Opera at Glyndebourne, world class orchestras, Russian ballet, chart-topping girl bands, popular musicals and pre-West End plays – just some of the great entertainment you’ll find in East & West Sussex theatres.
Chichester Festival Theatre has a varied programme of music and theatre all year round, but is best known for its summer festival from May to September. Past seasons have featured classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals, Noel Coward plays, 80s revivals, Dickens adaptations and promenade performances in Chichester Cathedral.
Like strawberries and cream, Wimbledon and Glastonbury, the Glyndebourne festival season (May to the end of August) is a highlight of the English summer season. If you love opera, it’s a must. The whole event – dressing up, the beautiful setting, champagne picnics in the garden and top international performers – is a real experience. Unlucky obtaining tickets for the main festival? Don't forget the Autumn touring season programme.
Originally built in 1805 as stables for the future King George IV, the Brighton Dome’s multi-million pound refurbishment in 2002 created a state-of-the-art centre for the performing arts in central Brighton. Two smaller venues, the Pavilion Theatre and the Corn Exchange, are part of the complex, and play host to everything from internationally renowned orchestras, Russian opera and ballet companies to up and coming indie bands, jazz divas and TV comics.
From its very first performance of Hamlet in 1807, the Theatre Royal, Brighton, has been an important pre-West End date for plays and musicals, and has seen many famous actors and performers thrill audiences in the intimate red-and-gold auditorium.
Art Deco fans should head to Bexhill and the De La Warr Pavilion, which occupies a prime seafront position and was recently restored to its former grandeur. Or there's the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham to visit.
For new plays, popular musicals and classic thrillers as well as contemporary dance, opera and panto, check out the programmes at Worthing Theatres venues; The Hawth in Crawley; the Dome Cinema in Worthing, Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park and Congress theatres and the White Rock Theatre in Hastings.