Ten things to see in Sussex, Friday to Thursday, November 24-30

The Wipers Times is at Chichester Festival Theatre. Picture by Kirsten McTernan
The Wipers Times is at Chichester Festival Theatre. Picture by Kirsten McTernan

Wondering what do over the next seven days? Here are ten of the best events.

1. The Wipers Times.

Until November 25. Prices from £15, Chichester Festival Theatre, www.cft.org.uk. The Wipers Times, by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, directed by Caroline Leslie, tells the true story of the satirical newspaper created in the mud and mayhem of the Great War. In a bombed-out building during the First World War in the Belgian town of Ypres (mis-pronounced Wipers by British soldiers), two officers discovered a printing press and created a newspaper for the troops. It was a resolutely cheerful, subversive and very funny newspaper designed to lift the spirits of men on the front line.

2. Steve James.

November 24, 7.45pm, £15, The Hawth studio, Crawley, 01293 553636. This US bluesman, songwriter, bottleneck slide player and storyteller has earned a stellar reputation with decades of tireless international touring, recordings, a humorous stage presence and an unmistakable style of playing and singing. This show is brought to The Hawth in association with Crawley Blues Club. Visit stevejames.com.

3. Mata Hari: Female Spy.

Saturday, November 25, 8pm, £16 (discounts £14), The Hawth studio, Crawley, 01293 553636. The Great War. While millions of men struggle and fight in the mud, one woman’s story begs to be told. Mata Hari, the most notorious female spy in history. Or was she? Using Mata Hari’s own words, performer Katharine Mary gives a powerful portrayal of a compelling woman, the world’s first femme fatale! Dancer, lover, confidante and courtesan. From her upbringing in The Netherlands, to Indonesia, and the invention in Paris of her alter-ego, she reflects upon the events that have led her to the firing squad. Mata Hari muses, not only on her life, but also her legacy, and this she shares with the audience.

4. Horsham Symphony Orchestra.

November 25, 7.30pm, The Capitol, Horsham, 01403 750220, www.thecapitolhorsham.com. The orchestra, under their principal conductor Steve Dummer and co-leader Rachel Ellis, open their 2017-2018 concert season with two masterpieces of orchestral repertoire. The first half of the concert features Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto and the orchestra will be joined by American pianist, Joel Sachs, as soloist. After the interval the orchestra performs Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony. Returns only. Call 01403 750220 for late ticket availability. Visit www.horshamsymphony.org.uk.

5. Winter Fair.

Saturday to Sunday, November 25-26. Offering festive fun for all the family, the South of England Event Centre in Ardingly is opening its doors for another Winter Fair. More than 11,500 people attended the show last year, which offers live music, fantastic food and lots of space for shopping. Entrance is free for under 16s (accompanied by a paying adult). There will be more than 120 stall holders with one marquee dedicated to gifts and greetings and another for clothing and accessories. Almost everything is undercover. Kids can meet Santa, take a ride on the carousel or have a go at blacksmithing. Live music will be performed throughout the day from the fantastic Harry’s Tricks and acoustic singer-songwriter Fred Clark. Jon Hicks will step on stage between acts to create a unique piece of art with a surprise twist. Open 9am-5pm on Saturday and 4pm on Sunday. Free entry for Society Members with Priority Parking through Princes Gate. Adults £6. Senior citizens/students £5. Free parking. Save 10 percent when you book at www.seas.org.uk. Offer ends midnight November 24. No dogs.

6. Ariel Drama Academy Steyning 2017 Showcase.

Sunday, November 26, 7pm, £12, The Hawth, Crawley, 01293 553636. This independent drama school (top circular picture) trains youngsters (aged four to nine) in the skills required to become an actor. The academy presents an evening of song, drama and dance celebrating students’ work throughout the year.

7. The Bob Dylan

Story. Nov 27, 7.30pm, £23, £21, The Hawth Theatre, Crawley, 01293 553636. The Bob Dylan Story is a stunning live celebration of rock’s greatest icon. ​With some of the most memorable songs ever written, Bob Dylan created the soundtrack for 1960s America, amassing a huge and enduring fanbase that extended across the Atlantic to bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Bob and ‘The Band’ transport audiences back to the musician’s glory days.

8. The Mitford Sisters.

November 28, 7.45pm, £13.50, The Hawth, Crawley, 01293 553 636. Hi-Lo Productions present Gail Louw’s brand new one-woman show about The Mitfords (bottom circular picture). Diana was married to Oswald Mosley and was a lifelong fascist. Unity was a great close friend of Hitler’s. Jessica was a communist. Deborah became Duchess of Devonshire. Nancy was a well-loved novelist. And Pamela kept chickens. Actress Heather Long stars in the story of six sisters and their roles in the major events of the 20th century.

9. Book Lovers’ Supper Club.

Jessica Fellowes, author of the Downton Abbey books and The Mitford Murders, will be at The Book Lovers’ Supper Club on Wednesday, November 29. Not only did Jessica write all five official companion books to Downton Abbey, her first novel – the recently published Mitford Murders – has been snapped up for a major TV series. Appearing with Jessica is author Clover Stroud, whose book, The Wild Other, describes how she came to terms with the death of her mother at age 16. Tickets include a fish and chip supper and a glass of fizz. Doors open at 6.45pm (not before). The venue is The Barn, Lodge Hill Lane, Ditchling, BN6 8SP. Tickets are £26 from tabl.com or £25 from Ditchling Post Office.

10. Driving Miss Daisy.

November 28 to December 2. Tickets from £15, Chichester Festival Theatre, www.ft.org.uk. When elderly widow Daisy Werthan crashes her car one day in 1948, her son hires her a chauffeur, an African-American named Hoke Colburn. Daisy and Hoke’s relationship gets off to a rocky start, but as times change across a 25-year backdrop of prejudice, inequality and civil unrest, a profound friendship blossoms.

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