from the Victorian Kitchen Garden.

Visitors can bring their own apple varieties along for identification and shop at around 30 artisan stalls offering seasonal produce and products. October - OLD DIRTY BRASSTARDS

Lancing College Theatre

8pm. Since forming in 2012, Old Dirty Brasstards have gained an enviable reputation for their bold and innovative approach, on a mission to introduce brass music to brand new audiences. The tweed-clad 10-piece brass and drum collective comprises some of London’s top freelance musicians, playing an eclectic mix of pop, R&B and soul. Tickets: £12. October - BRIGHTON COMEDY FESTIVAL

The festival sets out to present the best live comedy of the year. Featuring Jack Dee, Rich Hall, Simon Amstell, Milton Jones, Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe, Romesh Ranganathan and many more. The festival will once again be back at the Brighton Dome, Komedia and The Old Market, providing a programme that will have a tickle for everyone’s funny bone.

www.brightoncomedyfestival.com10 October - COFFEE POP IN ABC ANIMAL SANCTUARY

Storrington Church Hall

10am-2pm. Pop in for coffee and cake, enter the raffle, sponsor an animal or pick up a bargain at the bric-a-brac. All proceeds go to caring for the animals at the Alexandra Bastedo Champions Animal Sanctuary in West Chiltington. COLOUR HOTSPOTS IN SUSSEX

Autumn colours are expected to appear from mid-October, with red, gold and orange shades covering the landscape until late November. So whether you’re admiring the variety of trees and plants, building up an appetite for some seasonal tasty treats or enjoying a walk through the crisp leaves, there are plenty of reasons to explore National Trust sites this autumn.

To help you decide where to visit, the National Trust has come up with their top autumn colour hotspots in Sussex.

Sheffield Park and Garden, Bateman’s and Standen top the poll as the must-visit spots for those wanting to revel in East Sussex’s autumn jewel shades with Nymans, Petworth House and Park, Uppark House and Garden, the Slindon Estate and Woolbeding countryside topping the bill for West Sussex. October - AUTUMN COUNTRYSIDE SHOW

Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Nr Chichester

10.30am-5pm. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of the countryside at harvest. At this beautiful time of year, experience teams of heavy horses ploughing the fields and vintage tractors at work. Enjoy a steam-powered threshing demonstration alongside falconry and dog displays, together with a fun dog show in the main arena.

See woodland and rural craft demonstrations as well as thatching and traditional competitions throughout the weekend. Also browse and buy gifts with a countryside theme at the many craft and trade stands. October - EVAN CHRISTOPHER’S DJANGO A LA CREOLE

Frant Church, Frant, Near Tunbridge Wells

8pm. Django à la Créole is the fusion of Gypsy swing with hot syncopations from the streets of New Orleans, the Caribbean and Brazil. Doors open 7.30pm.

Tickets: £16, available from Paul Barber 01892 750665 or Frant Stores, Britten’s Music Shop Tunbridge Wells, or online from www.wegottickets.com19 October-24 October - BEFORE THE PARTY

7.45pm. Bill Kenwright presents a bitingly funny adaptation of a short story by Somerset Maugham. Starring Tom Conti and Gwen Taylor. Wednesday and Saturday matinees 2.30pm.Tickets: £19-£26.50.

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne: 01323 412000


This year’s Brighton Early Music Festival is celebrating women – as composers, performers, inspirational characters, muses and symbols, and includes the largest UK celebration of historical women composers.

The festival mainly runs across three weekends in an eclectic range of venues spread across Brighton and Hove. Tickets can be booked online at (no booking fee) or via Brighton Dome Ticket Office on 01273 709709.


10.30am-3pm. If you would like to try your hand at bushcraft skills and making natural paints, then come along to Seven Sisters Country Park near Eastbourne on Tuesday 27 October. Don’t miss this chance to get stuck into nature and get muddy, get messy and of course eat marshmallows. Grind leaves and berries together to create colours to paint with. Use a bow saw to slice wood or whittle a stick to cook marshmallows. Suitable for children aged six–11 years. Children must be accompanied by an adult. No booking necessary. Suggested donation of £4 per child to Sussex Wildlife Trust would be appreciated.

01273 497561 or visit October-1 November - HALLOWEEN SHRIEK WEEK

Drusillas Park, Alfriston

If you are bored of all your local haunts, stake out the fun at Drusillas Park over the Halloween period. They’ve conjured up some fang-tastically spooky surprises to keep your little horrors half-term happy.

01323 874100 or visit October - HALLOWEEN HORRORS!

5.30pm-7.30pm. Come along to Woods Mill nature reserve near Henfield for spooktacular fun and games with Sussex Wildlife Trust. Take a candlelit walk through the woods to enjoy a cup of warming hot chocolate around the campfire as darkness falls, but watch out for ghosts in the trees!

Whatever the weather, there is plenty to do inside too; create a beautiful bat mask and meet some real live owls with Huxleys Birds of Prey. Suitable for children aged five-11 years.

01273 497561 or visit October - RIDE THE FRIGHT NIGHT EXPRESS IF YOU DARE!

Kent & East Sussex Railway

Be greeted with the beat of Drum Skullz and entertained by Jacob the Fire Breather, back by popular demand! Once on board, be prepared to be frightened silly with ghostly goings-on at stations with a firework display and a few surprises along the way. Families are encouraged to come in fancy dress, the scarier the better!

Booking essential; October - HALLOWEEN CHARITY ABSEIL

Register today for The Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity Halloween-themed 100ft abseil at the Sandman Hotel, Tinsley Lane South, Crawley and scare yourself senseless.

Accept this challenge by paying a non-returnable deposit of £30 per person when you register, and raising £100 per person in minimum sponsorship. Registration closes at 5pm Friday 23 October.

To register tel: 01403 780444 or visit