Sussex Prairie Garden is now closed until Saturday 1st June 2024.

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Events & Courses

Rude Mechanical Outdoor Theatre – Miss Popplewell’s Garden

* THIS EVENT HAS NOW FINISHED *

Sunday 23rd July 2023 | 5:30pm - 10:30pm

Rude Mechanical Outdoor Theatre – Miss Popplewell’s Garden

Outdoor theatre rampages back  to Sussex Prairies again with the glorious return  of the Rude Mechanical Theatre Company – come and enjoy your picnic in the gardens before the performance begins !

So what’s it about?

It’s April 1940 and The Willows School for Girls, including Jocasta, Daphne and Dotty, will have to move lock, stock and the proverbial barrel from its idyllic home in Little Inkling, Sussex, to Buckinghamshire, where they will take refuge from the war. Lessons are suspended and they have two weeks left to have some fun and say goodbye to their friends.

It’s a disaster for Daphne. All she wants is to be kissed before she’s seventeen, but now she’s got to move away, she may never see Gerald again! Jocasta’s opinion is it’s actually an ‘opportunity in abundance’ because they can make one last raid on the old witch Miss Popplewell’s strawberry patch and, as Gerald lives next door to Apple Tree Cottage, Daphne may see him. He’s always watering his hollyhocks.

But an intruder gets in first, tramples all over Miss Popplewell’s borders, stamps his muddy boots all over her scullery floor, skulks into her larder and helps himself to a plate of scones! Still warm, they were! Who is the intruder? Is it the gypsies, a burglar, a foreign agent, even an escaped convict? The entire village goes into a panic. They’re not safe in their beds! But they’re British! They must stick together. Rise to the occasion. In the meantime, will Daphne be kissed before she’s seventeen?

A comedy of manners woven with poignancy and gently unearthing buried things from Miss Popplewell’s past.

Book your tickets here with the Rude Mechanicals.

ADVICE – Please note

Seating – Bring your own low backed chairs (average shoulder height). Tall chairs obstruct people’s view & they may not be admitted. Note that chairs are provided for the ‘little top’ week in Eastbourne, but BRING CUSHIONS!

Clothing – Wear warm clothes. It can get cold.

Opening time – We open one & half hours before the show starts.

Children & babies – The show is aimed at adults & is not a so-called ‘family show’, but mature children will enjoy it as long as they are prepared to sit & not run about. Do not bring babies ideally. However much we love them, they do distract. However, if you are confident they will be quiet then ok, but take them out if they make any kind of noise.

Dogs – Quiet dogs are welcome; please take out dogs that want to join in. Blind dogs only, however, for the ‘little top’ week.

Rain – We do not continue in heavy rain. If the show is cancelled before curtain up money will be refunded; if we cancel once the show is under way money will not be refunded, but you may come free to any subsequent performance as long as you re-book & tickets are available. Umbrellas must only be raised when the show comes to a stop.


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Paul & Pauline McBride,
Sussex Prairie Garden

Morlands Farm, Wheatsheaf Road (B2116),
near Henfield
, West Sussex, BN5 9AT

Find us

  1. RHS Partner Garden.
  2. Sussex Heritage Trust Awards 2022 Winner.
  3. Sussex Top Attractions 2024.
    1. Sussex Prairie Garden
      4.7
      Based on 518 reviews
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      Fraser BishopFraser Bishop
      10:50 11 Jul 22
      Wonderful garden well worth a visit. Great variety of plants showing so many ways of portraying a garden layout. Must comment on the great tea and cakes selection, our dog loved the doggy ice cream!
      Joan DaniellJoan Daniell
      15:13 06 Jul 22
      Beautifully planted area, in which you are encouraged to walk along paths between the plants so can be completely surrounded by foliage - a lovely effect.
      Peter WardPeter Ward
      08:40 28 Jun 22
      Beautiful garden, very relaxing, and bigger than you might think. Cafe is nice too
      Mike CleggMike Clegg
      16:07 08 Jun 22
      Tea room not brilliant nice cake but coffee in paper cup. No other options other then tea coffee and cake. Opening times short 1 to 5 but gardens beautiful
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