What’s on this December in Sussex

Snow at Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex. House not owned by National Trust.

Snow at Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex. House not owned by National Trust. - Credit: Archant

Rounding up the best things to do in Sussex over the Christmas season

ART

UNTIL 23 FEBRUARY

RADICAL WOMEN: JESSICA DISMORR AND HER CONTEMPORARIES

Pallant House, Chichester

This fascinating exhibition traces the alliances and connections among the women artists of the early 20th century, with a focus on the pioneering work of Jessica Dismorr. She was at the forefront of the avant-garde movement in Britain, and was involved in everything from the Rhythm Group of the late 1910s through to post-war figuration and the abstraction of the 1930s. She has since fallen into unjust obscurity, but her story is now being told once more.

www.pallant.org.uk

1 December - 5 January

Most Read

Living Silver - Contemporary Silver for the Home

Augustus Brandt, Petworth

An exhibition dedicated to revealing the highly creative and technically skilled work of British silversmiths today, in partnership with Contemporary British Silversmiths (CBS). Limited edition silver Christmas tree decorations available to buy from the Augustus Brandt retail outlet.

www.augustusbrandt.co.uk

14 DECEMBER - 10 MAY

BRINK: CAROLINE LUCAS CURATES THE TOWNER COLLECTION

Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne

Caroline Lucas, the renowned politician, cultural advocate and environmental campaigner, is curating her first exhibition for a major UK gallery. Her choices will reflect and resonate with her passions and interests - including her love of Sussex.

Free entry. www.townereastbourne.org.uk

MUSIC & THEATRE

30 NOVEMBER

COMEDY CHRISTMAS PARTY

Langham Brewery, Lodsworth

Hot on the heels of a sell-out show in the summer, this hugely popular comedy is returning to Langham Brewery for a side-splitting Christmas show - there will be world-class comedy, fire-cooked pizzas and ciabattas, as well as specialist craft brews, wines, gins and proseccos.

Tickets: £9.50 for early bird or £11 on the door. Doors open at 7.30pm and the show starts at 8.10pm. www.discoverpetworth.uk1 December

Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra

Brighton Dome

Conducted by the talented Natalie Murray-Beale, the Brighton Philharmonic will be performing an exciting series of Sunday afternoon concerts that is something of a departure from previous seasons. This performance includes perennial favourites Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending, Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik and Haydn's Farewell Symphony.

Tickets available from Brighton Dome Ticket Office.

www.brightondome.org

1-5 December

Nativity Play

Wivelsfield Parish Church

The ancient Saxon church is the perfect setting for this down-to-earth portrayal of the historic events surrounding the birth of Christ. Not suitable for children younger than 12 years old.

Tickets: £10 per person

www.ticketsource.co.uk/wlt

2-7 DECEMBER

CHRISTMAS CONCERTS

Chichester Festival Theatre

The Cathedral Choir, directed by Charles Harrison, will perform alongside The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, directed by Captain Andy Gregory RM, for a Christmas concert to remember; expect all the traditional carols alongside some exciting new arrangements, with some Christmas cracker jokes thrown in for good measure.

Tickets: from £10. www.cft.org.uk

3-15 DECEMBER

THE GRUFFALO

Chichester Festival Theatre

Follow the story of Mouse, who meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the spirited Snake - will the terrifying Gruffalo save Mouse from ending up as dinner for these hungry woodland creatures? This production is suitable for children aged three and up, and it's sure to be a crowd-pleaser for all.

Tickets: £15. www.cft.org.uk

4 DECEMBER

MUSICAL MATINEE CLUB: WHITE CHRISTMAS

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill The start of a new season of regular screenings at De La Warr Pavilion, which have been specifically designed for people who may benefit from a more informal environment, especially those living with dementia and disabilities.

Tickets: £3.50, including tea and biscuits. The screening will begin at 1.30pm. www.dlwp.com

5 December

Slade White Rock Theatre, Hastings

Performing as part of their Rockin' Home for Christmas Tour Slade will be heading to White Rock Theatre this month to get us all in the festive spirit.

Tickets from £26.95

www.eventim.co.uk/artist/slade

5-7 DECEMBER

STICK MAN

Theatre Royal Brighton

This touching, funny and unique adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's classic book promises to be packed full of puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves. Watch as Freckle Productions recount the heart-warming tale of Stick Man's eventful morning jog, and his journey back to the family tree.

Tickets: from £17.15. Performance times vary. www.atgtickets.com

13-31 December

The Wizard of Oz

Attenborough Centre, Brighton

Dorothy and her dog Toto get transported to the wonderful world of Oz, where they learn that the only way to get back home is to visit the great and powerful Wizard. A show not to miss, packed with toe-tapping musical numbers and comic routines, now with gorgeous new sets and sumptuous costumes.

Tickets from £10

www.attenboroughcentre.com

13 DECEMBER

TWAS THE NIGHTSHIFT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Brighton Dome

Following on from the stellar success of This is Going to Hurt, Adam Kay is bringing the stories of the 1.4 million NHS staff who are working over the festive period to the Brighton Dome Concert Hall, with highlights from the book alongside new content and his award-winning stand-up comedy.

Tickets: £32, which includes a hardback copy of the book. Performances at 5.30pm and 8pm. www.brightondome.org

15 DECEMBER

VINTAGE GALA SCREENING: MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET

Worthing Dome

Dress to impress and be ready to walk the red carpet at this sparkling event, with a glass of mulled wine and a box of luxury popcorn brought to your seat on arrival. The 1947 film follows the story of an elderly man who has been institutionalised as insane and a young lawyer's bid to save him.

Tickets: £10 for adults, £9.50 for senior citizens, £9 for children and students or £15 for VIP balcony seats. Doors open at 8pm. www.domecinema.co.uk

15 DECEMBER

THE SNOWMAN AND PADDINGTON BEAR'S FIRST CONCERT

Brighton Dome

This musical extravaganza brings together a match made in heaven, recounting the story of Peru's most famous bear as he attends his first ever concert, before moving on to the much-loved animated film of Raymond Briggs' picture book which will be shown on a big screen. Walking in the Air will be sung live, and both pieces will be accompanied by live orchestra.

Tickets: from £10 for under 16s. Performances at 2.30pm and 5.30pm. www.brightondome.org

19-21 DECEMBER

THE CATHEDRAL CAROL SERVICE

Chichester Cathedral

If you're looking to get into the festive spirit, this should be a definite date for the diary - all are welcome to this very special Christmassy service at Chichester Cathedral, with lessons and carols sung by the Cathedral Choir.

Free to attend. It will begin at 6pm on the Thursday and Friday, and 3pm on the Saturday. www.chichestercathedral.org.uk

OUT & ABOUT

30 NOVEMBER-24 DECEMBER

SANTA SPECIALS

Kent and East Sussex Railway

Your experience will start and end at Tenterden Station, with a beautiful Victorian carousel offering unlimited rides for younger and older visitors alike; you'll then be taken on a journey that lasts for just over one hour, complete with complimentary refreshments and Christmas gifts delivered by hand by Santa and his trusty elves.

Ticket prices vary. www.kesr.org.uk

30 NOVEMBER-1 DECEMBER

SUSSEX GUILD CONTEMPORARY CRAFT SHOW

See the very best of designer crafts at the Sussex Guild Contemporary Craft Show at Midhurst Rother College, North Street, Midhurst GU29 9DT on Nov 30 and Dec 1, 10:00 - 17:00. Café and free parking. Admission: £3, students and children free.

www.thesussexguild.co.uk/sussex-guild-events/midhurst-contemporary-craft-show

1 December

Tree Dressing

Weald & Downland Living Museum

A magical occasion for all the family, the event is based on an ancient custom that celebrates the importance of trees and takes place during National Tree Week. Visitors can enjoy making a headdress from greenery, turning jam jars into lanterns and joining a procession illuminated by hundreds of lanterns. As dusk falls, everyone joins in with dressing the aspen trees while traditional song and dancing takes place. Warming refreshments will be available including mulled apple juice and spiced biscuits. www.wealddown.co.uk

1-24 December

Santa Specials

Bluebell Railway

Enjoy a journey through the Sussex countryside in all its winter splendour on the Bluebell Railway. Santa and his elves will be on board with a present and chocolate treat for all the children (he won't forget the grown-ups, there's a mince pie for them!). Sit back and enjoy the trip to Horsted Keynes station where you will find a Victorian fairground and a Christmas pantry serving drinks and festive snacks. Trains depart from Sheffield Park Station or East Grinstead station. Pre-booking is essential.

Prices vary according to date.

www.bluebell-railway.com

National trust

Standen: marvel at the festive contemporary art structure that is the winter tree at Standen.

Uppark: explore a Georgian Christmas with the house dressed for a masked ball, including paper creations by artist Denise Watson.

Sheffield Park: Christmas concerts on 15 and 22 December.

Nymans: Flights of Fancy - the Wondrous World of Quentin Blake.

Alfriston Clergy House: see the medieval house decorated for Christmas.

Petworth House: see the house dressed for a 19th century Christmas.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk

7 DECEMBER

ARUNDEL BY CANDLELIGHT

The historic town of Arundel will become a winter wonderland this month, with beautifully decorated real Christmas trees and twinkling white lights adorning the shops, restaurants, pubs and many private homes to create a stunning Christmas scene. The Christmas market features high-quality stallholders, with an array of festive treats on offer such as roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and hog roasts.

Taking place from midday to 7pm. www.arundelbycandlelight.co.uk

12-15 and 19-22 December

Leonardslee Illuminated

near Horsham

Enjoy the spectacular Christmas illuminations and trail through the beautiful woods and lakes at Leonardslee Gardens. Featuring enchanting light displays, music and theatrical performances, and large-scale projections onto Leonardslee House.

Leonardslee Illuminated is suitable for everyone, including children of all ages - anyone who would like a healthy dose of Christmas cheer and wonderment!

House and Park entry: £15 adults and £7.50 for children over three, and need to be pre-booked online, with start times available from 4.30-7.30pm.

www.leonardsleeilluminated.co.uk

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