1 Festival. Brighton Festival is hosting a free taster event on Sunday, April 7 at Brighton Dome for visitors to experience a flavour of what’s to come in May. The event is inspired by Brighton Festival’s guest director, acclaimed Malian musician Rokia Traoré and this year’s themes of storytelling and journeys. The event is free and takes place from 12-4pm in Brighton Dome café-bar.
2 Music. After a successful Ropetackle concert surrounded by 30 ukulele players and a full band, Richard Durrant returns to Shoreham’s Ropetackle for a far quieter performance, Unplugged & Unamplified. On April 4, he will ditch the drums and the smoke machine. Instead he is promising some of the world’s most beautiful, solo guitar music unplugged and acoustic. Richard said: “There will always be times when I have to plug in, and this can be very exciting and effective but equally, there are times when I want to offer something purer and more direct. This direct, acoustic contact with the audience, the sound of my guitar with fingers on strings and nails articulating emotions, is something I’ve practised and thought about for all of my working life.” Richard and stage manager Matt Hodgson will transform the Ropetackle performance area to bring the performance down off the stage and close to the audience. The programme will consist of one half South American music and one half Spanish including music by Antonio Lauro, Juan Duarte, Isaac Albeniz and Francisco Tarrega. The performance will be filmed. Starts 7.30pm. Tickets £16, £14 and £5 under 18s; 01273 464440; online ropetacklecentre.co.uk.
3 Comedy. Following a sold-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Ivo Graham is taking his show Motion Sickness on tour around the UK, rolling into Shoreham’s Ropetackle Arts Centre on Thursday, April 11. Spokeswoman Tony Glynn said: “Ivo is growing up. So this is his ‘moving in together’ show’: his ‘getting married’ show; his ‘having kids’ show. Sounds exhausting, right? Imagine being the one actually doing it.”
4 Theatre. Stage-door Theatre company offer an Agatha Christie-inspired spoof as their next production, coming up in Littlehampton. Micki Darbyshire will direct Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders by Derek Webb, with performances running from April 10-13 at 7.30pm in the Windmill Theatre.
5 Racing. Looking for something to do with the kids over the Easter Holidays? Why not try something a bit different and visit Fontwell Park Racecourse for a day full of fun Friday, April 12. Gates open at 12pm. The first race is at 2.10pm and kids go free. Get your tickets now at https://www.fontwellpark.co.uk/whats-on/easter-eggstravaganza-12-april
6 Music. Steyning Jazz Club welcomes The Matt Wates Sextet this Friday, April 5. Club spokesman Colin Jilks said: “Matt, who studied in America, is an alto saxophonist who performs in the classic be-bop style, his impressive technique producing an unmistakable melodic liquid sound.Matt’s superb six-piece band is unquestionably brilliant, some of the finest players on the scene. The line-up is: Matt Wates, alto sax; Steve Main, tenor sax; Martin Shaw, trumpet; Leon Greening, piano; Malcolm Creese, bass; and Matt Home, drums. The band has been together in this format for some 12 years and the combination of two saxes, trumpet and rhythm section, has become a classic, creating innumerable possibilities for an arranger/composer. Matt endeavours to find material that will be fun to play, with a mix of classic jazz standards and beautifully-arranged originals, creating a strong mood that communicates itself well to an audience. In style, the sextet resembles many of the great small bands of the 50s and 60s, such as those of Horace Silver and Art Blakey. Taking inspiration from the past, but trying not to replicate it, the band performs music for which they have the deepest respect, its sophist-ication caringly crafted.” Steyning Jazz Club meets at Fletcher’s Croft, Steyning, BN44 3XZ, 8pm. Doors open 7.15pm. Information from Sid Bailey on 01273 430311.
7 Theatre. Arundel Players are tackling the multi-award winning, fast-paced whodunit The 39-Steps at the Priory Playhouse in Arundel from April 1 to 6, directed by Tony Hudson.
8 Music. Vula Viel will headline The Rose Hill in Brighton on April 6. Spokesman James Wallace said: “Forward-thinking UK trio Vula Viel released their sophomore album, Do Not Be Afraid on January 25, continuing their unique musical journey centred around the Gyil (Ghanaian xylophone). The band’s new set confidently weaves sparse polyrhythms and intricate rhythm structures around bandleader Bex Burch’s Gyil lines and take the instrument’s sound into new territory, with bassist Ruth Goller and drummer Jim Hart introducing a rough, post-punk edge to the band’s sound.”
9 Music. Maverick Sabre is heading to Brighton Concorde 2 on April 8, having just come off tour with Jorja Smith (2019 Grammy Winner). He has since released the single Slow Down featuring the Grammy Award winner. Spokeswoman Charleigh Egan said: “Following two features on Rudimental’s latest album, Maverick Sabre independently released his third album When I Wake Up on March 22. Since firing into the UK music scene seven years ago with his number-two charting debut album Lonely Are The Brave, Mav has steadily built himself a revered reputation not only as a respected artist, but also an intricate storyteller, a bold spokesperson and a gifted songwriter.”
10 Music. Little-hampton’s Edwin James Festival Choir mark the 30th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster with a performance of the musical play Their Scarves Were Red. The musical will be performed at St James Church, Littlehampton on Friday, April 12 at 7.30pm and on Saturday, April 13 at 3pm.