10 things coming up in the Worthing and Brighton area

Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia
Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia

Things you won't want to miss!

1 Dance. The Russian State Ballet of Siberia return to Brighton with performances of La Fille Mal Gardée, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, accompanied by The Orchestra of the Russian State Ballet. They will be at the Theatre Royal Brighton from Monday to Saturday, February 4-6. The Russian State Ballet of Siberia has established itself as one of Russia’s leading ballet companies and has built an international reputation for delivering performances of quality and depth. The company comprises more than 40 dancers and 30 musicians. The productions merge traditional and digital worlds with an imaginative staging set against an ever-changing colourful backdrop with special effects.

2 Theatre. Nigel Havers, Denis Lawson and Stephen Tompkinson star in Art by Yasmina Reza from January 24– February 2 at Chichester Festival Theatre. When Serge spends an extortionate amount of money on an all-white modernist painting, his close friends Marc and Yvan are baffled. But does their violent reaction to this provocative canvas mirror more dangerous antagonisms towards each other?

3 Art. Paul Winner insists he is only a “pretend artist”. But you might beg to differ when you see his work on show in a new exhibition at Arundel Museum – a venue he is keen to support. Paul carries his sketching materials and watercolours wherever he goes and has amassed an extraordinary collection of sketchbooks, paintings, drawings and prints chronicling the places he has visited and the personalities he has encountered. Paul has donated more than 50 pictures to Arundel Museum; all money raised from his exhibition (January 23-March 4, 10am-4pm) will be used to support the museum’s work.

4 Theatre. Worthing Theatres offer the chance to rediscover the story of Medusa in a spectacular modern dance take on the ancient Greek myth. In zoology the word medusa means a saucer-shaped or dome-shaped, free-swimming jellyfish or hydra. In Greek mythology Medusa was the only mortal gorgon and was decapitated by Perseus – a tale now delivered in dance. Choreographer Jasmin Vardimon is currently premiering her brand-new work Medusa as the climax of the 20th anniversary year of her award-winning company. The production will be at Worthing’s Connaught Theatre on Thursday, February 7. Jasmin offers the piece as a reflection on the powerful feminine symbol of Medusa, the myth and its various connotations in our contemporary life,

5 Theatre. The Big Enormous Present (top circle), Saturday, February 2, 11.30am, 2.30pm, Ropetackle, Shoreham. The Big Enormous Present is an engaging play for young theatre-goers and their families. It explores the pressures of fitting in and making friends, of finding happiness and how giving can feel as good as receiving. The story unfolds in a school playground where Polly, Jack and Dot find a really big present and discover there’s a lot more to learn than just finding out what’s hidden inside.

6 Theatre. Frantic Assembly’s The Unreturning marks the tenth anniversary of the company’s award-winning Ignition training programme. It plays Chichester’s Minerva Theatre (February 5-9). The work is set in British northern coastal town. Three young men are coming home from war. Their stories, set at different times over the past 100 years, are interwoven in a new play featuring Frantic’s celebrated physicality.

7 Music. Pete Letanka, a professional jazz pianist, composer and an associate of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, brings his sextet The Cape Crusaders to Steyning Jazz Club on Friday, February 1. Club spokesman Colin Jilks said: “Pete was a Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition winner, winning a scholarship to study under Mark Polishook at the University of Maine, USA. He graduated in 1997 with a first-class BA (hons) after which he formed the Pete Letanka Trio, with bassist Andy Hamil and drummer Winston Clifford. They soon took the London jazz scene by storm, performing at Ronnie Scott’s, the Purcell Room, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall. He was signed with Zephyr Records in 2005 who released his debut album Afrostocracy.” Steyning Jazz Club meets at Fletcher’s Croft, Steyning BN44 3XZ 8.00pm. Doors open 7.15pm. Information Sid Bailey Tel: 01273 430211

8 Talk. The man dubbed The Bald Explorer will be giving a talk in the Gordon Room at Worthing Town Hall on Friday, February 1 from 7pm to 9pm. Tickets are £10 to include wine and nibbles. Tickets 01798 875073.

9 Art. Powerfully-sensitive works of art offer a thought-provoking New Year exhibition at Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery. Creative Redemption runs from January 22-February 10 in the venue’s John Rank Gallery, bringing together five talented artists all of whom, in their own way, have benefitted from the restorative powers of their personal creative process.

10 Music. Blake bring their Movies and Musicals tour to Theatre Royal Brighton on Friday, February 8. Spokeswoman Laura Poncia said: “With their latest and seventh album going straight into the charts at number one, Blake really stand out as Britain’s number-one harmony group. For over ten years they have performed classical, opera and crossover giving each song a beautiful and unique Blake sound. 2019’s exclusive new tour will see them choose music from their favourite movies and musicals and arrange them with their own exclusive harmonies. Songs from all the greats like Morricone, John Barry, Bernstein and Bizet will be amongst many that feature in this brand new tour. Add to this a beautiful backdrop, incredible choirs and some hilarious stories and it all adds up to the perfect night out. Since coming together in 2007, Blake have had enormous success throughout the world.”

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