What’s on Bedford: 3 – 13 March 2022

We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and pulled together the best of the next 10 days’ art, culture, live music, theatre, comedy, film and family fun all in one place.


Until the end of March

Art: Great & Small by Mo Lea
The Arc, Howard Street
Free entry

Mo Lea is a local artist who is a retired senior lecturer in Art and Design at the University of Bedfordshire. Throughout her career she has travelled and exhibited across the world including Los Angeles, New York and in the South Pacific.

In this exhibition, Mo’s artwork has been inspired by nature. Mo has produced most of the illustrations over the past few years. The small birds and animals were made during the first lockdown.

She works from observing, anatomical book illustrations and online searches. The work is made using a mixture of mediums from soft pastels, watercolour, crayon, ink and gouache.

The works in this exhibition are originals but some can be purchased as prints.

Friday 4 March 2022

Film: Brief Encounter (Dementia-friendly screening)
The Place Theatre @ 3pm and 7pm
Tickets: £5

Widely cited as one of the greatest films of all time, David Lean’s romantic drama is based on a screenplay written by Noel Coward.
Celia Johnson plays the protagonist Laura, a married woman with children, whose conventional life becomes increasingly complicated following a chance meeting at a railway station with a married stranger with whom she subsequently falls in love.
*The 3pm screening will be Dementia-Friendly. Lights will be left on dimly during the screening and you are encouraged to stand up and move around. There will be an interval.

Your ticket includes a hot beverage and biscuits.

Friday 4 March 2022

Live music: The Doors Alive
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £15

With over 1,000 shows under their belts, The Doors Alive recreate the sound, look, presence and magic of a real 1960s Doors concert, perfectly and effortlessly transporting the audience back in time.

Saturday 5 March 2022

Community: Airship Dreams Community Story Sharing
The Higgins Bedford @ 11:15am – 12:30pm
Free entry but booking is essential tel:01234 718618

Join Lydia Saul, Keeper of Social History at The Higgins Bedford and explore the stories shared in the Airship Dreams Escaping Gravity community curated displays.

Share your own airship objects, photographs and stories with us – either your own, or those shared with you by loved ones or friends over the years. Refreshments (tea & coffee) are available.

Saturday 5 March 2022

Family: Airship Dreaming – a Family Story Workshop
The Higgins Bedford @ 1.30pm – 3pm
Free entry but booking is essential. Book online or call the Box Office on 01234 718044

Using inspiration from the Higgins’ collections, storyteller Jane Lambourne will help you to create your own Airship Dream Story.

Looking at airship artefacts and thinking about the people who designed and built the airships in Cardington, this workshop will help you to dream up some new stories about soaring away in these magnificent flying machines.

Design and make your own storybook cover, then Jane will guide you through seven simple steps to fill the pages of your book with a story. Suitable for ages 6 – 12.

Saturday 5 March 2022

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

The Hawkmen draw from an array of influences such as rhythm’n’blues, soul, and rock’n’roll which they bring together in a classic, rootsy, hybrid blend.
The band emerged as a full, live act in 2017 following the early successes of soul single and Craig Charles’ favourite, Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover (Record Kicks, Italy), a northern soul remix of Emma Beatson’s debut single Do It (selected by Craig Charles for the second volume of his Freestyle Records compilation series) and The Hawkmen’s blazing Keep On Working EP (Mocambo, Germany) which yielded another single and was widely played on BBC Radio 2 and Radio 6.
The live video for ‘Baby Tonight’, has gone viral on YouTube and the bands’ live concerts have gone strength to strength.

Saturday 5 March 2022

Live music: REM by Stipe
Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15/£13
The definitive R.E.M. tribute and described by Michael Stipe as “awesome”, R.E.M by Stipe are performing at the Quarry Theatre this week.
R.E.M. remain one of the world’s most enigmatic bands.  With a string of peerless albums and one eye on the underground and one eye on the soaring chorus, it’s safe to say we will never see their like again. 
From The One I Love through to The End of the World and more besides whether it’s playing major festivals or appearing on the One Show, performing for Michael Stipe himself, Stipe are the definitive R.E.M. tribute – a complete band, and encyclopaedic knowledge of the back catalogue. 

The boys from Athens’ legacy is in good hands.

Saturday 5 March 2022

Community: Women in Diversity online coffee morning
Online @ 10.30am
Free but booking essential

Who are the women who have inspired you? You have the opportunity to share your story with at this online coffee morning to celebrate International Women’s Day.

“Tell us who has had that positive effect on your life. Your Mother, Grand-mother, Aunt, children, a celebrity anyone….

“Who is your role model? If you want tell share your story please send a photo to lowdhistory@gmail.com with your name and the name of the person and a short synopsis about them. We will feature them in our Sheroes presentation.”

Free tickets via the eventbrite link.

Saturday 5 March 2022

Theatre: StageWrite
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: Pay what you can (£3 – £10)

Previous StageWrite performers

StageWrite once again brings more fresh-as-a-daisy, brand new theatre to the Place in their 2022 theatre writing showcase.

StageWrite presents performances of two plays over the course of one evening and includes a short Q&A session after each piece to allow the audience to give feedback and the writers to discover more about how their work is received.

The scripts are selected from work that has been submitted by both emerging and experienced writers from all over the UK.

Read: StageWrite returns to put new theatre writers in the spotlight

Saturday 5 March 2022

Dance music: Underneath with Steve Harrington (House FM)
Herd @ 9pm
Tickets: £5

Due to Covid, December’s Underneath party at Herd couldn’t go ahead so they have decided have another crack of the whip and invite their friends and respected DJs Back to the Basement to give Bedford the Christmas party we all deserve.
First up is House FM’s Steve Harrington who has played all over the UK including at the Ministry of Sound for Groove Odyssey and recently opened up 51st State.
Also on the line up is Serge Amos and Herd residents, The Journey Men.

Saturday 5 March 2022

Live music: Hallan
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £8

Hallan is a Portsmouth-based four-piece who write and rehearse in an 18th-century fortification built into the side of a hill and surrounded by a forest. It’s within these dramatic surroundings that frontman, Conor Clements channels the frustrations, insecurities and events of early adulthood into his lyrics.

With the band drawing influences from the people they cross every day – in the supermarket aisles, on your Facebook feed, next-door neighbours. Hallan observes and commentate on British life via an Orwell-influenced bleak vision of the future and the cut-up style of Burroughs and other beat generations.

Sunday 6 March 2022

Spoken Word: Read Poets Society – Celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee
The Eagle Bookshop @ 7pm
Free entry

An evening of poetry, prose, drama and music to drive out winter woes and pandemic panic – a theme much needed at this time!

On 6 February 1952 Elizabeth became Queen. On 6 March 2022, Swan Theatre Company brings a selection of prose, poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction to commemorate her Platinum Jubilee.
At 25 she became Queen and Head of the Commonwealth reigning through major political changes so there is no shortage of fascinating material both loyal and critical.

NB The Eagle Bookshop, 16-20 St Peter’s Street, MK40 2NN

Sunday 6 March 2022

Community: International Women’s Day
Herd @ noon – 9pm
Free entry

Self-taught DJ, Rachel Sutton (above) will be among 20 female artists, DJ’s, singers and poets from Bedford who are taking over Herd on St Cuthbert’s Street on Sunday to celebrate women in culture for International Women’s Day (8 March).

The event will feature an art exhibition and sale, women DJs as well as singers and spoken word poetry.

Herd will be serving their traditional – and legendary – Sunday lunch from 12-4pm, with the event running until 9pm.

Sunday 6 March 2022

Community: Women in Diversity / Sisters in Sound
The Standard @ noon – 5pm
Free entry

A day to celebrate female DJs, curated by Legacy of Windrush Descendants, Stand Up To Racism, Women of Bedford and more.

Chicken or chickpea curry and rice served between 12.30pm and 3.30pm.

Sunday 6 March 2022

Community: Bedford Blues Women v Shelford Nomads International Women’s Day fixture
Goldington Road
Kick off @ 2pm
Free entry

What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than seeing the top league teams battle it out on the iconic Goldington Road pitch?

Shelford Nomads have got something to prove, having been beaten at their previous fixture, but Bedford Blues Women have their top-of-the-table spot to defend.

Entry is free, the Burrow at the Blues is open, so let’s help the team get 400+ supporters at the ground.

Sunday 6 March 2022

Family theatre: Messy
The Place Theatre @
Tickets: Pay what you can (£3 – £10)

Meet Daisy. She’s got a messy brain and a messy bedroom.

No matter what she does, “The Mess” just seems to follow her about! Which makes it very difficult to look for stuff. Important stuff. Like Mr Twiggy!

When Daisy is chosen to look after Mr Twiggy the class hamster, Daisy (and the rest of her class) worry she might lose him. So she’s very glad when best friend Beth decides to stay over to lend a hand. In fact, Beth, Daisy and Mr Twiggy are going to have the best weekend ever! But things don’t quite go to plan…

Can Daisy use the adventures of “The Mess” to find Mr Twiggy and prove everyone wrong?

Zoo Co present this magical and visual story complete with original music, puppets, tap dancing and even a trip to the moon! All the while celebrating the stories that explode from “The Mess”.

Performed by a Deaf and hearing cast with Sign Supported English, Messy has been created in partnership with ADHD Foundation and all performances are Relaxed Performances, which means if you need to stand up, sit down, wriggle around, leave or come back in, that’s absolutely fine! There aren’t any loud noises and the lights will stay on in the theatre so it won’t be too dark.

Sunday 6 March 2022

Live music: The Sunday Night Jam Night
Bedford Esquires @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Have you and your friends just joined a band? Have you got two or three songs together that you’d like to try out in front of a crowd?

Or are you a singer/songwriter/duo that’s just started out? You could even be an established local act that just wants to get up and play a few covers, just for fun?

The Sunday Night Jam in the bar at Esquires is just the place. Simply introduce yourself to host, Mat Roberts and let him know you’d like to play.

It’s the liveliest Jam in town, there’s never a dull moment, just bring your instruments (full backline is provided).

Monday 7 March 2022

Film: Peeping Tom
The Place Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £5

This 1960 British psychological horror-thriller was directed by Michael Powell and revolves around a serial killer who murders women while using a portable film camera to record their dying expressions of terror.

On its release, the film’s controversial subject matter attracted a negative reaction of critics however it is now widely considered a masterpiece and at the vanguard of contemporary slasher films.

The British Film Institute named it the 78th greatest British film of all time, and in 2017 a poll of 150 actors, directors, writers, producers and critics for Time Out magazine saw it ranked the 27th best British film ever.

Monday 7 March 2022

Film: Bedford Film Society presents: Nomadland
University of Bedfordshire Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: Free for members/guests £4.50

The multiple Oscar award-winning Nomadland comes to Bedford this month, telling the story of widow Fern (Frances McDormand) who travels ‘nomadically’ around the United States in her converted van, her path crossing with other fellow travellers.

Tuesday 8 March 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 piano recital from Osman Tack.

Wednesday 9 March 2022

Film: Touch of Evil
Cinema @ 3 St Peters
Tickets: £12/£10.50/£9

Widely regarded as one of Orson Welles’ best films – and a classic of the film noir genre – Touch of Evil stars Welles, Charlton Heston and Janet Leigh.

On honeymoon with his new bride, a Mexican-born policeman agrees to investigate a bomb explosion.

In doing so, he incurs the wrath of the local police chief, a corrupt, bullying behemoth with a perfect arrest record.

Thursday 10 March 2022

Culture: Inspire Exhibition
Goldington Academy Arts Centre @ 5.30pm – 8pm
Free entry

A purpose-built exhibition space at Goldington Academy will be open to the public on 10 March to showcase the work of four local artists.

The space is part of the school’s new £900,000 arts centre for the provision of art, drama, dance and music.

The Inspire exhibition will display the work of artists Amanda Silk, Anne-Marie Abbate, Fiona Wilson and Katie Allen and it is the first time exhibiting artists’ work has been publicly shown in the space at the Haylands Way site.

Thursday 10 March 2022

Live music: Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £18

From touring with New Model Army to The Almighty via solo stints and heading up Black Star Riders, Ricky Warwick was raised on a diet Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Thin Lizzy, Stiff Little Fingers, Motown and everything in between.

Check him out when he brings his band, The Fighting Hearts, to Bedford Esquires this week.

Friday 11 March 2022

Live music: Melt Yourself Down
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £10

Melt Yourself Down have firmly cemented themselves at the forefront of today’s music innovators.

The desire to create new sonic pathways is an integral philosophy to the band, whose two critically-lauded albums to date have alchemised influences from Noisy No Wave to Nubian Rhythms to create an eclectic, high energy and pan-global kind of punk rock.

Saturday 12 March 2022

Culture: Beds Urban Sketchers / Inside Looking Out
The Silver Faces statue @ 10.30am
Free to attend

The 2022 sketching season starts this week as the Bedford chapter of the global Urban Sketchers movement meet up – and everyone’s welcome.

The group meet once a month to sketch on location in and around Bedford.  Each meet up, they explore a different place, with the mission to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of on-location drawing.

This weekend’s theme is High Street Coffee Shop Crawl: Inside Looking Out.

Saturday 12 March 2022

Family fun: Bedford Science Lab
Higgins Bedford
Free entry but some booking is essential

Free, hands-on events return to the Higgins this month in a celebration of British Science Week (5 – 14 March).

On Saturday 12 March, the ever-popular Science Lab is back, giving Bedford’s junior STEM fans the chance to get involved in exciting experiments, creative crafts and find out about awesome archaeology.

All events are completely free, but some do need to be booked. Places can be booked on The Higgins Bedford website at thehigginsbedford.org.uk, or by calling the Cultural Services Box Office on 01234 718044 – line open Monday to Friday 11am – 3pm.

Saturday 12 March 2022

Theatre: NTLive present: Leopoldstadt
The Quarry Theatre @ 2.30pm
Tickets: £14.50/£12.50

Head to the Quarry for an NTLive matinee screening of Tom Stoppard’s Olivier Award-winning new play Leopoldstadt is a passionate drama of love, family and endurance. 

At the beginning of the 20th century, Leopoldstadt was the old, crowded Jewish quarter of Vienna, Austria. But Hermann Merz, a factory owner and baptised Jew now married to Catholic Gretl, has moved up in the world.

We follow his family’s story across half a century, passing through the convulsions of war, revolution, impoverishment, annexation by Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. A company of 40 actors represent each generation of the family in this epic, but intimate play.

Filmed live on stage in London’s West End, ‘Tom Stoppard’s masterpiece is magnificent’ (Independent) and should not be missed.

Saturday 12 March 2022

Musical theatre: The World of Gilbert and Sullivan with The Wandering Minstrels
Sharnbrook Mill Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £16

Oh Joy, Oh Rapture Unforeseen!

Enjoy a light-hearted evening of songs and scenes from G&S’s comic operettas.

The immortal wit of W.S. Gilbert and the enchanting music of Sir Arthur Sullivan are combined by The Wandering Minstrels, the leading Gilbert and Sullivan concert group.

This two-hour performance is presented in period costume and performed in traditional style.

Tickets for this event, in aid of the Cool-Down Appeal, to fund the air conditioning installed in the theatre.

Saturday 12 March 2022

Live music: The Woodentops
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £16

Taking punk’s D.I.Y. ideals and applying them to stripped-down acoustic pop, the Woodentops achieved a great deal of critical success in the short time they were together.

Formed in 80s Northampton, the group consisted of Rolo McGinty (vocals, guitar), Frank de Freitas (bass), Simon Mawby (guitar), Benny Staples (drums), and Alice Thompson (keyboards). The band released its debut single, “Plenty,” on Food Records which led to a contract with Rough Trade.

This tour will see the celebration of the anniversary of the Wooden Foot Cops album.

Saturday 12 March 2022

Live music: Jim Jones Allstars
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £15

Cult hero, Jim Jones, remains at the visceral edge of rock ‘n’ roll thrills, following work with Thee Hypnotics, Black Moses, The Jim Jones Revue, and Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind.

With world events scuppering his plans, Jim Jones has forged ahead, writing a new chapter with a fresh lineup.

The Jim Jones All Stars are augmented by guitarist Carlton Mounsher, singer Ali Jones, drummer Chris Ellul and three-part sax section Stuart Dace, Chuchi Malapersona and Tom Hodges. Get with it and watch the Rock n Roll Juggernaut take flight!

“The whole COVID/Brexit problem just made it impossible to continue with The Righteous Mind,” says Jim Jones.

“Necessity, being the mother of invention, surprised us all when she delivered a healthy, heavyweight, blue-eyed amalgam of incendiary ramalama soul.

“There’s a whole new planet of killer songs and I’m landing on it now and preparing to plant my freak flag. And on top of that, we’re going to be deep-frying à la carte from my entire back catalogue. This is the gig you’ve been waiting for!

Saturday 12 March 2022

Live music: Organ recitals
St Paul’s Church Bedford @ 12 noon
Free entry with a retiring collection

The series of Saturday lunchtime organ recitals will be held at St Paul’s throughout the year and visitors are encouraged to combine their visit with a light lunch or coffee and cake from their Saturday cafe?

This week’s event features a performance from Sebastian Thomson.

Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March 2022

Dance: Bedtime Stories
The Place Theatre @ 6pm and midday
Tickets: £12/£10

The Zoe Stafford School of Dance presents its fourth full school performance, Bedtime Stories.

Join us on an adventure from our favourite tales and the stories that set our imaginations alight as we bring their creatures and characters alive through dance.

Starring dancers aged three to sixteen performing ballet, tap, modern and contemporary dance styles we help to retell the stories that make our dreams light up.

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.

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.

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker

Must Read

Related Articles