What’s on Bedford: 18 – 28 November 2021

It’s almost Friday, so time to get your social life sorted. Need some inspiration? Here’s our essential guide to what’s on in Bedford over the next couple of weeks, featuring our top tips for you from theatre, art, live music, film, comedy and more…

Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 November 2021

Digital: The Nobodies
The Place Theatre (various times)
Tickets: £8/£6/£3

When a local hospital announces its closure, panic ensues. Healthcare Assistant, Rhea, is forced to look for work elsewhere. Local lad, Aaron, worries about his mum’s treatment in the cancer ward. And Curtis just isn’t sure where he’s going to sleep. But when the three witness a horrific accident, a rare opportunity presents itself.

As a dangerous decision triggers a wild chain of events, Rhea, Aaron and Curtis soon find themselves gathering power, influence and infamy, inspiring a cohort of vigilante activists. What does it take to enact real change? And what would you sacrifice to keep it?

Winner of Best Ensemble LPT Standing Ovation Nomination 2021.

Friday 19 November 2021

Live music: Italia Ninety
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £8

Italia 90 are one of the latest bands to emerge from the burgeoning music scene gravitating around the post-punk breeding grounds of venues such as Brixton’s The Windmill, Peckham’s Rye Wax and the previous incarnation of Five Bells in New Cross.

The group relocated to London seven years ago from their native Brighton, bringing along with them a hardened determination to carve out a unique space for themselves within a competitive environment.

Sporting distinctive stages names (Les Miserable, J Dangerous, Bobby Portrait and Captain ACAB), their output to date bears a particular resemblance to the trajectory of the punk story.

Early releases evoke the politically charged rhetoric and relentless drive of bands like Sham 69, Cockney Rejects and The Ruts and their latest EP mirrors the transition into the rhythmic angularity of the proceeding post-punk years heralded in by Joy Division, The Fall and Wire.

Until Saturday 20 November 2021

Theatre: The Father
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10/£12

Andre is a man facing a barrage: his favourite watch goes missing, (he has his suspicions), his daughter Anne tries to take his flat and her husband (or lover) is not sympathetic. To top it off, strangers keep turning up claiming to be his family. Andre knows he is no idiot, yet why do some talk as if he is?

With dark humour and poignancy The Father is an unsentimental, emotionally intense look at the world through the eyes of a man experiencing memory loss.

Winner of France’s highest theatrical honour, the Moliere Award for Best Play, The Father has dazzled audiences and critics alike in London’s West End and on tour.

Saturday 20 November 2021

Live music: James Taylor Quartet + DJ Mark Russell
Bedford Esquires @8pm
Tickets: £20

James Taylor, one of the great British instrumentalists of his generation has taken his trademark howling Hammond sound to the masses for over 25 years and he’s back to tear the roof off Esquires once again.

The band’s relentlessly entertaining tunes take inspiration from the rare-groove style funk, and boogaloo funk of the 60s and 70s and, the band is, without a doubt, one of the most important jazz-pop crossover outfits in British live musical history today.

Support comes from Bedford DJ, Mark Russell, the man behind the hugely successful Cafe Mambo events at Bedford Park Concerts.

Saturday 20 November 2021

Live music: Transmission: The Sound of Joy Division
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £10

After packing out Esquires in 2019 with the 40th anniversary ‘Unknown Pleasures” concert, Transmission: The Sound of Joy Division are back to perform the 1980 second and final Joy Division album in full + a second set of other Joy Division classics.

“Closer” was released in June 1980, two months after the untimely suicide of lead vocalist Ian Curtis. Named ‘Album of the Year” by the NME in 1980, “Closer” is widely regarded one of the finest releases from the Post-Punk period.

Saturday 20 November 2021

Live music: Bedford Choral Society: Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle
Bedford Corn Exchange
Tickets: £16/£13/£12/£5

Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle is neither little nor particularly solemn. The work is a very substantial setting of the Mass in fourteen parts; Rossini used the term “petite” as a modest evaluation of its importance.

It is scored for four soloists and at least eight voices (“men, women and castrati”) as a chorus with two pianos and a harmonium. A setting of the Mass which used women’s voices was not eligible for performances in Catholic churches and so the use of the instruments was a very practical solution for salon performance. The percussive nature of the piano contrasts with the sustained support of the harmonium to give a flexible accompaniment.

Tuesday 23 November

Live music: Lunchtime concert – Six on sax
St Paul’s Church @ 1.00pm
Free to enter with retiring collection

A saxophone recital featuring Diane Croston (Soprano Saxophone), Cathryn Henderson (Alto Saxophone), Caroline Barlow (Alto Saxophone), Jan Wood (Tenor Saxophone), Brian Mitchell (Tenor Saxophone), and Peter Flippant (Baritone Saxophone ).

Wednesday 24 – Saturday 27 November

Theatre: Motherless Brontes
The Place Theatre at 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10 available from the website

In 1821 Maria Branwell Bronte died. At the time of her death, Charlotte was 5, Emily 3 and Anne had not yet reached her second birthday.

Motherless Brontes features scenes and readings that describe some motherly (and un-motherly) characters from their novels.

Although Charlotte was the only one of the sisters to marry, their heroines usually (eventually) did. The evening also includes descriptions of the pleasures and hardships of finding a husband – with or without a mother’s help and guidance, bringing together a variety of characters from the novels of the Bronte sisters.

Wednesday 24 – Friday 26 November 2021

Theatre: Animal Farm
The Quarry Theatre @
Tickets: £10/£8

This powerful dramatisation of George Orwell’s parable on the perils of totalitarianism is performed by students of Bedford School

The novel, Animal Farm, was first published in 1945 and follows the lives of a group of farm animals who overthrew their farmer, hoping for a better life. The rebellion is betrayed and the animals find out gradually that their lives are really no better under the rule of the dictator pig, Napoleon.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Film: Kill Bill (Volume 1)
3 St Peters @ 7pm
Tickets: £12/£10.50/£9

Kill Bill (Volume 1) is the latest in the Cinema at St Peter’s Tarantino season.

A former assassin, known simply as The Bride (Uma Thurman), wakes from a coma four years after her jealous ex-lover Bill (David Carradine) attempts to murder her on her wedding day.

Fueled by an insatiable desire for revenge, she vows to get even with every person who contributed to the loss of her unborn child, her entire wedding party, and four years of her life.

After devising a hit list, The Bride sets off on her quest, enduring unspeakable injury and unscrupulous enemies.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Spoken word: John Cooper Clarke
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 8pm
Tickets: £24.50

The iconic John Cooper Clarke has toured the globe 10 – count ‘em 10 times! and will be making a very special appearance at The Corn Exchange, Bedford in November.

A back catalogue of recordings by legendary producer Martin Hannett, including seminal tracks Beasley St and Evidently Chickentown featured on hit album Snap Crackle and Bop, one of four big selling original album releases on Sony Records in the late 70s and early 80s. They established John as one of the most prolific artistes of the Punk years and JCC headlined gigs with support from many soon to be superstars including Joy Division, New Order and Duran Duran.

He himself featured as special guest on many shows by the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Clash.

John will be on stage giving you stories of his prolific career to date that have influenced some of the biggest names in the industry – an evening not to miss!

Friday 26 November 2021

Live music: Orlando Weeks + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £10

Orlando Weeks is performing a series of intimate underplay dates this November ahead of his forthcoming headline tour in March 2022, which includes a show at London’s iconic Barbican Centre.

The dates come in the wake of the recent release announcement of Orlando’s highly anticipated sophomore solo album; ‘Hop Up’ out January 14th 2022.

Comprising a stripped-back set-up of Orlando and his long-time live collaborator Sami El-Enany on keys, these dates are the first opportunity for fans to hear new material from the forthcoming album, which so far has included the tracks ‘Big Skies Silly Faces’ with Katy J Pearson, ‘Deep Down Way Out’ featuring an iconic video with comedian/actor Lolly Adefope and current single ‘Look Who’s Talking Now’.

Saturday 27 November 2021

Live music: Electric Six
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £15

On 27 November, one of the finest party bands on the planet is coming to take you to a Gay Bar (or Bedford Esquires!) with Electric Six headlining the small stage.

One of the best live bands around, the band formerly known as The Wild Bunch have a range of influences from New Romantic to Metal and a bit of Disco thrown in for good measure. The Jack White featuring breakthrough single Danger! High Voltage was a disco laden indie club banger that thrust the band into international acclaim and MTV stardom.

The band followed up with one of the most quotable songs of all time, as Gay Bar, and its tongue-in-cheek video took the band into another stratosphere completely.

Sunday 28 November 2021

Bedford Craft Market
St Paul’s Square, Bedford

Market stalls on St Paul’s Square

Head to St Paul’s Square for the last Craft Market of the season. The perfect place to find unique Christmas gifts handmade by local crafters.

Sunday 28 November 2021

Live music: Sunday Night Jam Night
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Free entry

Mat Roberts returns to Esquires to host the weekly Jam night in its new home on Sunday nights.

Everyone welcome. Singer/songwriters and full band line-ups.

Until 28 November 2021

Exhibition: Airship Dreams Escaping Gravity
Sir William Harpur Gallery at Higgins Bedford
Free entry but timed booking essential

An image from Escaping Gravity

Innovative digital contemporary art and exciting new community-sourced displays present the pioneering vision of airship development in Bedfordshire over the decades.

In Sir William Harpur Gallery, Mike Stubbs’ contemporary new media installation invites the viewer on a spectacular journey – weaving material generated in Unreal games software, immersive audio composition, choir, archive film, and interactive sculptural elements.

The 40 minute installation will be shown on Tuesday – Saturday at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm and on Sunday at 2:30pm and 3.30pm in Sir William Harpur Gallery.

Alongside it in the Connections Gallery, and curated in partnership with the local community, visitors will discover community treasures, oral histories, artefacts, screened digital materials, animation, graphic design and young people’s responses to the themes.

Supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, Bedford College, Harpur Trust and Airship Heritage Trust.

Until January 2022

Exhibition: Edward Bawden: Architectural Elements
Higgins Bedford
Edward Bawden Gallery, Free Entry

Explore the passion for architecture of influential British artist and designer, Edward Bawden, displaying his originality, wit and skill in giving character to the buildings featured in his work.

Until March 2022

Exhibition: Going to Town – 200 Years of Bedford’s Art
Higgins Bedford
Wixamtree Gallery, Free Entry

Celebrate artists views of Bedford and the surrounding area with a number of watercolours, oils and prints from the past two centuries, some of which haven’t been seen by the public eye in several decades.

The exhibition includes artworks by JMW Turner, Dora Carrington, Thomas Fisher and Stanley Orchart, highlighting their fascination with the town and River Great Ouse.

Until October 2022

Exhibition: Warden Abbey Revealed
Higgins Bedford
Outside Settlement Gallery, Free Entry

Research by the Old Warden History and Heritage Society alongside the results of the geophysical survey by MOLA (Northampton) have revealed the grandeur of the medieval Cistercian abbey.

The reconstruction illustration by Peter Dunn based on this work will be on display with a selection of archive items.

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker

Must Read

Related Articles