What’s on Bedford: 21 October – 31 October 2021

Need some weekend inspiration? As ever, we’ve picked out our top tips for you from theatre, art, live music, comedy, shopping and more for the next 10 days in Bedford…

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…

Thursday 21 October 2021

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

Sharnbrook Mill Theatre

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.


Thursday 21 October 2021

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

Thursday 21, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 October 2021

Exhibition: Art for A&E
Basement @ Bunyan 11am – 4pm

Head over to the Basement @ Bunyan to the Bedford Hospital Charity & Friends’ Art for A&E exhibition and sale.

The exhibition and sale will have many works of art exhibited by local, professional and amateur artists and others generously donated by our supporters.

Refreshments and our Christmas cards will be on sale.


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?


Friday 22 October 2021

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.

Friday 22 October 2021

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.

Saturday 23 October

Workshop: Autumn Artworks
Panacea Museum @ 11.30am til 3pm

Using the Panacea Museum’s printing press, which dates back to 1897, make monoprints and have fun with ink-stamping and colouring, all themed around Autumn and the changing season.

Drop-in sessions at 11.30am to 3pm with no need to book.

9, Newnham Road, Bedford, MK40 3NX

Saturday 23, 24 and 25 October 2021

Theatre: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Quarry Theatre
Tickets: from £10
Additional performances on Sunday 24 and Monday 25 October. See website for details.

Dive into Eric Carle’s bright and colourful world as his beloved stories are transformed from page to stage using a menagerie of 75 lovable puppets and charming music. Featuring your favourite titles: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, The Very Lonely Firefly and of course, the star of the show, The Very Hungry Caterpillar which celebrated its 50th Birthday in 2019.

Created by Jonathan Rockefeller, the critically acclaimed The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show is a vibrant celebration of Eric Carle’s adored classics and the perfect introduction to live theatre.

Saturday 23 October 2021

Music: Skimmington Ride
The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street

A righteous ruaille buaille!

MacGowan to Drew to Behan. Kelly To MacColl To Bogle. Covers, originals and somewhere in between.

Saturday 23 – Friday 29 October

Community: Made in Queen’s Park
Queen’s Park Community Centre

For one week only – Saturday 23 October to Friday 29 October –  residents of Queen’s Park will benefit from a free pop up café with a creative twist!

The free event, at the community centre, will give residents the chance to try out arts and crafts while enjoying some tea and cake. The café will continue to serve food into the evenings on Saturday 23, Sunday 24 and Friday 29, giving it much more of a festival feast feel.

The fun activities kick off on Saturday at 1.30pm, with resident artist Caroline Wendling leading an allotment walk. An ice-cream van will be on hand distributing ‘flavours of Queen’s Park’, while residents are invited to populate a map of the area with their own stories.

On Sunday, from 4pm to 7pm, local artists Andy Holden and Mira Calix will be continuing to invite people to share their ideas for a ‘Community Communications’ themed mural in the community centre.

On Monday and Tuesday (11am – 2pm), Andy and Mira will continue to share ideas and collect stories and a print artist will be on hand demonstrating screen printing. Families can get creative with lego enabling attendees to make Queen’s Park buildings.

Wednesday and Thursday (10.30am – midday) are crafty days with screen printing, crochet and decorating glass lanterns as well as a cookery class.  Friday will round the week off with an evening feast of food accompanied by live music.

The Made in Queen’s Park Community Café is part of the Take Part Queen’s Park project.  Take Part Queen’s Park is an art project both inspired by and created with the community of Queen’s Park in Bedford.

There is no need to book, just drop-in when it suits, and enjoy the hospitality and creative opportunities to express your stories, memories and inspiration of Queen’s Park.

A full detailed programme will be published on the BCA website on Friday 15th October bedfordcreativearts.org.uk. If you’d like more information, please contact us on takepart@bedfordcreativearts.org.uk.

Saturday 23 October 2021

Film: My Neighbour Totoro
The Place Theatre @ 1pm
Tickets: £5

Screening as part of Japan 2020: Over 100 years of Japanese Cinema, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network. bfijapan.co.uk

Two sisters move to the country with their father in order to be closer to their hospitalized mother, and discover the surrounding trees are inhabited by Totoros, magical spirits of the forest. When the youngest runs away from home, the older sister seeks help from the spirits to find her.

Saturday 23, Sunday 24 and Monday 25 October 2021

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

Saturday 23 October 2021

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!

Saturday 23 October 2021

Film screening: Babylon
Vue Cinema @ 8pm
Tickets: from £11.25

This screening has been organised by Right Track, a community group that works with young people in Bedford.

Babylon was released over 40 years ago with an X rated certificate which stopped a lot of its target audience from seeing it in the settings that it was intended.

“It tells the story of my youth,” says Right Track founder, Basil Willis. “Dealing with racism and police brutality which has been in the news over the last 18 months that I can identify with.

“As a community we have very little to cheer about so to come together to watch what is now seen as a classic cult movie which can now be enjoyed in the correct surroundings of a cinema

“There are huge benefits that cultural events like this can play in Bedford, it brings people together, creates pride and expresses identity also it helps to promote diversity while supporting economic development and putting our town on the map.”

Sunday 24 October

Live music: A very special Sunday afternoon session
Bedford Esquires @ 10am – 5pm

On what would have been Chris Robinson’s 60th Birthday, members of his regular gigging bands, ‘May Contain Nutz’ and ‘Los the Plot’ are getting together to pay tribute to someone who was an integral part of the Bedford Music Scene for many years.

Chris was a regular at Esquires, both watching and performing with his own bands and playing an active part in the Beatles and Bowie afternoons hosted by Mat Roberts. He also co-hosted an annual Pink Floyd tribute afternoon with Amy Mason.

Painting by Martin Gregory.

Tuesday 26 October 2021

Exhibition: The Museum’s Progress from 195 – 2021 and beyond’ anniversary exhibition
John Bunyan Museum 11am – 4pm

Back by popular demand, a one-week showing of a smaller version of the John Bunyan Museum’s summer exhibition.

“We are celebrating 75 years of John Bunyan Museum being brought together into one gallery. The displays focus on the objects and stories that connect us to John Bunyan’s life, faith and works.”

Tuesday 26th October

Lunchtime concert
St Paul’s Church @ 1pm

Free lunchtime concert in the beautiful and tranquil surroundings of St Paul’s Church in the heart of Bedford featuring Joanna Reveley, Flute and Justin Waters, Piano.

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Film: Malcolm X
Cinema @ 3 St Peters @ 7pm

A Black History Month Special event, Malcolm X is a tribute to the controversial black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation.

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Theatre: The Nobodies
The Place Theatre
Tickets:from £8.50
Additional performance Thursday 28 October. See website for details

A town is in turmoil. A hospital is closing. And an MP is dead on the train tracks… Accident? Or opportunity? 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?


Wednesday 27 October 2021

Theatre: Faulty Towers the Dining Experience
The Quarry Theatre
Tickets:£45 (including a three course meal)

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is Officially the world’s most sought after tribute to the BBC sitcom.
Become part of the action as Basil, Sybil and Manuel serve up mayhem on a plate along with five stars, three courses and two hours of non-stop laughter. Expect nothing short of guaranteed fun and a brilliant night out as you climb inside your favourite TV show and experience it from the inside out… With over 70% improvised, this is the completely immersive and highly interactive experience where anything can happen… and usually does! More information and tickets from the website


Thursday 28 October 2021

Crafty Thursdays: Fierce Faces
John Bunyan Musuem, Mill Street

There are some fun family events happening at The John Bunyan Museum, Mill St in Bedford this October half term:

Thurs 28 October, 11:00 – 3:00 (last entry 2:30), just drop in for £2 per child, accompanied by an adult at all times:

Family Crafty Thursday activity ‘Fierce Faces’: create your own mask with collage, based on fierce creatures of lions and Apollyon the monster found in John Bunyan’s ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ story, written here in Bedford by this world-famous preacher. Suitable for aged 4 to 10 years.

Friday 29 October 2021

Theatre: Who Cares
The Place Theatre
Tickets: from £8

Sitting at the back of the bus, skipping the lunch queue and skiving lessons. At school Nicole, Jade and Connor are just like everybody else. But when they get home, things are very different. Nicole started caring for her mum when she was four. Every morning Nicole helps her get washed, put on clothes and eat breakfast. Jade has always cared for her brother, but she never expected to look after dad as well – now she juggles two lots of appointments, two lots of prescriptions, two lots of assessment forms. Connor cares for his mum. But he doesn’t like to talk about it.
Adapted from real-life testimonies, this bold and pertinent piece of documentary theatre examines our failing care system, the impact of austerity and what happens when a child becomes the parent.
Tickets and more information on the website

Friday 29, Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 October

Children’s Theatre: The Big Red Bath
The Quarry Theatre
Tickets: from £7.50
Additional performances: Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 October

It’s the end of a busy day and it is almost time for bed, and Ben and Bella are in the bath. Splish! Splosh! Splash! Bubbles burst and bubbles rise and a frothy feast of animals jump right in to join in the fun. Come with us on a bubbly, barmy bath time adventure around the world and home again celebrating all things bath time.
Adapted from Julia Jarman and Adrian Reynolds’ popular children’s picture book, this quirky, vibrant and humorous tale for 2-5 year olds features music by Evergreen, an alternative indie-electro-pop trio who bring a blend of folk melodies, electro beats and vocal harmonies.
More information and tickets from the website


Saturday 30 October 2021

Theatre: MARVELus: All the Marvel Movies …kind of
The Place Theatre
Tickets: from £11

The Place Theatre is delighted to present the world’s premier nerd-culture comedy double-act, The Just Us League, with their smash hit show MARVELus: All the MARVEL Movies…Kind Of. Squeezing (almost) all the MARVEL movies into an action-packed evening of laughs, their short punchy sketches and high-energy style will delight the whole spectrum of MARVEL fans; from those that have seen just one movie to mega-aficionados who know the franchise inside out. It’s a weapons-free comedy that takes no prisoners.

Like your superhero movies? You’ll love this.

Tickets and more information available from the website.

Saturday 30 October 2021

Live music: Ferocious Dog
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm

Ferocious Dog return to Bedford Esquires as a full band as part of their ‘The Hope’ tour of Autumn 2021.
They’ve been hailed as “a representation of our gut feeling, savage and merciless” and at the same time, called “folk in the grand tradition of it being the peoples sound.”

Sunday 31 October 2021

Live music: Split Whiskers play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 4pm

Split Whiskers are back in town, although their roots are firmly planted in Chicago blues, crossing boundaries into rock, Americana and more than a hint of the Delta.

The band’s fame is spreading and they are becoming one of the busiest bands at blues
venues around the UK, in particular in great demand on the festival circuit.

Their superb musicianship, along with their infectious humour on stage, promises a
great afternoon’s entertainment


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