Tom Hart Dyke: Plant Hunter

Sussex Country Gardener, Mark Cross, Crowborough

Thursday April 26

Tickets £8. Booking essential

Tom Hart Dyke was on a plant-hunting expedition in the Columbian jungle in 200 when he was kidnapped along with his travelling companion. It happened as they were trekking though The Darien Gap, a dangerous place abandoned by all to two warring guerrilla factions. Tom was held for nine months before he was released in December 2000. He talks about his experience.

Phone 01892 852828 or visit

David Baddiel – My Family: Not The Sitcom

Pavilion Theatre, Marine Parade, Worthing

Thursday April 26, 7.30pm

Tickets £27

Comedian and writer David Baddiel brings his Olivier-nominated one-man show to Worthing following a sold-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London and two critically acclaimed West End runs.  It’s a show about memory, ageing,  infidelity, dysfunctional relatives, moral policing on social media, golf, and gay cats, and a massively disrespectful celebration of the lives of David Baddiel’s late sex-mad mother, Sarah, and dementia-ridden father, Colin. 

Phone 01903 206206 or visit

Paul Gascoigne: My Life In My Own Words

Pavilion Theatre, Marine Parade, Worthing

Friday April 27, 7.30pm

Tickets £35

Paul “Gazza” Gascoigne is a footballing legend: the former England international and football manager earned 57 caps during his England career and is described by the National Football Museum as “the most naturally gifted English midfielder of his generation”. He tells his life story tonight, when there will be a Q&A with the audience. Comedian Jed Stone also performs, and there will be a raffle and an auction of football memorabilia.

Phone 01903 206206 or visit

An Evening with Peter Andre

The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley

Saturday April 28, 7pm

Tickets £27-£92

Pop singer, songwriter, businessman and television presenter Peter Andre is as famous for his private life as he is for his biggest hits, Mysterious Girl and Flava. Once married to Katie Price after they met on reality TV show I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! in 2004, he is now married to Emily MacDonagh with whom he has two children. Tonight, there’s an interview with Peter and the chance to buy exclusive merchandise, plus a meet & greet with Gold Tickets priced £92 or a professionally taken and printed 6”x9” photo with Peter with Silver Tickets priced £52.

Phone 01293 553636 or visit

A World of Lavender

Sussex Country Gardener, Mark Cross, Crowborough

Thursday May 3

Tickets £8. Booking essential

Dr Simon Charlesworth, the owner of Downderry Nursery, an RHS Gold medal-winning lavender specialist in Kent, is the holder of an NCCPG collection of lavender. A leading expert on all aspects of lavender, he talks about this plant.

Phone 01892 852828 or visit

From Boudica to Beyonce – Classic Women with Mary Beard & Natalie Haynes

Theatre Royal, New Road, Brighton

Friday May 4, 7.30pm

Tickets £16.90-£22.40

In conversation with writer Damian Barr are historian Mary Beard (pictured), Professor of Classics at Cambridge, and the author of Women & Power: A Manifesto, and Natalie Haynes, who hosts Stand Up For The Classics on BBC Radio 4. They discuss who the most powerful women in history are and how their stories empower us today. From Medusa and other mythical female monsters to warrior queens and kick-ass divas, they celebrate women and power.

Phone 0844 871 7650 or visit

Jake Shears In Conversation

The Old Market, Upper Market Street, Hove

Friday May 4, 7.30pm

Tickets £10/£26 includes admission and a copy of Boys Keep Swinging

Jake Shears is the lead singer of multiplatinum-selling glam rock band Scissor Sisters and one of the world’s most famous LGBTQ icons. At this special event, he will discuss his beautifully wide-eyed and determined coming-of-age new memoir Boys Keep Swinging with award-winning journalist and author Matthew Todd.  Before becoming lead singer with the Scissor Sisters, Jake Shears was Jason Sellards, just a kid with an unfathomable imagination and a love of He-Man dolls. Splitting life between Arizona and the Pacific West Coast, his childhood was marked by school bullies and the terror of the rise and misunderstanding surrounding the AIDS virus. With changes in age and geography, Jake gradually found a sense of belonging – first in Seattle, then in the street life and lights of New York City in the late 90s where, with friends and musicians also thirsting for freedom and the stage, he would form Scissor Sisters and go on to sell out venues worldwide. He says, The purpose of my life is to entertain. It’s a constant feedback loop.” Picture of Jake Shears: Ivan Bideac.

Phone 01273 201801 or visit

Brighton Festival 2018

Various venues, Brighton and Hove

Saturday Sunday May 5-27

Brighton-based visual artist David Shrigley (pictured) is the guest director at this year’s Brighton Festival, following in the footsteps of arts luminaries including Kate Tempest, Laurie Anderson, Ali Smith, Hofesh Shecter and Michael Rosen. His offbeat take is reflected in an eclectic programme spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, literature and debate, from Brighton Festival commission Problem in Brighton, a brand new alt rock/pop pantomime, written and directed by David Shrigley himself to a live durational reading of Camus’s seminal The Myth of Sisyphus, and performances from genderqueer rock‘n’roll hero Ezra Furman and cult-favourite Amanda Palmer. Alongside Life Model II, a follow-up to the artist’s Turner Prize-nominated installation of the same name, which invites visitors to take part in a life drawing class with a sculpture of a nine-foot-tall woman as the ‘model’, there is an illustrated talk billed as ‘containing numerous rambling anecdotes… not in the slightest bit boring’, and a screening of a documentary about his work. Other events close to the artist’s heart include an exclusive collaboration between orchestral collective Stargaze and one of his favourite bands, Deerhoof; an exhibition by San-Francisco-based artist and trucker Brett Goodroad (picture below); and a double bill from his friend Malcolm Middleton, one half of Arab Strap, and Scottish musician Iain Shaw, whose quirky folk song-smithery has turned Shrigley’s poems into incisive songs on albums like Awesome and Listening to Slayer. Picture of David Shrigley: Victor Frankowski. Picture below: John Janca.

Phone 01273 709709, email or visit

Read our feature on the Brighton Festival.

The Living Jigsaw – How to Garden with Wildlife in Mind

Courtyard Studio, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, West Dean, near Chichester

Saturday May 5, 2pm-4pm


Award-winning garden writer, organic gardener and lecturer Val Bourne gardens on the wind-swept Cotswolds at Spring Cottage in Gloucestershire, where her third-of-an-acre garden is managed without using chemicals. She gives a talk based on her latest book The Living Jigsaw, introducing both new and experienced gardeners to the wide diversity of birds, animals, insects, and even slugs that help bring a natural balance to a home garden and help its plants and flowers shrug off problems before they become entrenched.

Phone 01243 818210 or visit

The Last Poets

Theatre Royal, New Road, Brighton

Tuesday May 15, 7.30pm

Tickets £19.15-£21.65

The Last Poets are the birthplace of rap, formed in 1968 and fusing politically outspoken lyrics with inventive percussion. In a rare appearance, legendary godfathers of hip hop Umar Bin Hassan, Abiodun Oyewole and Donn Babatunde celebrate 50 years of powerful words and music as part of Brighton Festival.

Read our feature on the Brighton Festival.

Phone 0844 871 7650 or visit

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