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What’s on In Sussex This December

still life sailors, 1980 85


John Craxton

Until 21 April

Pallant House Gallery

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John Craxton, Greek Farm, 1946 Credit: Private Collection

Pallant House Gallery is delighted to present a major exhibition celebrating the life and work of British Romantic artist, John Craxton R.A. (1922-2009). ‘John Craxton: A Modern Odyssey’ will follow Craxton’s career, from the early works he created in wartime Britain, to the vibrant paintings and drawings inspired by his beloved adopted homeland of Greece. The exhibition will position Craxton within the historical and social context of both mid- century Britain where he experienced confinement, and Greece where he travelled extensively and was able to defy convention to live as a bohemian and openly gay man.


Fair Ground

Until 17 December

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At The Waters Edge – Tessa Moldan – Acrylic on board

Glyndebourne has announced the return of its annual autumn exhibition of Sussex-based artists, Fair Ground. Featuring a diverse array of artworks by 22 contemporary artists from across Sussex, Fair Ground will be available to view to ticket holders for autumn events at Glyndebourne, by appointment and online. Among the artworks on display will be bold and vibrant paintings, expressive drawings and sculpture.



8 December

Hailsham Pavilion Theatre

A movie full of Yuletide cheer, Elf is a spirited, good-natured family comedy, and it benefits greatly from Will Ferrell’s funny and charming performance as one of Santa’s biggest helpers. Ranked by many in the top ten of Christmas movies, get your festive season off to a host of LOLs as we follow the journey of the boy turned man whose life is turned upside down when he realises he isn’t an elf.



11 December

Brighton Centre
madness 2023 1

One of the biggest and most loved British bands, Madness, have announced their ‘C’est La Vie 2023’ tour. Known for their raucous live sets, the C’est La Vie tour will be teeming with hits from the nutty boy’s unrivalled back catalogue along with some songs from the forthcoming new album. Also, responsible for some of the most well-known tracks of the 1990s including Life of Riley, Lucky You and Pure, Lightning Seeds will be the special guests for the entirety of the tour.


The Jungle Book

16-31 December

Chichester Festival Theatre
jungle book

Once upon a time a little boy finds himself lost in the jungle, in hiding from the fearsome tiger Shere Khan. He finds shelter with a wolf pack who name him ‘Mowgli the Frog’ and raise him like one of their own cubs. Baloo, the fun-seeking bear, and Bagheera, the serious panther, try to teach him the law of the jungle, but the more Mowgli the learns, the more confusing all these rules become. He’s stolen by the Bandar-log monkeys, but his friends will always rescue him, even when Shere Khan tries to banish him from the jungle forever. Mowgli’s adventures are far from over…


A Christmas Carol

20-24 December

The Hawth Crawley
a christmas carol the cratchitt family photo credit sarah slator

On Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean-spirited and miserly old man, is visited by the ghost of his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley. Shown visions of Christmases Past, Present and Future he is offered one final chance of redemption… But will he take it? This Christmas, audiences are invited to celebrate the festive season as critically acclaimed theatre company TIMT brings Charles Dickens’ classic tale A Christmas Carol to life in a stunning one-act adaptation.

Sussex silly season

Panto season is well and truly here. Oh, yes, it is!

Sleeping Beauty

8-31 December 2023

The Hawth, Crawley

column sleeping beauty the hawth

No chance of snoozing in The Hawth’s energetic production of Sleeping Beauty. 

Carrie Hope Fletcher, who boasts an impressive West End portfolio, takes on the character Carabosse. She will be joined by CBeebies favourite Andy Day, in his role as Jangles. Scott Paige, renowned for his recent appearance in The Great British Bake Off: The Musical in the West End, is taking on the role of The Good Spirit. 

Beauty and the Beast

Until 14 January

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne

Over in East Sussex, organisers of this annual panto promise theatregoers a rip-roaring adventure packed with live music, sensational costumes, and colourful sets. Carli Norris returns as the wickedly fabulous Malevolent, plus Eastbourne favourites Tucker and Martyn Knight, Brendan Hooper as Beauty’s father Jean Jaques, Rebecca Vere as Fairy Formidable, Katie Cochrane as Beauty and Lewes Roberts is the Prince.

Beauty and the Beast

Until 31 December

Capitol Theatre, Horsham

Another family-friendly version of the romantic fantasy film takes centre stage in Sussex boasting “special effects, whimsical costumes and lots of surprises”. John Partridge, best-known for his role as Christian Clarke on Eastenders, stars as Captain Gastoff and Lizzie Emery as Princess Belle.

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