What’s on Bedford: 20 – 30 January 2022

The weekend’s nearly here, so it’s time to make some plans. Take your pick from our choice of the best live music, theatre, film and culture. Enjoy!


Thursday 20 January 2022

Live music: Coach Party
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £8.50

Isle of White band, Coach Party, are inspired by a broad palate of artists, but always find themselves drawn back to Nirvana, Sonic Youth and The Strokes, and contemporary artists like Wolf Alice, The Big Moon and Tame Impala. The band say their primary drive to write and perform music comes from “the often entertaining struggle of real life.”

With more music and a slew of live show announcements due soon, Coach Party’s name and influence is set to spread far, far beyond the IOW’s shores before too long.


Thursday 20 January 2022

Live music: All That Jazz with Mark Hale
The Place Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £10

‘All That Jazz’ is a concert series presented by The Place and curated by drummer Mark Hale.
The series features musical talent from across the country coming together for a night of exquisite live music. Check the website for full details.

Saturday 22 January 2022

Live music: The Best of Take That performed by Rule the World
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £22.50

As Take That celebrate their 25 year anniverasary, Rule the World present a high-energy production dedicated to the UK’s number one boy band.

This spectacular tribute comes complete with a five-piece line up and supporting dancers, magnificent lighting, fast costume changes and exceptional live vocals. The result is an incredibly accurate portrayal of a Take That concert, including the boys being joined on stage by Dan Budd as Robbie Williams who wowed judges on BBC TV’s Let It Shine.

They are the only Take That tribute to have ever been praised by Gary Barlow himself, who described them as “Brilliant! He sounds like me. These guys are good!”


Saturday 22 January 2022

Live music: Desperate Journalist + support
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

Ravagedheart promotions are bringing Desperate Journalist to Esquires this month as part of the band’s ‘Maximum Sorrow’ tour.

Formed in North London in 2012, the band’s name derives from a song The Cure performed at a BBC John Peel radio session in 1979.

The Quietus, reviewing their debut album, described them as “beautiful and spellbinding” while Drowned in Sound said that they had “effortless grace”.


Saturday 22 January 2022

Live music: Two Tone All Skas
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £9

This six-piece ska band cover the best in Madness, The Specials, Bad Manners and Trojan records classics.

The band packed out the venue on their debut visit in 2018 and again in 2019 – we can’t wait to have them back again.


Sunday 23 January 2022

Film: Holocaust Memorial Week: Lapwing
The Place Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £5

A mute young woman, Patience, from an isolated community in rural England in 1555, struggles with her controlling brother-in-law and leader, David, who is gradually unraveling after the failure of his idyllic community.

The Egyptian Act has been passed, stipulating that all ‘gypsies’ must vacate England immediately and anyone found aiding them could be executed. In exchange for a fee, David agrees to help an Egyptian family who must stay a month on their land until a ship comes to take them away.
The others in the community tolerate this decision, hoping it could lead them to a more prosperous life. But when Patience pursues an affair with one of the outsiders, she is thrust into a violent and vicious psychological battle with David, who sees her actions as a direct rebellion, and a threat to the power he desperately wants to maintain over the community.

Tuesday 25 January 2022

Live music: Lunchtime concerts
St Paul’s Church @ 1pm
Free entry with a retiring collection (suggested £5) in aid of church funds

This week’s lunchtime concert at St Paul’s church, Bedford, features a cello recital from Jakob Kullberg plus Royal College of Music cello graduates.


Tuesday 25 – Thursday 27 January 2022

Film: Black Film Bulletin Presents: The Gaze – The Cinema of Ideas
Online via The Place Theatre
Tickets: £5

From 25-27 January, the Black Film Bulletin presents The Gaze on the Cinema of Ideas, a collection of short films by trailblazing British filmmakers from the African-Caribbean diaspora, curated by the editors of Black Film Bulletin magazine (BFB).

Memory, migration, and the complexities of navigating both heritage and homeland take centre stage in landmark works by Martina ‘Judah’ Attille (Dreaming Rivers), Ngozi Onwurah (Coffee Coloured Children) and Alrick Riley (Concrete Garden).

The Gaze collection is presented alongside And This Too Shall Pass: Decolonizing Film – a video essay revisiting the early history of the Black Film Bulletin – and a live Q&A with founding editor of the Black Film Bulletin Dr. June Givanni and writer Jennifer G. Robinson at 6:30pm on Wednesday 26 January.


Wednesday 26 January 2022

Film: Mona Lisa
Cinema @ 3 St Peters @ 7pm
Tickets: £12/£10.50/£9

Cinema @ 3 St Peters kicks off 2022 and its second Film Noir season with a British neo-noir crime drama featuring an all-star British cast including Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, Robbie Coltrane & Michael Caine.

George is a small-time crook just out of prison who discovers his tough-guy image is out of date. Reduced to working as a minder/driver for high class call girl Simone, he has to agree when she asks him to find a young colleague from her King’s Cross days. That’s when George’s troubles just start.


Thursday 27 January 2022

Live music: BILK + Mask + The Tarrows
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £8

The Pad Presents are be bringing the brilliant BILK back to Esquires as part of their 2022 tour.

Reflecting on the highs and lows of British youth culture today, Bilk are three musicians creating a unique angsty blend of indie, rap and punk from the suburbs of Essex, UK.

Their raucous live shows are becoming a thing of cult legend amongst a new generation of music fans, resulting in chaos at venues across the UK and now overseas

Support comes from two of Bedford’s fastest rising bands, Mask and The Tarrows.


Friday 28 January 2022

Drop-in workshop: Talk & Draw
The Higgins Bedford @ 12.30pm – 4pm
Free entry

Spend an afternoon at The Higgins Bedford for a relaxed and friendly chat about a selection of the artworks on display in the ‘Going to Town – 200 Years of Bedford’s Art’ exhibition, followed by an afternoon of sketching.

Art materials and portable chairs are provided. No art experience needed and no need to book.


Friday 28 January 2022

Live music: Lipstick on Your Collar
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

Step back in time to the golden era of pop music where the jukebox roared and feet didn’t touch the floor. Get your dancing shoes at the ready, grab a milkshake and relax – you are in for an evening of back to back hits from the 1950s and 60s!

Running from the birth of Rock n’ Roll through to the Beat Group sounds of the British Invasion and beyond, the evening is packed with over forty hits from the likes of

This two-hour feel-good show is performed by a full live band featuring songs by Connie Francies, Brenda Lee, Buddy Holly, The Beatles, The Ronnettes, Cliff Richard, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield and many more.


Friday 28 January 2022

Live music: James Bay (SOLD OUT)
Bedford Esquires

BRIT award-winning Grammy-nominated chart-topper, James Bay, plays a sold-out intimate solo show at Esquires this week as part of his Independent Venue Week tour.


Saturday 29 January 2022

Exhibition: Edward Bawden: Artist Plantsman
Higgins Bedford
Free entry but timed tickets required

Every day, influential British artist and designer, Edward Bawden, would spend an hour in his garden at his home in Great Bardfield before starting work in his art studio. Plants and gardens were one of the most prominent and constant subjects of not only his work but also his life.

Drawn exclusively from the Edward Bawden archive, explore Bawden’s lifelong love of plants and gardens through a wide range of his work, including early wallpaper designs, well-known prints, advertising campaigns and private commissions.

From the grand gardens of Carthage and the botanical gardens at Kew, to Bawden’s own gardens at his parent’s home in Braintree and his beloved one-acre plot in Great Bardfield, discover Bawden’s passion for plants and gardens across decades of his work, featuring pieces that have never before been on public display.


Saturday 29 January 2022

Family Theatre: News News News
The Place Theatre @ 6pm and streamed live on YouTube
Tickets: Pay what you can

Head to the Place Theatre for a unique perspective on local news thanks to a collaborative project between pupils at Priory Primary School and artists Andy Field and Beckie Darlington.

News News News is a television news show made by children for adults, recorded in front of a studio audience and broadcast live on the internet.

Children from Priory Primary School will present bulletins from Bedford, offering a distinctive look at what’s going on right here and right now.

At a time when there is more news than there has ever been and yet our trust in journalists is at an all-time low, what is the purpose of news and how does it shape the way we see the world around us? And how might children teach us to look again at the places we live and the stories that we tell about them.

This project is presented and supported by Bedford Creative Arts, in partnership with The Place Bedford. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


Saturday 29 January 2022

Charity: Funk & Soul Disco
Main Hall at Bedford Guild House @ 8pm
Tickets: £35

A fundraising night of funk, soul and disco in aid of the Guild House, featuring live music from Funk Odyssey.

8pm til midnight and ticket price includes dinner.


Saturday 29 January 2022

Live music: Bedford Sinfonia
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.3opm
Tickets: £16/£15/£6

The Bedford Sinfonia, conducted by Ian Smith, is delighted to present an exciting programme for its first concert at the Corn Exchange in nearly two years.

The orchestra is thrilled to welcome 18-year-old oboist Jessica Ellis, a rising star who has already won numerous prizes and studies with the Junior Royal Academy of Music. Jessica will perform Vaughan Williams’ Concerto for Oboe in A Minor.

The concert will open with Richard Strauss’ Symphony for Winds (‘Happy Workshop’), and close with Elgar’s dynamic and exciting Introduction and Allegro for strings.


Saturday 29 January 2022

Live music: The Parrots
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £10

As a prelude to this year’s Independent Venue Week, Madrid’s finest, The Parrots are coming to the main stage at Esquires this month.


Saturday 29 January 2022

Live music: The Quireboys and guests
Bedford Esquires @
Tickets: £18

Bedford legends, The Quireboys finally make their return to Esquires’ main stage

Special guests to be confirmed.


Sunday 30 January 2022

Theatre: The Rule of Three
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12/£10

Bedford Drama Company present three Agatha Christie tales of mystery and murder, performed “radio-style” live on stage.

“If you came to our sold-out Agatha Christie Radio Plays performance in January 2020 you won’t want to miss this, and if you didn’t you still won’t want to miss this!”


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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