Crawley and Horsham

Category Archives: General

Ariel Company Theatre is delighted to announce that it is opening a new drama academy on Saturday 28th April based at the Roffey Millennium Hall.  Ariel is a family theatre company and a leading light in all aspects of theatrical training including dance, drama and singing, with established academies in Crawley, East Grinstead, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and Steyning.  The new academy will run every Saturday afternoon from 2.15pm to 5.00pm welcoming students aged 5 -19.

Ariel’s award winning academies strive to provide much more than just out of school activities to keep young people occupied.  Run by a team of dedicated tutors who enthuse the students with a love of performing, Ariel helps to develop skills for life such as confident public speaking, collaboration skills and teamwork.  Students have the opportunity to make new friends and perform in a variety of events including plays, musicals and community events and on the professional stages of the Capitol Theatre, The Hawth and Brighton Fringe Festival. Everyone is welcome to come along and there is no audition process.  Free taster sessions are available so bring along your friends!

Ariel’s top team for new Horsham Academy: Beth Gavin, Chelsea Hennessey, Ben Simpson and Kyle Brown.

The Horsham team is headed up by Principal Ben Simpson who brings with him a wealth of knowledge having trained at the London School of Musical Theatre.  Ben is an experienced producer and actor whose credits include shows at the Theatre Royal Brighton, Chichester Festival Theatre, The Brighton Fringe, The National Theatre and The Royal College of Music. Ben headed up the Ariel team when the Haywards Heath Academy opened in 2014 and this year will be bringing his expertise to Ariel’s debut at the Brighton Fringe, when he directs a double bill of plays; Bassett and The Grandfathers.

Ben said ‘I am very excited about the opening of the Horsham Academy. The students can develop their performance skills across all three disciplines with experienced teachers.  We are a very inclusive school, so whether you have heaps of experience or are a total novice you will be made welcome. 

We will be working on a wide range of material from great classic musicals to contemporary plays and current chart hits.  Whether you aspire to be a professional performer or just want some fun and to make new friends, come along for a taster session’.

Ben will be joined by a very experienced team compiling of Dance Tutor, Beth Gavin who graduated from Roehampton University with a First Class Honours degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance studies in 2014 and is an Associate Member of the British Ballet Organisation (BBO). Beth also works as a Theatre Agent, representing actors in theatre, television and film and enjoys sharing her professional working knowledge of the industry with her students

Drama will be taught by Kyle Brown who started his acting career at the age of 15 after being scouted by an agent during a drama workshop. Since then he’s appeared in a range of productions both on stage and screen. Stage credits include Carmen and original musical ‘Secrets’ at the Leicester Square Theatre plus TV work and commercials for Newsround, Disney, Virgin Airlines and Morrisons. Over the last few years Kyle has turned his focus on song writing and has been featured on BBC introducing.  Kyle has also been helping Ariel launch a new ‘Theatre in Education’ initiative.

Teaching singing skills will be tutor Chelsea Hennessey who has been with Ariel since its inception in 2004.  Starting as a student on Ariel’s very first day, eventually Chelsea moved on to teaching and has been working at the Burgess Hill Academy for four years. In addition Chelsea also teaches and works with Ariel’s special needs groups, the Othello’s and Othello’s Plus.  She has worked as Musical Director on a number of Ariel workshops and projects, including Annie, Junior Musicality and a performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End.

Ensuring the smooth running of the academy and providing a very warm welcome to students will be Administrator Becky Gallagher. Becky has lived in Horsham all her life and has grown up surrounded by Amateur Dramatics as her parents were founding members of HAODS. She grew up watching and performing in shows and her first part was as a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz! Becky went on to do a number of shows with HAODS. Becky is really excited about the opening of the Horsham Academy and is hoping that in time her young daughter will follow her on to the stage!

With many productions and projects in the pipeline, now is a great time for students to join Ariel. Rehearsals for Ariel’s main musical productions ‘Les Misérables’ will soon be starting and the show will play at the Capitol Theatre, Horsham from

11th – 17th November. 

For more information on Ariel’s new Horsham  Academy or visit 

To register for a free trial contact Nicci Hopson on 01444 250407


Tuesday 27 February, 7.30pm, The Hawth Crawley

Come and join the celebration as Chinese New Year lands in Crawley with a unique and exciting show of cultural spectacle.

Coming to The Hawth on Tuesday 27 February to celebrate the biggest festive event of the Chinese calendar, the Extravaganza features a team of performers showcasing amazing Chinese performing arts. From the cheerful spirit of the auspicious Lion Dance, to the majestic and awe-inspiring contortionists, the show is a colourful display of Chinese cultural tradition.

Witness the daring stunts of Chinese acrobatics alongside energetic kung fu performance, the ancient magic of Face Changing and more.

This colourful and action-packed show is the perfect entertainment for all ages to enjoy on this auspicious occasion. Do not miss!

Tickets priced £24 (over 60: £22, child: £18) are available from The Hawth Box Office on 01293 553636 and




For further information, interviews or further images please contact 01293 859953 or email [email protected].

The Panto Season is back! Don’t miss the spectacular, fun-packed, family pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs starring the hugely popular TV star Stephen Mulhern.

Stephen Mulhern is one of the most in demand television presenters around today with a string of smash hit television shows including Catchphrase and Britain’s Got More Talent. This will be his third time starring in The Hawth pantomime.

Michael J Batchelor is back as Crawley’s favourite dame. He (or should that be she?) first appeared at The Hawth in 2013 as one half of two truly ugly sisters and has returned as Nurse Nellie in Sleeping Beauty (2014/15) and Mrs Smee in last year’s record breaking Peter Pan.

Crawley-born Lauren Cocoracchio first performed in The Hawth pantomime in 2014, when she won the title role in Sleeping Beauty after attending an open audition at the theatre. This year, Lauren is back as the eponymous Snow White and will no doubt delight audiences once again.

From the same producers that brought you last year’s Box Office smash-hit Peter Pan, Snow White promises to be wonderful entertainment with stunning costumes and scenery and a genuinely funny script. Last year’s pantomime broke all box office records and was seen by over 32000 people and tickets are already selling fast, so book now for the funniest and most spectacular show of the year!

Book your tickers now: 01293 553636 and

So, what are Complementary Therapies, Alternative Therapies, Holistic Therapies, Conventional, Orthodox, Western and Allopathic medicine?

Orthodox Medicine is the treatment we receive at the GP surgery and hospital where symptoms and diseases are treated using drugs, radiation, or surgery. Also called allopathic, biomedicine, conventional, mainstream, and western medicine.

All orthodox treatments go through rigorous testing by law to prove that they work and are safe such as chemotherapy, heart surgery, cataract operations, medication. Some complementary and alternative therapies may not have been so rigorously tested.

Complementary Therapy is a term given to therapies that are complementary to orthodox medicine and can be used alongside orthodox medicine to help support the body’s natural self-healing mechanisms; to help with pain and discomfort and to support you through times of fear and anxiety. (see list below)

Alternative Medicine is a term given to therapies which are used as an alternative to orthodox medicine. Some are the same therapies used as complementary but are used in place of orthodox medicine.

Your therapist

Recommendation is always a good choice if someone has had a good experience with a friendly, professional therapist that made them feel welcome and safe. Remember that everyone is unique and a therapy a friend has recommended may not be suitable for your specific needs or effective for a specific problem you may have.

Contact a therapist by phone or email before making an appointment and ask them questions about any concerns you have.

A therapist should be able to show you their training certificates and current insurance certificate. Membership of an association is not a sign of a good therapist as most do not check qualifications and competence. There are some exceptions; Osteopaths must be registered with The General Osteopath Council; Chiropractics must be registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC; Physiotherapists must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HPCP).

Your appointment

A good therapist will always take your medical history before starting any work to ensure you receive a safe and effective treatment for your specific needs. Therefore, please be truthful about your current and previous health especially if you have allergies are currently on medication, having tests or are receiving other orthodox or complementary treatments.

Conditions that may affect your suitability for a specific treatment would include: medication, recent surgery, heart conditions, thrombosis, cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, osteoporosis, pregnancy, arthritis, skin conditions, chronic illness such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Fibromyalgia.

Conditions that would prevent you from having a treatment would include: fever, contagious or infectious disease, under the influence of recreational drugs or alcohol.

Children aged 16 and under and adults who have learning difficulties or are deemed vulnerable must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.

Your treatment

If you are looking for a quick fix you will likely be disappointed. Acute conditions, problems that you have only had for a couple of days may be improved in one or two treatments. The longer you have had the problem, the longer it will likely take to see improvement as there will be more than just the initial injury to heal.

If you have a chronic injury/condition, then between 3 – 6 treatments over 4 – 12 weeks will allow you and the therapist to see how effective the treatment is. In many cases, 3 treatments will see a change in your condition with regards to; flexibility, mobility, balance and pain. Please note that some diseases/conditions cannot be improved through therapy but will improve your general health and comfort.

Quick reference to Complementary Therapies (this list is not exhaustive)

Acupuncture – use of fine needles on energy lines – most injuries and conditions.

Bowen – relaxing – small gentle movements on specific body areas – muscular and soft tissue injuries/conditions.

Chiropractic – manual manipulation – structural, joints and spine injuries/conditions.

CranioSacral Therapy – relaxing, remain dressed – gentle touch on body areas – most injuries and conditions.

Herbal medicine – advice and use of plants to help improve health.

Homeopathy – advice and use of plants to help improve health.

Hypnotherapy – talking therapy – mental and emotional issues – fears and habits.

Kinesiology – relaxing, remain dressed – muscle testing – most injuries and conditions.

Manual lymphatic drainage massage – relaxing – light massage of lymphatic system – overall good health, specifically water retention, oedema, inflammation, scarring, detox.

Massage – Face – relaxing, remain dressed – improve skin tone/condition, slows ageing process.

Massage – Foot/hand – relaxing/invigorating, remain dressed – massage feet and calves/hand and arm – muscular/soft tissue, overall good health.

Massage – Holistic/swedish/aromatherapy – relaxing – muscular and soft tissue injuries/conditions, during pregnancy.

Massage – Sports/deep tissue – can cause discomfort – sports injuries, chronic and acute pain, reduced flexibility and mobility.

Myofascial Release – relaxing – gentle pressure on specific body areas – muscular and soft tissue injuries/conditions.

Nutrition – advice on diet for weight control, chronic and acute illness, general good health.

Osteopathy – manual manipulation, massage and stretching – muscular and skeletal injuries/conditions.

Reflexology – relaxing, remain dressed – massage of reflex points on the feet – most injuries and conditions

Reiki – relaxing, remain dressed – gentle hands on energy healing – supports the body’s natural healing process.

Shiatsu – invigorating, remain dressed – massage energy points – acute and chronic injuries, aches and pains.

Tai chi/qi gong – relaxing, remain dressed – gentle exercise for good overall health and relaxation.

Yoga – relaxing, remain dressed – gentle exercise for good overall health and relaxation.

Dawn Bradley – Holistic Complementary Therapist Copthorne Therapies –

The Brighton Centre is delighted to announce that the world-renowned show, Holiday on Ice, which has been running for over 73 years, will be returning to Brighton in January 2018 with new spectacular production, TIME.

Celebrating ‘the best and most memorable times of our lives’, the show is described as a photo album filled with ‘snapshots’ of memories we all share in common – falling in love, a first kiss, dancing ‘til dawn, a memorable night on the town, a great vacation, a thrilling adventure, and everyone’s wish to slow down time as it goes by too fast!

Directed and choreographed by David Liu, who is renowned for his innovative and exciting choreography, TIME will open at The Brighton Centre on Friday 5 January and run until 14 January 2018.

Costume designer, Michael Sharpe joins the Holiday on Ice team for this production bringing with him his iconic style after designing for famous stars including Annie Lennox, The Pet Shop Boys, Jessie J, Russell Brand, Vogue UK, Darcey Bussell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Keira Knightley and The Spice Girls, to name but a few.

For the first time ever, the music, an essential element in the show, will feature well-known songs from the Universal Music Publishing catalogue – a unique and exciting collaboration between companies – as well as the traditional ‘familiar’ tunes that Holiday on Ice fans know and love.
Holiday on Ice has become the most famous brand of entertainment on ice for over seven decades with a record number of 328 hundred million visitors. The well-established production guarantees quality performances from Olympic skaters.

Tickets can be purchased from or by contacting the box office on 0844 847 1538. Family and group discounts available.

In these cash-strapped times of austerity, we parents fret about providing extravagant gifts for our darling offspring in order for them to have the ultimate festive experience. But zip up your wallet just for a minute and have a think back. How many presents do you actually remember receiving as a child compared to all the wonderful memories of your own family’s Christmas traditions? Did your Auntie Daphne always hang a Cadbury’s Chocolate Orange on your tree? Did your Father make you eat pickled eggs for Christmas breakfast? Or did Santa come on St Nicholas’s Day instead of Christmas Day? It’s not the extravagant gifts that we remember about family Christmas’s past, it’s those strange little rituals and traditions that we look back upon with nostalgia.

In our house some traditions have been introduced, some adopted. Christmas Eve brings a very structured chain of events. The annual 4 o’clock Crib Service is followed by the boys ‘Special Tea’ – a meal of their choosing. Then we’re off outside to scatter ‘reindeer food’ (kindly supplied by Turners Hill Tots) of glitter and oats onto the drive to light the way. Then it’s in to jim-jams – not new ones as seems popular in a lot of households on Christmas eve – before the writing of the Christmas lists. A bit late you might think, but luckily up to now FC and his elves have been fairly accurate. These are then burnt and despatched up the chimney before leaving a little tipple and nibble for FC for when he lands in the grate. In recent years, because I have a household of techy heads we have used NASA’s internet Santa tracking system to see where he is at various stages throughout the evening.

One of his family Christmas traditions that my husband was keen to continue was for our boys to choose one of MY stockings to be hung at the end of their beds. He recalled how he always chose his mother’s black fishnets because they stretched better! I admit we haven’t adopted this one as I spend my life in socks, the only tights I do possess are usually full of holes and there would be a rebellion if they didn’t have the nice big red stockings from the Pound Shop!

Food figures big in family traditions. Here’s a Christmas Eve recipe for those of you with a wicked sense of humour; ‘Rudolph Pie’, a shepherds pie with venison mince (don’t tell the kids) topped with potato and a cherry tomato for full effect. Waffles and squirty cream in bed with hot chocolate is the perfect Christmas breakfast for some, although in Belgium you might eat a sweet bread in the shape of the baby Jesus – Aahhh. I met a lady the other day who barbeques her turkey outside every year – and she doesn’t even have any Antipodean roots. I suppose that’s a rather canny way of getting the man of the house involved in the catering, note Girls! A mate of mine remembers her mother buying packets of dates with the plastic fork every year that were never ever eaten – and yet she herself continues the tradition because it wouldn’t be the same without them.

Father Christmas has some strange traditions in some households. He has been known to wrap up the doorway to the room where he leaves the presents or occasionally leave the odd potato in a stocking with a note to remind people of when they were naughty! Always having had a chimney, it never occurred to me how FC would get in without one, but then I heard about the large ‘magic key’ that is left hanging on the front door for him.
But of course, some of the strangest traditions come from abroad. In Greenland you would eat seagull wrapped in seal blubber for your Christmas dinner. The Ukranians don’t do tinsel, they do cobwebs, as legend has it that spiders used to decorate the trees for the poor. Scandinavian countries celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, often taking candles for a visit to the local graveyard. The Latvians really know how to milk it as they believe Father Christmas brings a gift every day of the 12 days of Christmas starting from Christmas Eve. In Norway brooms are hidden on Christmas Eve to prevent the evil spirits and witches from stealing them. The most popular place to have your Christmas lunch in Japan is – no kidding – Kentucky Fried Chicken with reservations now essential. And in Spain, not only do they dress up a wooden ‘pooping log’ to put on the fire to bring luck, on New Year’s Eve it is customary to wear red underwear. There, and you thought us Brits were bonkers!

So whatever strange rituals you and your offspring get up to this yuletide, keep them going because Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without them. Have yourselves a very merry one!