What’s on Bedford: 21 April – 1 May 2022

It’s nearly the weekend, so here’s our handy what’s on guide to take you right up to the May Bank holiday.

Pick from classic films, family-friendly St George’s Day fun, lots of live music and some great theatre right on our doorstep.


Until May 2022

Family fun: Super Silly Museum Trail
The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane
Free entry

To celebrate the launch of ‘Super Silly Museums’ by popular children’s author, Nick Sharratt, visitors to The Higgins Bedford can create their own adventure!

Throughout the museum, see how many things you can spot from the book with this fun self-led trail.

Download the trail or pick up a free copy from the museum reception. The book is available for young visitors to enjoy reading in the museum.

Wednesday 20 April – Saturday 23 April 2022

Community Theatre: Escaped Alone
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10

Caryl Churchill has frequently written for the Royal Court Theatre so it was fitting that in 2016 the Royal Court began its 60 years anniversary season with her new play, Escaped Alone.

This is a one-act play about four 70-year-old women sitting in one of their gardens drinking tea and talking about everyday events. They talk to, at and over each other, discussing, questioning, laughing, contradicting and reminiscing.

On the surface, just four women drinking tea in the garden but during breaks in their light-hearted chat, the women describe their deeper fears about the world we live in.

Michael Billington wrote ‘This is Churchill at her best’ and the play is currently eighth on The Guardian’s list of the 50 best theatre shows of the 21st century.

Thursday 21 April 2022

Live music: The Boo Radleys
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £17

The Roar Club and Club Biscuit are delighted to welcome the newly reformed Boo Radleys to Bedford Esquires.

Hugely influential sonic adventurers, the Boos released a succession of albums in the nineties on Creation Records that encompassed Shoegaze (‘Everythings Alright Forever’), Britpop (Number 1 album ‘Wake Up’) and absolutely everything in-between (‘Giant Steps’ – Select Magazine & NME readers Album of the Year).

Read: Interview: Wake Up! The Boo Radleys are coming to Bedford…

Having split in 1999 following the release of ‘Kingsize’, original members Sice, Tim and Rob got the band back together in 2021 to release the EP ‘A Full Syringe and Memories of You’.

With a new LP ‘Keep On With Falling’ due shortly and a handful of live dates, we are excited to welcome the band back to a venue they last played 30 years ago. Boo Forever!

Friday 22 April 2022

Theatre: Howerd’s End
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £13.50


Frankie Howerd was one of Britain’s most loved comedians for half a century. But he had a secret. And the secret’s name was Dennis.

This brand new play by Mark Farrelly (Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope, The Silence of Snow: The Life of Patrick Hamilton) takes you to the heart of Frankie and Dennis’ clandestine relationship, which lasted from the 1950s until Frankie’s death in 1992. It also affords a glorious opportunity to encounter Frankie in full-flight stand up mode.

Packed with laughter, but unafraid of truth, Howerd’s End portrays two humans’ journey through closeness, love, grief, and all the other things that make life worth living. Come and say farewell to a legend…and learn the art of letting go.

Saturday 23 April 2022

Record Store Day 2022
Slide Record Shop from 8am
Roll Your Own Records @ Beerfly from 1pm

Roll Your Own Records are pleased to support Slide Records on Record Store Day with a collaboration with Beerfly on St Cuthberts Street.
From 1pm until close, RYOR we will be hosting collectors and selectors at Beerfly to celebrate RSD2022.
For vinyl junkies, Slide Record Shop will be distributing numbered queue tickets from 7am. Doors open at 8:00am for sales.
Beerfly will be offering 10% off to RSD customers with proof of purchase from Slide Records while our DJ’s control the sound. Expect Soul, Funk, Hip Hop and more.

Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 April 2022

Family fun: St George’s Festival
Wrest Park, Silsoe @ 10am – 5pm
Tickets: Adults £20.40 (English Heritage members £7.50) Children £12.20 (English Heritage members £4.50) Family ticket £53 (English Heritage members £19.50)

Celebrate our green and pleasant land and immerse yourself in the story of England at the biggest, most action-packed St George’s Day celebration in the country at Bedfordshire’s Wrest Park. Enjoy a weekend of shows, re-enactments, games, performances and activities culminating in the St George and the Dragon pageant.

Family favourites such as breath-taking falconry displays, fascinating Roman infantry demonstrations and living history encampments will all be making an appearance this year. Children can train to be knights of the realm and try archery, junior jousting and attend sword school.

Entertainers will be on hand to provide nonsense and frivolity throughout the weekend. Watch out for the cheeky Jester, captivating storytellers, historical musicians and even a baby dragon!

Cheer on gallant St George resplendent in shining armour as he mounts his mighty steed and takes on his arch nemesis, the dragon.

Saturday 23 April 2022

Live music: Luther – A Luther Vandross Celebration
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £24.50

The World’s premier show in celebration of ‘The Velvet Voice’, fronted by Harry Cambridge and his 10-piece band.

Experience all the hits from the amazing career of Luther Vandross, culminating in over 40 million album sales and eight Grammy awards including many of the greatest dance anthems and love songs ever written.

“Never Too Much”, “ Here and Now “, “Give Me the Reason”, ”I Really didn’t mean it”, ” Stop to Love”, “So Amazing”, ”The Best Things in Life Are Free”, ” Always and Forever”, ” Endless Love”, ”Ain’t No stoppin’ Us Now”, “Your Secret Love”, “Shine”, “The Closer I Get To You”, “Love The One You’re With”, ”Any Love”, “Superstar”, “Until You Come Back to Me”, ”Dance with My Father” and many many more.

Luther Vandross the legend lives on.

Saturday 23 April 2022

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

The DekkerTones are a nine-piece ska/reggae/rocksteady/2tone covers band playing authentic ska and reggae from the late 60’s Trojan and Bluebeat scene right through to the 2tone era. Catch them in Bedford this St George’s Day.

Sunday 24 April 2022

Live music: The Fabulous Bonas Brothers play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

The Fabulous Bonas Brothers, Pete and Paul, return to Bedford Esquires for their first Sunday afternoon session of 2022.

Monday 25 April 2022

Live music: Liz Lawrence
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £12

Acclaimed singer songwriter Liz Lawrence returns to Bedford Esquires on Monday 25th April as part of her UK tour

Wednesday 27 April 2022

Digital Theatre: The Tiger Lady
The Place Theatre: available all-day
Tickets: Free

A story of grit, love and danger.

Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to a true tale of excitement, danger and claws!

Mabel Stark – the queen of the circus in the time of the greatest show on Earth, was the only woman to step into the ring with seven tigers! The crowd loved her! The men loved her! The tigers loved her! Hear our tale of America’s most ferocious big cats’ tamer and you will see that the scars on her body were not as deep as the scars on her heart.

Wednesday 27 April 2022

Film: Mama Mia
Cinema @ 3 St Peters @ 7pm
Tickets: £12/£10.50/£9

Donna (Meryl Streep), an independent hotelier in the Greek islands, is preparing for her daughter’s wedding with the help of two old friends.

Meanwhile, Sophie, the spirited bride, has a plan. She secretly invites three men from her mother’s past in hope of meeting her real father and having him escort her down the aisle on her big day.

Hilarity – and ABBA songs a-plenty – ensue…

Wednesday 27 April 2022

Theatre: Sam and Zoe vs Evermore
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £12

We’re here to play a game. There’s everything to lose and everything to play for. The stakes couldn’t be higher. But this is no game. Despite the fact we just said it was. This is actually a final, desperate battle to save a human being. And you’re all invited.

Mages, Rogues and Barbarians! The wicked Dredmor has seized the lands of Evermore from his noble brother, King Gorad and must be stopped at all cost!

This hilarious new piece, inspired by the world of Dungeons and Dragons, incorporates epic battle sequences, creative use of puppetry and audience game play. It has been devised and developed with young people and is presented in partnership with CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).

Thursday 29 – Saturday 30 April 2022

Musical theatre: Hairspray
Bedford Corn Exchange
Tickets: £18.50/£17.50/£16.50

In 1960s Baltimore, dance-loving teen Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) auditions for a spot on “The Corny Collins Show” and wins.

She becomes an overnight celebrity, a trendsetter in dance, fun and fashion. Perhaps her new status as a teen sensation is enough to topple Corny’s reigning dance queen and bring racial integration to the show.

A great musical for all the family with some amazing show tunes as well.

Thursday 28 April 2022

Theatre: My Car Plays Tapes
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10

A new storytelling show about minimum wage jobs, getting older and being reunited with your old cassette collection, from the creator of cult fringe show John Peel’s Shed.

The show was performed at last summer’s Edinburgh festival with two sell-out shows and was well received with glowing reviews.

My Car Plays Tapes is an hour of captivating storytelling, focussing on John’s life as a support worker and a nostalgic look at what happens when you listen to old tapes from the 1990s.

Friday 29 April 2022

Film: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
The Place Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £5

Join Bedford Young Film Programmers as they host this screening of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

The night will consist of 60s music, American Breakfast food and of course an iconic classic 60s film. Make sure to bring your friends and family along and immerse yourselves in this joyous night.

Friday 29 April 2022

Film: Bill Murray’s New Worlds: Cradle of Civilisation
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: £8

On a glorious Greek evening, screen legend Bill Murray and world-renowned cellist Jan Vogler rock the Acropolis with a timeless mix of music, literature and poetry.

Captured on film by director Andrew Muscato, Murray and Vogler are joined by the dazzling Mira Wang (violin) and dynamic Vanessa Perez (piano).

The international quartet enchants the Athenian audience from the 2,000-year-old stage of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus with musical reflections on love, hope and heartbreak.

Spanning from Bach to Van Morrison, Whitman to West Side Story, the wildly entertaining, humorous and deeply touching program is infused with the one-of-a-kind charm of Bill Murray.

Saturday 30 April 2022

Live music: Gene Loves Jezebel
Bedford Esquies @ 8pm
Tickets: £17

This year will see Gene Loves Jezebel embark on their 40th Anniversary UK Tour.

Fans can expect to hear all the classic GLJ songs plus a few from the critically acclaimed new album too. Last tour they wowed audiences, so make a date with destiny and be part of their 40th Anniversary celebrations.

Saturday 30 April 2022

Live music: Moretallica
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £12

Get your tickets to see the most exciting Metallica tribute in the UK, delivering the most authentic musical performance and the most energetic show.

Moretallica formed in 2012, determined to perform the music of heavy metal legends Metallica to the highest standard, immediately setting them at the top level of UK tributes.

A Moretallica show includes songs old and new from every era of Metallica’s career, and is the most energetic spectacle and display of top quality musicianship, as you’d expect from a band with 50+ years of gigging experience across the UK and Europe.

Using the same equipment as Metallica (ESP, Gibson, Jackson, Mesa Boogie, Tama, Zildjian) you’ll only hear a more authentic performance from Metallica themselves!

Sunday 1 May 2022

Live music: The Pride play the May Bank Holiday Sunday Session 
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

Esquires is pleased to welcome nine-piece Ska band ‘The Pride’ to the May Bank Holiday Sunday afternoon session in the bar.

No work the next day so plenty of time for some serious skanking!

Until January 2023

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.

Until October 2022

Exhibition: Body & Soul
The Higgins Bedford
Free entry

Edvard Munch (1863–1944), Woman with a Brooch (Madonna), 1903 © The Trustees of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery

A new exhibition exploring how women have been represented in art over the past two centuries, opens at The Higgins Bedford on 2 April.

Read: Body & Soul: Higgins’ new exhibition explores the representation of women in art

Highlights in the Body & Soul exhibition – all drawn from the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery Collection – include artworks by Edgar Degas, Edvard Munch, Dora Carrington, Stanley Spencer, Henri Matisse, Gwen John, Roy Litchenstein, Lucian Freud and Chila Burman.

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker


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