Theatre Events

Present Laughter by Noël Coward


Chichester Festival Theatre, Oaklands Park, Chichester.

Friday April 20-Saturday May 12, 7.30pm

Tickets from £10
Tracy-Ann Oberman (pictured above) stars in this production with actor, comedian and presenter Rufus Hound (pictured above) as Garry Essendine, an actor at the height of his fame. He’s handsome, witty, surrounded by adoring fans, and about to take his latest theatrical hit overseas. He’s also in the middle of a raging mid-life crisis. Holed up in his studio, he is assailed from all quarters: a beautiful debutante wants to bed him, an aspiring playwright from Uckfield wants to worship him, and his own producer’s wife wants to… well, what exactly does she want? Under the sardonic eye of his long-suffering secretary and the unshockable gaze of his estranged but determined wife, Garry struggles to keep all the balls in the air. This sparkling comedy about sex, fame and the theatre itself – and a man wrestling with his own self-image – is widely regarded as Noël Coward’s most autobiographical play. This production is directed by Sean Foley, whose hit West End productions include The Painkiller, Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (Olivier Award for Best Comedy), The Ladykillers, The Dresser (at Chichester in 2016) and the multi-award-winning The Play What I Wrote. Picture of Tracy-Ann Oberman: Wolf Marloh.

Read our feature on this year’s Chichester Festival programme.

Phone 01243 781312 or visit

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Devonshire Park Theatre, Compton Street, Eastbourne

Tuesday-Saturday April 24-28, 7.45pm with 2.30pm matinees on Wednesday and Saturday

Tickets £18-£25.50

Duty Free actress Gwen Taylor and Susan Penhaligon, who appeared in TV’s A Bouquet of Barbed Wire, star in Oscar Wilde’s comedy. The Importance of Being Earnest follows Jack Worthing’s endeavours to marry Algernon’s cousin, the beautiful Gwendolen. But first he must convince the fearsome Lady Bracknell of his respectability. Wilde’s classic play looks at the clash of town and country in a story of romance, identity, perambulators and capacious handbags. Also appearing in the play are Hannah Louise Howell, Geoff Aymer, Louise Coulthard, Downton Abbey actor Thomas Howes, who played William Mason, Peter Sandys-Clarke and Simon Shackleton. It’s directed by The Original Theatre Company’s artistic director, Alastair Whatley. Picture: Jay Brooks.

Phone 01323 412000 or visit

The Truth/The Flats

The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley

Wednesday and Thursday April 25 and 26, 7.45pm

Tickets £12/discounts £10

Pitchy Breath Theatre presents two plays by Tim Fifield, which explore a tower block and the people who live, visit and disappear from there. In The Truth, 59-year-old Mark has been forced into retirement due to stress and passes his time listening to 80s records and watching the world outside his window. His life feels small, then the doorbell rings and in comes Toyah, ready to confront the past. In The Flats, Billy Roberts goes missing and nobody notices… until a neighbour finds a note and the key to his flat.

Phone 01293 553636 or visit


The Old Market, 11a Upper Market Street, Hove

Thursday April 26, 7pm

Tickets £5/concs £4

Graduates of Sussex Downs College Lewes Performing Arts Academy perform a contemporary version of Shakespeare’s play, exploring the impact of revenge, madness and obsession in the modern world.

Phone 01273 201801 or visit

Crimes Under The Sun

Studio, The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley

Friday and Saturday April 27 and 28, 7.45pm

Tickets £17.50/discounts £15. Age 12+

Award-winning theatre company New Old Friends present a new comedy thriller directed by James Farrell. A secluded island hotel just off the English coast becomes a crime scene as a scandal-inducing femme fatale is felled. All the guests on the island are suspects, but are they alone and is this the first crime this idyllic island has witnessed? The cast of four actors play multiple characters.

Phone 01293 553636 or visit

random/generations: a double bill of plays by debbie tucker green

Minerva Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, Oaklands Park, Chichester

Friday May 4-Saturday June 2, 7.45pm

Tickets from £20


‘never trouble trouble til trouble trouble you’. But trouble does arrive. And changes everything. This blistering play, told through the eyes of a young woman, explores the unbearable sense of loss felt by a family faced with a catastrophic and random act.


In the cradle of their South African family, Boyfriend and Girlfriend are beginning their lives together, just as Mama and Dad, and Grandad and Nana, did before them. Until, one by one, family members start to disappear. Fierce, warm and funny, these two short and haunting dramas, presented here in a double bill, examine love, life and loss through the lives of two families on two continents. random is an extraordinary play for one actress, whilst the generations company includes a South African choir. A playwright, screenwriter and director, debbie tucker green is one of theatre’s most original and internationally acclaimed voices. She won the Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer in 2004 for born bad, and the 2012 BAFTA Award for Best Single Drama for the television version of random. Both plays are directed by Tinuke Craig, making her Chichester debut.

Read our feature on this year’s Chichester Festival programme.

Phone 01243 781312 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.


Theatre Royal, New Road, Brighton

Wednesday May 9, 8pm

Tickets £13.15-£26-65

Adam is the story of a young transgender man born in a country where being yourself can get you killed and exile is the only choice. This award-winning production follows his journey from Egypt to Scotland. The score is by Olivier Award-winner Jocelyn Pook and sung by a virtual choir of trans and non-binary individuals from around the world.

Phone 0844 871 7650 or visit

NT Live: Macbeth (12A)

Connaught Studio, Connaught Theatre, Union Place, Worthing

Thursday May 10, 7pm

Tickets £16.50/child and senior £15.50/student £14.50

Shakespeare’s most intense and terrifying tragedy is directed by Rufus Norris at the National Theatre and stars Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. In the ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war, the Macbeths are propelled towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness.

Phone 01903 206206 or visit

NT Live: Macbeth (15+)

Chequer Mead Community Arts Centre, De La Warr Road, East Grinstead

Thursday May 10, 7pm

Tickets  £14/concs £12

Shakespeare’s most intense and terrifying tragedy is directed by Rufus Norris at the National Theatre and stars Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. In the ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war, the Macbeths are propelled towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness.

Phone 01342 302000 or visit

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