What’s on Bedford: 14 October – 23 October 2021

The weekend is nearly here and we’ve got you covered. As ever, we’ve picked out our top tips for you from theatre, art, live music, comedy, shopping and more.

Here’s your cultural roundup for the next 10 days…

Thursday 14 October

Theatre:  Bedford Drama Company presents That’s What She Said
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Performances on 14, 15 and 16 October

Have you ever wondered how Jane Austen dealt with a hangover or how Katherine of Aragon challenged Henry VIII in the divorce court?

That’s What She Said lifts the curtain on some of history’s most powerful, inspiring and occasionally humorous events.

Devised using letters, speeches and even court documents, That’s What She Said celebrates the voices of some history’s most famous women from Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I to Charlotte Bronte and Emmeline Pankhurst.

Music: Hawklords ft Nik Turner
Bedford Esquires @ 8:00 pm
Tickets: £18

Key former Hawkwind members Harvey Bainbridge (synths & vocals) and Jerry Richards (guitar & vocals) alongside Dave Pearce (drums) and Tom Ashurst (bass & vocals) will be joined by legendary ‘God-father of space-rock’ and founder member of Hawkwind, Nik Turner for a string of dates taking in Bedford Esquires.

Turner was a key driving force in the creation and success of legendary British stoner band Hawkwind back in 1969, throughout the 1970s and beyond, so expect a choice selection of classic and contemporary songs, poetry, a retina-reducing psychedelic light-show and a maelstrom of mind-blowing music from these Masters of the Universe as they celebrate 50 years of British space-rock.

Friday 15 October

Music: The Sherlocks
Esquires Bedford @ 8pm
Tickets: £17.50

The Sherlocks are an indie rock quartet from Sheffield who have supported Courteeners, The Libertines and Liam Gallagher. Don’t miss a chance to see them in an intimate venue on their tour to support independent grassroots venues.

Comedy: Simon Brodkin: Troublemaker
The Quarry Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £20

World-famous prankster and creator of the hugely popular character, Lee Nelson, is back on stage with his new stand up show, Troublemaker.

After showering Sepp Blatter with banknotes, upstaging Kanye West at Glastonbury, and handing Theresa May her P45, the critically acclaimed comedian explores why trouble has followed him from primary school through medical school to lockdown home-school. And what it’s like to be chased by Donald Trump’s bodyguards, how to make the police laugh while they’re arresting you, and what to do when you’re outed as a Jew by the Ku Klux Klan.

Saturday 16th October

Music: Bedfordshire Orchestral Society Concert
St Paul’s Church @ 7.30pm
Tickets £13/£10 from Eventbrite

This week sees the opening performance in the Bedfordshire Orchestral Society’s new programme.

The chamber orchestra will play a mixed programme showing a full range of instrumentation, with pieces to include Elgar’s Shed Music, Petite Symphony by Gounod and Brahms’ Serenade No. 2. More details at the Bedfordshire Orchestral Society website here.

Saturday 16, Sunday 17, Monday 18 October 2021

Oh Europa 
Free event
Saturday 16: Harpur Square 10am-2pm
Sunday 17: Riverside North 10am-2pm
Monday 18: Longholme 9.30am-1.30pm

Oh Europa is a collection of works by Action Hero that spans a continent and seeks to re-imagine the ways we think about Europe and how we continue to share this space together.
In 2018, Action Hero moved out of their house and into a motorhome.

Over six months, they drove 32,000km and visited 33 European countries. Along the way they asked the people they met to sing them a love song.

These songs, along with those collected in the last 3 years, are now broadcasting 24/7 from 44 radio hotspots which have been positioned on borders and edge spaces across the continent audible to anyone who visits and tunes in.

As the song collection continues to grow, find the motorhome in Bedford town centre to add your voice. Find more information on The Place website

Sunday 17 October

Music: Echobelly + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £17.50

ECHOBELLY, considered by many as one of the major players in the British BritPop
scene, are hitting Esquires this weekend as part of their “post lockdown” UK tour.

Music: Sunday Afternoon Sessions: Wang Dang Doodle
Bedford Esquires @ 4pm
Free entry

Raw electric blues. Raucous, punchy rocking blues as nature intended, perfect for blowing away the cobwebs and rounding off the weekend with a bang!

Music: The Sunday Night Jam
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Free entry

Mat Roberts returns to Esquires to host the weekly Jam night in it’s new home on Sunday Nights.. Everyone welcome.. Singer/Songwriters and full band line-ups

Wednesday 20 October

Film: A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
The Place Theatre @ 7.15pm
Tickets: £5

Young Bedford Film Programmers announce their first-ever screening and it’s a corker!

Start your spooky season off right by watching this 1984 American supernatural slasher on the big screen, with plenty of jump scares, plenty of scenes that will haunt your dreams, and plenty of gore.

Doors will open at 7:15pm, and as part of the screening we will be hosting an 80s Halloween American style party. We invite you to immerse yourself into this horror classic by dressing up in your very best 80’s attire, the best dressed will win free entry to the entirety of The Place’s Japanese Film season. Your ticket includes free popcorn and sweets as well as a free ticket to one of The Place’s Japanese Films.

On top of all of this, your viewing experience will be enhanced by the extra comfy sofa seating, which can even be used to hide behind if necessary.

The film is an 18+ due to use of profanities, scenes of severe Violence and Gore and Mild Sex and Nudity.

Music: The Courettes
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £10

“The real sound of now busting through my door, new songs that keep kicking the history forward. I can’t imagine my turntable without The Courettes” (David Fricke, Rolling Stone, USA)

“The dynamite just keeps on coming!”
Lindsay Hutton (The Next Big Thing, UK)

“Your new favourite band once you´ve heard them!”
Marc Mcstea (Louder Than War, UK)

Thursday 21 October 2021

Shopping: Christmas in October launch party
The Arc @ 5pm – 9pm

If you’re the kind of person who does all their festive shopping at the all-night garage on Christmas Eve, this event is emphatically not for you.

However, if you love nothing more than getting Xmas-ready before Halloween, then head to the Arc on Howard Street on Thursday 21 October. From 5pm-9pm, the free fizz and nibbles will be flowing as Gemma and the team get into the Christmas spirit.

There will be Christmas music, the launch of their Christmas stock and maybe even Simon (from The Gallery) in a Christmas jumper…

Community: Bedford Death Café (produced by Grief Wellies)
The Place Theatre @ 1pm

A Death Café is an informal gathering of people (often strangers) to talk about death over a cup of tea and a piece of cake.

The topic of discussion is generated by the group and there is no agenda, objective or prescribed theme. A Death Café is an open, accessible and confidential space for those interested in talking about anything in relation to death.

Theatre: Duets
Sharnbrook Mill Theatre
Tickets: from £10
Additional performances on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 October. See website for details

When it comes to love, nothing ever runs smoothly, so join four couples, who are trying to navigate life, love, marriage, divorce and romance in this heart-warming play. Duets is a charming and hilarious comedy, full of pathos and wit.

Sharnbrook Mill Theatre are delighted to be back, offering audiences a comedy with a human heart.


Theatre: Our White Skoda Octavia
The Place Theatre
Tickets: £14
see website for details

Our White Skoda Octavia is a heartfelt story of family life told with truth, humour and tabla rhythm. In a small town in the East of England, Amjad decides to take up taxi-driving. His days take on the rhythm of a drum. But when money is tight and Rabia’s stifled ambitions hang in the air, cracks begin to appear.

Written by Shamser Sinha and directed by Sameena Hussain, this moving new play shines a light on the struggles of contemporary life as one family juggles bills, dreams and taxi-driving schemes.

Inspired by conversations with residents in Peterborough and Ipswich (funded by Arts Council England). Produced By: Eastern Angles


Friday 22 October 2021

Theatre: Vessel
The Place Theatre
Tickets: Pay what you can from £8

How far would you go for a cause you believed in?

Ireland, 2018. Abortion is illegal. Another underage pregnant girl dies. Doctor’s receptionist Maia, impregnates herself intentionally to stage a public protest for legalisation. But as the nation divides and press attention surrounding her intensifies, can she protect her loved ones from being caught in the crossfire?


Comedy: Castle Comedy Fundraiser
Bedford Swan Hotel
Tickets: £15 available from the website

Lasting Memories Cancer Trust & Castle Comedy team up to bring you a brilliant comedy show, featuring a packed line up of top-quality names with the aim of having a brilliant laugh whilst raising funds for a special cause.

Nathan Caton’s charismatic and laidback style of stand-up has seen him quickly establish himself on the comedy circuit, as one of the best young comics in the UK

Olaf Falafel  is a Swedish comedy sensation and multiple award winner, with a unique mixture of one-liners and Scandinavian-tinged stories.

Twice Emmy winning actor and comedian Fiona Allen has been a mainstay of our TV screens over the past two decades, starring in various sketch shows, including Goodness Gracious Me and The All Star Comedy Show, but most famously Smack the Pony.

Music: From the Specials: Neville Staple Band
Bedford Esquires @ 8:00 pm
Tickets: £20

*NEW DATE* Tickets remain valid from the May and September 2020 & April 2021 shows – seetickets will be in touch with all ticket holders / if you are unable to attend please get a refund from the point of purchase*

No stranger to Bedford, the Neville Staple Band returns to town with a proper 2 Tone Ska Party.

Having packed out Bedford Corn Exchange three times in the past with over 600 in attendance this time we have decided to keep it a bit more intimate as Neville returns to Bedford Esquires.

Read: Interview: Dr Neville Staple – 40 years man and rude boy

For anyone who doesn’t know, Neville Staple is one of the great figureheads of the second wave of British ska that broke across the nation’s music scene in the late 70s best known for his work as the singer / toaster in Ska and Two Tone legends The Specials.

Alongside Terry Hall and Jerry Dammers, Neville Staple was at the centre of perhaps UK ska’s most-loved bands The Specials. The band had seven consecutive top 10 hits between 1979 and 1981.
Neville’s solo tour features a selection of The Special’s back catalogue including “Gangsters”, “A Message to you Rudy”, “Monkey Man”, “Ghost Town” and “Nightclub” along with tracks from his second chart topping band The Fun Boy Three as well as reworking some original Jamaican ska classics and showcasing some brand new original solo material.

Expect all the hits and more from one of ska’s most loved artists – Get ready to skank ‘cos the king of Two Tone is ready to party!

Saturday 23 October

Workshop: Play in a week(end)
The Place Theatre @ Saturday 23, Sunday 24 and Monday 25 October
Tickets: £30 (£25 for those on means-tested benefits and ‘Pay What You Can’ places available participants with a reduced income. Contact admin@theplacebedford.org.uk for more information)

The Place Theatre

We’re going to make a play.
We’ve got three days and a theatre, where at the end of that time we’ll put on the show we’ve made. The only thing missing is you!

If you’re aged 12 – 16, and you’re interested in acting and theatre-making this short holiday project is a great way for you to improve your skills working with professional theatre-makers and grow your experience alongside other like-minded young people.
TIMINGS: Saturday 10:30am – 4:30pm, Sunday 10:30am – 6:30pm and Monday 10:30am – 8:30pm

Music: MUSED
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £11.50

As part of Esquires’ monthly tribute club, they present ‘the band that never came back’: MUSED – The UK’S Number 1 Muse Tribute.

Mused are a UK based professional tribute act that excel at providing an authentic Muse concert experience. Muse themselves now rarely perform at anything smaller than arena capacity, and Mused offer the opportunity to get up close to the action!

From the moment the show opens to the encore you will believe you are listening to, and watching Muse themselves!


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