Charleston Festival

Charleston, Firle

Friday-Monday May 18-28

Described as “the home of lively conversation and a search for truth in the spirit of the Bloomsbury Group”, the Charleston Festival this year boasts David Attenborough (pictured above) as its star speaker. Announced as the winner of the annual Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize, he will deliver the annual lecture on the divisive question of whether some animals can justifiably be described as artists. Among other speakers and writers are last year’s Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid, the author Jeanette Winterson, Hollywood actress Gemma Arterton (pictured below), broadcaster David Dimbleby, author Robert Harris, the biographer Claire Tomalin, author Ali Smith, broadcasters Evan Davis, the Newsnight presenter, and Jon Sopel, the BBC’s North America editor, who gives an insider’s account of Donald Trump’s presidency, Fat is a Feminist Issue author Susie Orbach, authors Aida Edemariam, Kevin Powers, Kamila Shamsie, Neel Mukherjee and Alexander McCall Smith, poet Simon Armitage, comedian, actor and writer Robert Webb and author Alan Hollinghurst.

Read our feature on the Charleston Festival.

Phone 01323 811626 or visit

Steyning Festival

Various venues in Steyning, Bramber, Beeding, Ashurst, Washington and Ashington

Saturday-Saturday May 26-June 9

Local, national and international talent is showcased during a fortnight of diverse programmed events, an artistic festival run by the community with the community and for the community. The programme covers theatre, music, visual arts including an art trail, walks and tours, literature, talks and community events.

Phone 01903 812062 or visit

A Chalk Gardener’s Question Time


Chichester Festival Theatre, Oaklands Park, Chichester

Saturday June 2, 11am

Tickets £5

Garden designer Annie Guilfoyle (pictured above, left), who programmes all the garden courses at West Dean College and teaches there as well as Great Dixter in East Sussex, chairs a talk on getting the most out of a chalky soil, inspired by the setting of Enid Bagnold’s play The Chalk Garden, which is on stage at the Chichester Festival Theatre. She is joined by an expert panel  comprising Tom Brown (pictured above, right), head gardener at Parham House near Storrington who also lectures at West Dean, Sarah Coles, who has written a book about Gardening on Limestone and Chalk and lectures and writes on gardens and horticulture, and Jo Hooper, head gardener at Highdown Garden, near Worthing, which was originally a quarry and is now a magnificent chalk garden open to the public. Annie Guilfoyle, a judge for the Society of Garden Designers Awards whose design studio Creative Landscapes is based in Midhurst, will be asking the panel questions about various aspects of how to garden on chalk. This will include what are the implications of a chalky soil, what are the best plants to grow and how does it affect the veg and fruit garden. There will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions to the panel.

Phone 01243 781312 or visit

An Evening with Adam Henson

Pavilion Theatre, Marine Parade, Worthing

Thursday June 7, 7.30pm

Tickets £19.50 and £22.50/FWT £17.50 and £20.50

Farmer Adam Henson, presenter of BBC TV’s Countryfile, shares stories about his farming life, his TV career and the running of the Cotswold Farm Park. Adam, the author of four books, will also share this thoughts on British agriculture and take questions from the audience. There will be a book signing after the show.

Phone 01903 206206 or visit

Dan Snow: An Evening with ‘The History Guy’

The Capitol Horsham, North Street, Horsham

Thursday June 7, 8pm

Tickets £26

Historian, broadcaster and television presenter Dan Snow, otherwise known as ‘The History Guy’, recounts anecdotes of memorable experiences from his successful career and he will also research and include historical facts and stories relating to the specific area/town of each theatre on his tour, aided by the use of digital screens. The show finishes with a Q&A with Dan, who has a history slot on the BBC’s The One Show and is the son of BBC presenter Peter Snow, the nephew of Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow and the great great grandson of prime minister David Lloyd George.

Phone 01403 750220 or visit

Remembering Lenny

Assembly Room, The Council House, North Street, Chichester

Friday June 8, 7.30pm

Tickets: pricing and booking information to be announced

As part of the Bernstein In Chichester Festival marking the centenary of the birth of the West Side Story composer Leonard Bernstein, actress Dame Patricia Routledge (pictured above) speaks at length for the first time about her working relationship and valued personal friendship with Bernstein. She starred as eight First Ladies of the White House in Leonard Bernstein’s final musical 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and won a Laurence Olivier Award for her performance in Candide. In conversation with writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson (pictured above), they recall their respective associations with “Lenny” and share insights into his work. Dame Patricia says, “It was an inspirational privilege to work with him.”

Read our feature on the Bernstein In Chichester Festival.

Email or visit

Christopher Lloyd Lecture

Great Dixter, Northiam, Rye

Saturday June 9, 6pm

Lecture £60/dinner £50

The speaker for the 2018 Christopher Lloyd lecture are Keith Wiley, head gardener for more than 25 years at The Garden House in Devon, where since 2004 Keith and his wife Ros have created a dazzling new garden from a bare field: “The perfect showcase for his radical and exciting ideas on planting” called Wildside. The evening is hosted by Great Dixter’s head gardener Fergus Garrett.

Phone 01797 254048 or visit

Shooting Music

Ropetackle Arts Centre, Little High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea

Saturday June 16, 12noon

Tickets £10

Michael Putland took his first pictures at the age of nine before leaving school to work as an assistant to photographers including Time-Life photographer Walter Curtain and legendary motor racing photographer Louis Klemantaski. In 1967, Putland set up his own studio and over the course of his career he has captured some of music’s most iconic performers. In this two-hour session, he will cover composition techniques, and working in the live environment, plus the challenges facing today’s aspiring music photographers.

Phone 01273 464440 or visit

An Audience with Eddie Hall

Pavilion Theatre, Marine Parade, Worthing

Saturday June 16, 7.15pm

Tickets Gold £20 and Platinum £50

Professional strongman Eddie Hall, currently the World’s Strongest Man, is the only man to deadlift 500kg under strongman rules. Tonight, Eddie tells his life story and takes part in a Q&A with the audience. The evening also includes a comedian, an auction, a raffle and a magic act. There’s a chance to have a picture taken with him with a Platinum ticket.

Phone 01903 206206 or visit

Pechakucha Night 20x20

De La Warr Pavilion, Marina, Bexhill-on-Sea

Thursday June 21, 7pm

Tickets £3, £5 and £6

This is an informal evening of presentations responding to the enquiry ‘What is possible?’. It is curated by Always Possible.

Phone 01424 229111 or visit

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Talks Calendar

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