Stage: Out with a big WOW in Worthing this spring


After our recent award of Heritage Lottery Funding for a new LGBTIQ+ project here at Latest CIC in Brighton & Hove, it is great to see that over at Worthing WOW they have also received funding for events related to Oscar Wilde and the LGBT community in Worthing. Wilde famously ran away to Worthing at one point in his extraordinary life so it seems absolutely appropriate that they have also received Arts Council England funding too.

Worthing WOW is a spoken word festival which, after a break in 2017, is storming back with a festival for 2018 that Oscar Wilde would have been proud of and Worthing should be proud of too. Worthing WOW is a charity that encourages creative expression and aims to inspire people to read and write. Their motto is Create! Engage! Inspire! And previous festivals have certainly been an inspiration. The first WOW festival ran in 2014 and was followed in 2015 by the Jane Austen’s Worthing exhibition, both to great acclaim and bringing thousands of visitors to the area. The 2016 festival – focussing on 120 years of film in Sussex – was the biggest festival so far with an audience of over 10,000 people.

Following the sold out Polari event in 2016, Worthing WOW is delighted to be co-producing another exciting evening with POLARI on Friday 13 April 2018.

A festival for 2018 that Oscar Wilde would have been proud of

Glamorous host and best-selling novelist in his own right Paul Burston has invited an incredible selection of LGBT authors along for the evening and will be luring them to the theatre bar with promises of alcohol and a fantastic audience. Whilst Paul’s early fiction centred around gay themes his most recent and best-selling novel The Black Path saw him venture into writing crime thrillers, a genre that he has of course made his own. And whilst there is a thread of LGBT interest in the book he has certainly found a new audience with this new and highly successful departure. The Black Path is thrilling and compelling reading, a real page-turner with a very strong message.


Authors already confirmed to be performing at Polari at WOW Worthing include legendary author VG Lee and acclaimed playwright and novelist Neil Bartlett, who has made Worthing his home.

The event is part of Worthing WOW’s ongoing programme of community activities to celebrate creativity, inspire our younger generation, and to raise funds for future festival events.

Polari, 13 April, 2018
Tickets £9.50, Worthing Theatres box office on 01903 206 206 or visit

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players’ money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.

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