Nine things to do this weekend | 19th – 21st May

We’ve entered that fun time during spring in Brighton where the weather is so unpredictable that we could have blue skies one second and hail the next. Don’t let that throw a spanner in your weekend plans though, Van Gogh Alive opens on Saturday and there’s plenty more on that isn’t dependent on sunshine (although, let’s be honest, it always helps). Come this way for some weekend inspo!

1. Boost your spirits with vibrant art shows, workshops and open studios

Should said weather turn crappy, then there are some particularly joyful art shows this weekend, which are guaranteed to boost your mood. First up is London-based artist Laura Rose Moran-Morris’s takeover of Gallery 35 North. Her brightly coloured sensory artworks are inspired by natural forms – her art explores the imagination, using abstraction as an escape from reality. She’s also holding a couple of workshops (Saturday and Sunday; 11am – 12.30pm; suggested donation £10– £15) in the gallery to inspire others to get creative. Open to all levels of experience, you’re invited to get creative and play around with collage and experimental mark-making with the option of adding your finished creations to the exhibition. Fame at last! Another one of our favourite colourful artists is Faye Bridgwater – she’s got a special exhibition of her gorgeously vibrant large-scale paintings this weekend only at The Annunciation Church ballroom in Hanover. It’s on the Hanover artists’ open houses trail, so a good excuse to roam muesli mountain, and a very short stroll from Phoenix Art Space, home to 120 artists who are opening up their studios this weekend for the public to explore and learn.
Laura Rose Moran-Morris exhibition: Until Sunday 21st May; 10am – 6pm; free; 35 North Gallery, 25 North Road, Brighton BN1 1YB
Faye Bridgwater exhibition: Friday 19th – Sunday 21st May; 10am – 5.30pm; free; 88A Coleman Street, Brighton, BN2 9SQ
Phoenix Art Space open studios: Friday 19th May, 6pm – 8.30pm; Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st May, 11am – 5pm
; 10 – 14 Waterloo Place, Brighton, BN2 9NB

sas paddle out poster

2. Paddle out to sea to protest against poor water quality

Surfers Against Sewage have organised a big paddle out for Saturday as part of a national day of action on water quality in a bid to make water companies clean up their act and stop making us swim in literal shit. They’re demanding an end to sewage discharges into bathing water by 2030. (Side note: if you’re ever not sure about the water quality, SAS’ sewage pollution alerts map is a must-check before you go in, so you don’t have any unwelcome poo meets on your morning swim.) So, fashion a placard, grab a paddle board or something floaty and join the gang for SAS’ first ever national paddle out on water quality. And even if you don’t paddle, you can still join them on the beach. You can sign up to say you’re coming here.
Saturday 20th May; 11.30am – 1pm; free
Brighton West Pier, Kings Road, Brighton BN1 2FL

yes Anderson poster

3. Have a giggle at a Wes Anderson-inspired improv show

Wes Anderson is a cinematic genius, so we had no idea what to expect from Brighton improv favourites Tiny Dynamite, who promised a Wes-inspired, audience-led, fully improvised tale. A bold undertaking that could take them (and us) anywhere. And that it did. One story took us from a lonely circus performer and unforgiving ringmaster, to a crestfallen northern horseshit shoveller, juggling tigers, and a shouty man who thought he was a human train. It was comical and confusing, a real rollercoaster of a show. But with improv, no two shows are the same because you never know what’s coming next. And to be fair, neither do the cast. Go and see it with an open mind! Read our full review here.
Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st May; various times; from £5
Presuming Ed’s, 114-115, London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JG

Book tickets

Fanny dent

4. See what burlesque is like minus the glamour at this Fringe comedy

Alexandra Shaw performs as Fanny Dent – a storyteller who just happens to take her clothes off – in this hilarious one-woman show. With just a few clever costume changes and one brilliantly expressive face, Dent takes the audience down a rabbit hole and out the other side into Wonderland. The show is filled with comedy and chaos, as we see burlesque stripped of its prescription-issued glamour – this is Fringe at its finest. Read our full review here.
Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st May; 8.30pm
Junk Poets at Caravanserai
, St Peter’s Church North, Brighton, BN1 4GU
Book tickets


5. Take yourself on a preloved shopping trail

It’s a great weekend for preloved shopping enthusiasts, with at least three great sales going on. First up, BOTI faves Secret Store Pop-Up (preloved designer and high-end high street) are back at Hove’s Studio 50 with fellow second-hand friends Woven and Worn (samples and responsibly sourced garms), Circle Boutique (high-end fashion) and Patchy and Phinch (vintage). Next, the brilliant Fumbalina – she of glorious headband creations and vibrant voluminous gowns – is holding her summer auction this weekend with a whole host of samples, seconds and vintage, with prices starting at just 99p. It’s a great opportunity to stock up on some gems. Finally, pre-loved clothes reseller Re:Dress is holding a half-price sale this weekend as they’re overflowing with stock. The sale takes place in a gorgeous stately home in Chichester (Earnley Place, Chichester, PO20 7JL), so a little further afield, but if you’re after a bargain, something summery and a bit of a day out, we reckon this will be well worth the trip.
Studio 50 sale: Friday 19th May, 6pm – 8.30pm and Saturday 20th May, 10am – 4pm; free
Fumbalina’s sale: Friday 19th May, midday – Sunday 21st May, midnight; free
Re:Dress’ sale: Saturday 20th May, 10am – 2pm; free

6. Enjoy an intimate auditory experience in a secret location

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a pigeon fancier tick and just what goes on in the quiet 200-year-old world of British pigeon racing, now’s your chance to find out. You’re invited on an adventure with Victoria Melody who is passionate about other people’s passions. A docu-drama audio experience, The Enthusiasts: Pigeon Fanciers invites us to meet the community of real-life characters keeping the tradition alive. It was completely sold out, but they’ve just released some extra tickets, so don’t miss out!
Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st May; various times; £10
Secret location

7. Go and see a ground-breaking outdoor theatre world premiere

On Wednesday, we went to see Galatea, Emma Frankland and Subira Joy’s experimental reworking of John Lyly’s long-forgotten 1580s classic play, and quite frankly, it’s not like anything we’ve ever seen before. In a really good way. Lyly, a contemporary of Shakespeare, served as inspiration for the Bard and you can clearly see the seeds for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night in this tale of gods, nymphs and monsters. But while Shakespeare can be hard to follow, Lyly’s language is far clearer, helped by the immersive and inclusive nature of this new outdoor production, which tells a beautiful queer love story for the ages. Many of the diverse cast, which includes deaf and hard-of-hearing actors, perform in British and American sign language, a BSL interpreter takes to the stage for the spoken sections, and the text appears as captions on the huge projection screen behind the stage. An unusual experience if you’re not hard of hearing. All of the cast – which included a community choir – were superb, but we were particularly captivated by one performance in particular: delivered almost entirely in BSL, Bea Webster’s visceral portrayal of sacrificed Hebe awaiting her death was truly astonishing. In short, this is a production you need to see. Make sure you get there early – the immersive nature of the production kicks off as soon as you enter the Shoreham site. It’s decked out like a fairground, setting the scene for the Neptune Day ‘celebrations’ with games, food and drink stalls and roaming characters, before the true nature of the day is revealed…
Until Sunday 21st May; 8pm (and 2pm on Saturday 20th); from £17.50
Adur Recreation Ground, Brighton Road, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 5LT
Book tickets

8. Support a local indie restaurant and get free doughnuts and kulfi on Sunday

If you needed a(nother) reason to visit East African-Gujarati restaurant Kitgum, they’re now opening from midday on Sundays AND they’re giving away their epic cardamom doughnuts and creamy kulfi for free (Sundays only) when you eat there. We highly rate the flavour-packed food, friendly vibe and great tunes at the intimate eatery. If you book, do make sure you turn up or at the very least cancel with plenty of notice though. We’re seeing way too many posts from restaurants saying large groups are cancelling at the last minute, leaving them seriously out of pocket when things are tight for everyone. Lecture over, but in short: eat some doughnuts and don’t be a dick.
9 Preston Road, Brighton BN1 4QE

Absolut cocktail cans

9. Get your hands on some free cocktails to enjoy on the beach

This weekend, the Pernod Ricard team are descending on Brighton to launch their new ready-to-drink Absolut cocktails range and there are loads of prizes to be won, from cocktail cans and Absolut-branded cross-body cool bags to VIP Brighton Pride tickets. Take a spin on their giant interactive disco can to win – every spin’s a winner! Basically, you may be going home slightly tipsy (drink responsibly, people), but you certainly won’t be leaving empty-handed.
Saturday 20th May; midday – 8pm; free
In front of the i360 by the beach, Lower Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2LN