What’s on Bedford: 9 – 19 December 2021

Here’s your weekly guide to what’s on in Bedford over the next 10 days. From live music, theatre, film and comedy, to festive markets and Christmas church services…

Until 24 December 2021

Santa’s Grotto
Harpur Centre from 10am every weekend before Christmas and daily from Monday 20 December
one child………….£4.00 | £3.20 (with discount code BI1)
two children…….£7.50 | £6.00 (with discount code BI1)
three children…….£10.00 | £8.00 (with discount code BI1)
four children…….£13.50 | £10.80 (with discount code BI1)

Don’t miss your chance to meet Santa in his Grotto at the Harpur Centre this year. All good children will receive a special gift on entry and the chance to buy a photo with the main man himself.

Don’t forget to use our exclusive BI1 code to receive a 20% discount.

Thursday 9 December 2021

Comedy: Comedy at the Burrow presents Tez Ilyas + George Zach with compere Jenney Collier
Burrow at the Blues @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

Comedy Cow’s Comedy at the Burrow is super excited to welcome Tez Ilyas to their stage tonight.

Tez, who has been recently on tour with his show, Populist is the titular star of the Tez O’Clock Show and appears on Channel 4 and BBC2s Man Like Mobeen.

Tez has been recently seen on Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week and The Last Leg.  “We can’t wait to welcome Tez to The Comedy Cow and are looking forward to him heading up a fantastic night of comedy!”

Thursday 9 – Friday 10 December 2021

Theatre: The West End at Christmas
The Place Theatre
Tickets from £15 (available from the website)

The West End At Christmas are back! Stars from the West End present a magical evening of entertainment featuring hits from the musicals and the best of Christmas song.

The exceptionally talented cast have starred in many West End productions and national tours including Les Miserables, We Will Rock You, South Pacific, Starlight Express, Phantom Of The Opera, Wicked, Legally Blonde, Joseph and Cats… to name but a few!


Thursday 9 December 2021

Late night shopping
Bedford town centre til 8pm

The Harpur Centre and selected other shops will be open in Bedford town centre until 8pm this Thursday for late-night Christmas shopping.

Thursday 9 December 2021

Live music: Coupdekat + Rylands Heath + Belonging + Louise Harris
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £5

Thursday 9 December 2021

Live music: Bernard Butler
Bedford Esquires SOLD OUT

Bernard Butler returns to Bedford for a sell out acoustic show at Esquires this week. After forming Suede in 1989 he went on to have a solo career and is an award-winning producer.

Friday 10 December 2021

Live music: Daft Funk live
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £10 Over 18s only

I love Daft Punk, you love Daft Punk. Esquires were never gonna get to be able to book Daft Punk, so they’re putting on the next best thing.

The night will be a full-on party, with live DJ/Drummer HITMAN and B-Town’s best DJ, Mass C providing the sounds before, between and after until the early hours.

Dedicated to recreating the sounds and atmosphere of a Daft Punk ‘LIVE’ experience, the band’s meticulously crafted stage productions feature authentic costumes and synchronised custom light shows, with over 1500 LEDs, and a three-metre pyramid.

In light of the recent split of the official robots, the equally mysterious ‘Daft Funk LIVE’ will continue to perform Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – their work is never over.

Friday 10 December 2021

Comedy: John Bishop
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £35 (last few tickets still available)

Comedy superstar John Bishop is coming to Bedford Corn Exchange to warm up his brand-new show.

There are a handful of tickets left for his Bedford gig, so don’t delay!

Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 December 2021

Shopping: Made in Bedford Christmas Makers’ Market
Harpur Square @ 10am – 3.30pm
Free entry

As part of the town centre’s Christmas festivities, the annual Makers’ Market will be showcasing the best of Bedford’s amazing artists, designers, makers and crafters.

The perfect opportunity to find unique gifts, meet some amazing people and support our superb creative community.

Saturday 11 December 2021

Live music: Foo Fighters GB
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £10

Foo Fighters GB return to Esquires after their sell out shows in 2019 and February 2020.

Celebrating the hits of the Foo Fighters in full volume, Foo Fighters GB have quickly established themselves as the UK’s finest and most talked about tribute to the Foo Fighters, the greatest rock band on the planet.

The Foo Fighters GB take audiences on an absolutely epic, exhilarating journey playing all their favourite Foos tracks, from the first eponymous album release’s This is a Call through to their most recent instant classic Medicine at Midnight

Saturday 11 December 2021

Theatre: A Christmas Carol
The Quarry Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: from £12.50 (available from the website)

Olivier Award winner, Guy Masterson, veteran of many smash hit solo works such as Under Milk Wood, Animal Farm and Shylock, now brings us Dickens’ classic festive fable. Famed for bringing multiple characters to vivid life, Masterson recreates Scrooge, Marley, the Fezziwigs, Tiny Tim et al in an enchanting, performance that will dazzle and linger long in the memory. Guaranteed to get you into the Christmas Spirit – in many more ways than one!

Saturday 11 December 2021

Live music: Hung Like Hanratty
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £12

Hung Like Hanratty come to Bedford Esquires for their annual Christmas party.
Special guests will be the Blue Carpet Band and local punks Scumbus
Expect the usual mayhem and a night not to be missed…

Saturday 11 December 2021

Live music: Millie Manders and The Shutup
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £10

Millie Manders and The Shutup create cross-genre punk that is hard to ignore. With lyrics that poke fun and draw you in, teamed with incredible vocal dexterity, grinding guitars, irresistible horn hooks and a pumping rhythm section, the Millie Manders Music Machine churns out more raw punk fusion than you can shake a stick at, with a huge amount of pop appeal.

Sunday 12 December 2021

Family fun: Christmas star workshop
Higgins Bedford @ 2pm – 4pm

Pop into The Higgins Bedford and create your own paper Christmas star to add to your decorations at home. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Free to join in. No need to book and families can drop in anytime between 2pm – 4pm.

Sunday 12 December 2021

Live music: Feline Assembly
Herd, St Cuthbert’s Street @ 1pm
Free entry

Feline Assembly’s aim is to provide a platform for women in music. The events are free and proudly showcase different genres through all vinyl DJing and live performances.

This Sunday’s event features DJ Amy Mason, Duzzy Avocado – a live combo with a unique sound spanning across Americana, Folk and rock, The Miller Collective’s DJ Sue Miller (Modern funk); the Ital Trio (reggae sounds from the Windrush era to modern day) and DJ Sherry McGill playing classic Ska.

Organiser and DJ, Sue Miller (pictured) said: “Our talented Felines have their souls set in the heart of music. Their passion for bringing people together to celebrate their music demonstrates that barriers can be broken down to give an opportunity to perform and play music’.

Book a table to enjoy the legendary Herd Sunday Roast, or enjoy the tunes from the bar.

To book call 01234 300193.

Tuesday 14 December 2021

Live music: Neil Sands – Christmas Memories
Bedford Corn Exzchange @ 2pm
Tickets: £12/£10

Neil Sands and his wonderful cast are back in a spectacular spirit-lifting, heartwarming, afternoon of festive nostalgia with the new 2021 production of their hit show.

Join them for a dazzling sleigh ride of yuletide memories, filled with over 60 of your all-time favourite Christmas songs and carols you will be singing along from start to finish bringing back so many wonderful memories of Christmases past.

Described as ‘like a sparkly Christmas card come to life’ with its shimmering stage set, stunning costumes, beautiful Christmas trees and even falling snow, this is the perfect pre-Christmas treat, warming your heart on the coldest winter’s day, taking us all back to a time when Christmas was the most wonderful time of the year.

Tuesday 14 until Friday 31 December

Theatre: It’s a Wonderful Life
The Place Theatre @ 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Tickets from £12

Christmas Eve. George is contemplating ending his life: he never got out of Bedford Falls, the bank is on the verge of closure, Potter is closing in and his blasted kids won’t stop practising the infernal piano.

It’s all too much. Now only Clarence Odbody, Angel Second Class, can save him and finally get his wings…

For Christmas 2021, The Place Bedford and Mangled Yarn will bring this all-time Christmas classic to life as you have never seen it before: filled with magic, music and Holiday spirit!

Four actors will take on every character using live music, puppetry and a sack load of Christmas magic to bring Bedford Falls to Bedford. Prepare to have your heartstrings tugged, your sides split and your disbelief suspended.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Live music: The Drifters 2021
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £26/£24

The Drifters are back on tour in the UK performing all their classic hits from the last six decades. Don’t miss their amazing tour showcasing all the classic hits such as ‘Saturday Night at the Movies’, ‘You’re More Than A Number’, ‘Come on Over to My Place’, ‘Up On The Roof’, ‘Under the Boardwalk’, ‘Kissin In The Back Row’, ‘Save The Last Dance for me’, ‘Down On The Beach’, ‘Hello Happiness’ and many, many more!

Following phenomenal success for their 65th-anniversary tour, The Drifters are back on the road with a lineup hand-picked by Tina Treadwell herself – President of the Treadwell Entertainment Group and owner of The Drifters name.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Family fun: Fun 4 Young People Charity Parkour Kids’ Night
Trinity Arts Centre @ 6pm
Tickets: £10

Fun 4 Young People (F4YP) and Spiral Freerun are collaborating on a fundraising night to support the F4YP charity crowdfunder.
F4YP aims to inspire young people to make positive contributions to society in spite of any barriers that they may face. They are aiming to raise £25,000 through events and donations.
The three-hour fundraiser at Trinity Arts Centre will be an open gym style event where participants can practice their tricks & skills freely, without limitation.
“Coaches will be available on the night to help out,” said Luke of Spiral Freerun, “Our kids night will be a great place to train, make new friends and network with other members of our growing Parkour community.”
Snacks and refreshments will be available to purchase on the day.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Film: Die Hard
Cinema at 3 St Peters @ 7pm
Tickets: £9/£10.50/£12

Everyone knows Die Hard is among the greatest Christmas films ever made, so why not get into some festive bare-foot terrorism-busting with a screening of the classic at 3 St Peters?

New York City policeman John McClane (Bruce Willis) is visiting his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and their children on Christmas Eve. He joins her at a holiday party in the headquarters of the Japanese-owned business she works for. But the festivities are interrupted by a group of terrorists who take over the exclusive high-rise, and everyone in it. Very soon McClane realizes that there’s no one to save the hostages…but him and his vest. Yippy-ki-yay, muddy funsters!

Thursday 16 December 2021

Community: Christmas church services
Carol Service @ 7pm
St Peter’s, De Parys Avenue

Saturday 18 December 2021

Community: Christmas church services
Nine lessons and carols @ 4pm
St Paul’s church

Thursday 16 December 2021

Live music: The Upbeat Beatles
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

The Upbeat Beatles are second to none – powerhouse vocals, precision harmonies and tight musicianship.

The show takes you through the Fab Four’s long and winding road from the early Cavern days through Beatlemania, America, Sergeant Pepper to Abbey Road, with narrative and full multi-media presentation.

If you love the Beatles you’ll love this show, and if you don’t love the Beatles you’ll love this show!

Thursday 16 December 2021

Comedy: Castle Comedy Christmas Special
The QUarry Theatre @ 8.15pm
Tickets: £15

Comedy is back at The Quarry Theatre with a Christmas Special. The show will feature star names, mince pies, crackers and loads of Christmas cheer!

The headline act is Ricky Grover. He is quite literally and in more ways than one, one of the biggest names in modern British comedy. Born and bred in the East End of London, Ricky was an ex-champion boxer and hairdresser before taking the comedy scene by storm.

He is an award-winning writer, comedian, as well as an acclaimed actor, appearing as Andrew on Eastenders and as the lead role in his 2011 film ‘Big Fat Gypsy Gangster’.

His numerous TV credits include This Way Up, Porridge, Zapped, Black Books and Red Dwarf, as well as co-starring in cult BBC2 series ‘Orrible’, written by and starring, Johnny Vaughn. His best-known and loved character role is Bulla – gangster and social commentator– who was the star of the 11 o’clock show and even interviewed by Michael Parkinson on his chat show.

Also on the bill is Tom Houghton, the Edinburgh Fringe’s favourite posh boy, star of Comedy Central’s ‘Roast Battle’ and critically-acclaimed star of BBC and Channel 4 and First Dates! Tom is the ultra-privileged master of making the seemingly unrelatable, relatable. He is currently supporting Milton Jones on his theatre tour. The Daily Mail declared him a ‘crafty idiot’.

The show will feature full support and Castle Comedy favourite Paul Revill will host the show.

Friday 17 December 2021

Live music: The World Famous Elvis Show
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £26

Chris Connor, along with his 12-piece band The Steels and backed by the Sweet Harmonies, will be recreating two huge concerts performed by Elvis in the 1970s – selling out venues world-wide.

This show respectively and authentically recreates The King at his very best. You will simply feel that you have been transported back in time. If you were not lucky enough to see Elvis live, you will walk away from this concert feeling that you have!

Friday 17 December 2021

Live music: Missing Andy
Bedford Esquires @8pm
Tickets: £12

Missing Andy is a five-piece BritPop rock guitar band from Essex that has gone from strength to strength following the release of their long-awaited debut album ‘Generation Silenced’ in 2011.

This industrious band has built a strong, dedicated and diverse fan base, often appealing to entire families, bringing the older generation music they could believe in once again, and something with real substance to a new generation who have known nothing more than the superficial, conveyor-belt class of music that plagues today’s charts.

Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 December 2021

Family fun: Festive fun in Harpur Square
Harpur Square
Free all day

As Christmas draws near, head to Harpur Square for some festive cheer. With hot drinks and seasonal treats on sale, there will be seating in the square and live music and carols to set the mood. The perfect way to relax and soak up the Christmas atmosphere before the Big Day gets underway.

Saturday 18 December 2021

Comedy: Jess Robinson: The Twelve Days of Jessmas
Quarry Theatre at St Luke’s
Tickets: £15

Join multi-award-winning star of Spitting Image, Jess Robinson, for an evening of musical comedy and festive fun.

Expect magical mashups, fabulous original songs and a belly full of laughs as your angelic host transports you on an (imaginary) sleigh ride, through a winter wonderland of dazzling divas and stars of the silver screen, serving up a feast of famous voices, from Gaga to Garland. It’ll be anything but a silent night.

As seen/heard on Spitting Image, The Guilty Feminist, The Now Show, Dead Ringers, Britain’s Got Talent and her own award-winning podcast, Stars In Your Ears.

One lucky Clanger reader can win a pair of tickets to see Jess’s Christmas show here.

Saturday 18 December 2021

Live music: The Devout – Depeche Mode tribute band
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £12

Approximately 10 years ago, a group of Depeche Mode fans started recreating their favourite songs to play to fans like themselves as Speak and Spell.

In 2018 the lead singer decided to hang up his waistcoat and with that a major evolution for the project started to take place.

This meant a new frontman and two new members to deliver enhanced productions of the Speak and Spell shows. Out of respect for the history of Speak and Spell, this also means a new operating name, The Devout whose sole focus is to bring a performance that is worthy enough to transport the audience back to a Depeche Mode gig, at their peak, at their most powerful.

Saturday 18 December 2021

Live music: One Night in Dublin
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

Murphy’s Pub comes to Bedford Corn Exchange this month for One Night in Dublin. The multi-award-winning Wild Murphys promise a glorious night of high-energy Irish Music and more than a little bit of Irish Craic. In their own inimitable style, the band perform classic tracks including Galway Girl, Tell Me Ma, Dirty Old Town, The Irish Rover, Brown Eyed Girl, Seven Drunken Nights, Sally MacLennane, When You Were Sweet Sixteen, Whiskey in the Jar, Wild Rover, Molly Malone… and maybe even that classic Christmas number!

Guaranteed to have your hands clapping and toes tapping all night long.

Sunday 19 December 2021

Community: Christmas church services

Nine Lessons and Carols @ 6pm
St Andrews Church, Kimbolton Road

Family Nativity Service @ 9.30am
Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols @ 6.30pm
John Bunyan Meeting

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

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