1 Festival. Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear comes to the Brighton Festival on May 23 at 7.30pm with conductor Wayne Marshall and Chineke! Orchestra, part of a foundation which provides career opportunities for young Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) musicians in the UK and Europe.
2 Theatre. Hugh Bonneville and Liz White star in Shadowlands by William Nicholson at Chichester Festival Theatre (April 26-May 25). Celebrated writer C S Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, splits his time between an ordered domestic routine at home with his brother, Warnie, and the academic rigour of his dispassionate, all-male Oxford college. And then he meets New York poet Joy Gresham.
3 Festival. To mark their 20th-anniversary year, Spymonkey are remounting their production Cooped which made them an international comedy sensation, from Just For Laughs Montreal to the Sydney Opera House. Programmed by Worthing Theatres in partnership with Brighton Festival, Cooped will be performed at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing from Wednesday, May 22 to Sunday, May 26. Described as Hitchcock’s Rebecca meets The Pink Panther, Spymonkey’s “deliciously demented” take on the pulp gothic romance overflows with brilliant characters, rip-roaring farce and virtuoso physical comedy, they promise. Tickets on 01903 206206 and online at worthingtheatres.co.uk.
4 Festival. For a third year in a row, real-life sisters and character comedians Siblings are performing at the Brighton Fringe. Maddy and Marina Bye are offering their brand-new show Siblings: The Third on May 24 and 25 at 10.30pm at The Warren: The Burrow. Declared Rising Stars of British Comedy 2018 by The Mail On Sunday, they have sold out at the Edinburgh Fringe for the past two years with their cacophony of sketch, Gaulier-trained clowning, Guildhall-trained acting and synchronised dancing. Maddy has performed theatre and comedy internationally and graduated from the prestigious Theatre and Clown school, Ecole Philippe Gaulier. She continues to cement her reputation as a writer and director as well as being seen on BBC3 this year. Marina graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama and just this year she received an Off West End Award Nomination for Female Performance in Supporting Role for her role of Bollette in Lady From the Sea (Print Room). Maddy said: “Frankly it’s a miracle that we’ve come this far without falling out dramatically, so we’d strongly advise you to come and watch us before that happens. The show should be great fun for all, especially if you’ve got a sister.”
5 Fringe . What would happen if a ghost-hunting TV crew and a pair of treasure hunters, unaware of each other’s presence, find themselves in the same spooky mansion in the middle of nowhere? You can find out the answers at this year’s Brighton Fringe. The Hunters of Ghost Hall comes from Tristan Wolfe and Most Curious Productions. Tristan said: “A low-budget TV crew are preliminary filming with a psychic expert. The treasure hunters are looking for shelter from a brewing storm. They both end up in the same mansion and at the same time. Is this a spooky coincidence? Neither pair is aware of the other. Who will get what they are looking for? Is the mansion really haunted? Is there really any treasure?” The Hunters of Ghost Hall will be at Sweet venue (Venue 18/252) from May 20-26 at 9.15pm.
6 Theatre. Mary Portas – retail expert, businesswoman and Queen of Shops – comes to Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre on tour on May 23 to discuss her life, her career, and her new book.Brought to Worthing by Penguin Live, this event will see Mary drawing on decades of business experience. Spokeswoman Zoe Middleton said: “It’s packed with top tips, honest advice and lively tales from a woman on a mission to make the world of work a better place, for everyone. As part of the event, ticket-holders will receive a free copy of her latest book Work Like A Woman, and are also invited to have their copy signed by Mary post-show. “Known to the nation as Mary, Queen of Shops, from her award-winning series for the BBC, Mary Portas has made an indelible mark on British retail. Starting her career with Harrods and then Top Shop she made her name as the creative director of Harvey Nichols, transforming the department store into London’s sexiest fashion destination.”
7 Theatre. Join the invincible Captain Cauliflower and his faithful companion Marvin on an “unforgettable adventure, filled with extreme silliness and unquestionable danger.” Captain Cauliflower and Marvin the Mischievous Moose is at Brighton Spiegeltent: Bosco on May 25.
8 Festival. The Last Company are promising “exceptionally-personal work (which) fuses art with real life” for the Brighton Fringe. Their piece Last Rehearsal will be at The Warren: The Blockhouse on May 23, 24 and 25 at 6,15pm. Producer Deirdre Daly said: “Funny, not so funny, explosive and passionate, the play Last Rehearsal is inspired by the poem Mudanza, from the multi-award-winning Chilean writer, Alejandro Zambra.”
9 Festival. Vox Motus are promising story-telling at its most immersive for this year’s Brighton Festival. They bring Flight to the King Alfred Leisure Centre until Thursday, May 23 in an experience which will take each individual audience member to the very heart of the action. Miniature images and models move slowly round in front of you, drawing you into a journey undertaken by two brothers.
10 Theatre. James Nesbitt, Sheila Hancock, Clare Burt and Rachel Lumberg star in This Is My Family, a musical by Tim Firth in Chichester’s Minerva Theatre from April 20-June 15.