Wondering what do over the next seven days? Here are ten of the best events.
1. Christmas Gothic.
Friday, December 14, £13-£15, 7.45pm, The Hawth studio, Crawley, 01293 553636. This is a haunting festive show from Dyad Productions, who have previously presented Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, The Time Machine and Dalloway. A spokesperson said: “Christmas: a time to remember the past, celebrate the present, and look to the future; a time of feasts and festivities; of holly and mistletoe; a time of visits and visitations. A time of ghosts. Come in from the cold and enter into the Christmas spirit as a dark and spectral woman tells haunting tales of the festive season, lighting a candle to the frailties of human nature and illuminating the cold and chilling depths of the bleak, wintry dark.”
2. The Big Enormous Present.
December 15, £7.50, 1.30pm/3pm, The Hawth studio, Crawley, 01293 553636, www.hawth.co.uk. This family production is suitable for three to eight-year-olds. A spokesperson said: “A mysterious present has appeared in the school playground. Who can it possibly be for? Jack, Dot or Polly? What could be waiting inside?” The Big Enormous Present is a show that looks at the pressures of fitting in, where people find happiness and how giving can sometimes be as good as receiving.
3. Sleeping Beauty.
December 14 to January 6, The Capitol, Horsham, 01403 750220, www.thecapitolhorsham.com. Natasha Hoeberigs plays Princess Aurora and James Fletcher is back to play Lester The Jester in The Capitol’s annual pantomime. The show also stars Heart FM’s Nicola Hume, Bad Girls’ Nicole Faraday, Phats and Small’s Ben Ofoedu, diamond dame Hywel Dowsell, West End performer James Dinsmore and X Factor singing sensation Sean Smith. A Capitol spokesperson said: “More than a traditional take of good triumphing over evil, this tale of a cursed young girl, brought up by the family nursemaid, who sleeps for 100 years before being woken by true love’s kiss, is a roller-coaster ride through time, emotion, laughter and song.”
Until Sunday, January 6, The Hawth Theatre, Crawley, 01293 553636, www.hawth.co.uk. The Hawth’s fun-packed family pantomime features plenty of comedy, singing, dancing, stunning sets, dazzling costumes, and a top-quality cast. Aladdin stars Dancing on Ice’s Jason Gardiner as Abanazar, Shaheen Jafargholi as Aladdin, Jess Robinson as the Spirit of the Ring, Nathaniel Morrison as the Genie of the Lamp, Ian Jones as Wishee Washee, Phil Stewart as the Emperor and Emily Day as Princess Jasmine. The panto also sees the return of two Crawley favourites: Michael J Batchelor as Widow Twankey and Richard Franks as PC Pongo. The show is presented by Evolution Pantomimes, the producers of last year’s hilarious box office record-breaking hit Snow White.
5. Carols and Capers (Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band).
December 17, 7.30pm, £26.50, The Capitol, Horsham, 01403 750220. Folk singer Maddy Prior joins up once again with the Carnival Band during the festive season for their unique and celebratory show, Carols and Capers. Together they mix renaissance, modern and ethnic instruments with a cavalier attitude and plenty of humour putting their stamps on a range of familiar and not-so-familiar festive fare. Organisers promise a Christmas Party to remember.
6. That’ll Be The Day Christmas Show.
December 17, 7.30pm, £28.50, The Hawth, Crawley, 01293 553636. Get ready to party as That’ll Be The Day return with their latest Christmas show. The popular rock ’n’ roll variety production celebrates the season with all your festive favourites from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s with plenty of comedy. Originally established on the cabaret circuit in the ’80s, the show began playing regional theatres in the 1990s. Now it performs more than 200 shows a year.
7. The Rocky Horror Show.
Until January 5, Theatre Royal Brighton, 0844 871 7650. The Rocky Horror Show is the big Christmas event at Brighton’s Theatre Royal this year. The show tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet mad scientist Dr Frank’n’Furter when their car breaks down outside his house.
8. The Rowland Singers.
December 20, £10, 7.30pm Assembly Hall, Stoke Abbott Road, Worthing, 01903 206206. The Rowland Singers Choral Society offers an evening of festive music. The choir will be performing a mix of Christmas songs (old and new) and aim to get your feet tapping to the music. This year’s special guests will be the versatile Worthing Steel Pan Band.
9. Five Star Swing at Christmas.
Thursday, December 20, 7.30pm, £14-£16, Clair Hall, Haywards Heath, 01444 455440. This is a thrilling concert featuring Five Star Swing, as seen at London’s Leicester Square Theatre and the BBC’s Children in Need. All your favourite Christmas tunes will be given the big band treatment, with Glenn Miller, Sinatra, Basie and Nat King Cole all jazzing up those jingle bells. Haywards Heath drummer David Waller, who tours with the band, said: “I’m excited to be bringing the big band version of all these classic Christmas songs back to my home town”. Also featured in the band is Simone from the Ivy Benson Orchestra and Chris Smith (Jnr), a composer and arranger for the BBC Radio Big Band, Herb Miller Big Band (Glenn’s brother), plus Tony Bennett’s trombonist. Tickets are selling fast for this highly popular annual event. Visit www.placesleisure.org/centres/clair-hall to find out more or purchase tickets online.
10. Sleeping Beauty (ballet).
December 20-22, £14, various times, The Hawth, Crawley, 01293 553636. Let’s All Dance presents a much-loved ballet for the whole family. Dazzling dancers, Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous score and gorgeous costumes bring this magical tale to life. A good fairy turned evil by jealousy casts a bad spell on a young princess. But an act of pure love will undo her magic, restoring her heart and bringing peace and harmony to the entire kingdom.