What’s on Bedford: 31 March – 10 April 2022

Spring is in the air (now it’s stopped snowing) and there are new exhibitions at the Higgins, the return of Bedford Flea and lots of Easter holiday activities to look forward to this month.

Enjoy!


Opening this weekend…

Exhibition: Body & Soul
The Higgins Bedford until October 2022
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.


Thursday 31 March 2022

Wine tasting: Fine French wine tasting and private art view
3 St Peters @ 7pm
Tickets: £30

Enjoy a relaxing evening tasting a selection of fine French wines paired with delicious French cheeses while viewing a collection of figurative and semi-abstract paintings, drawings and works in clay exploring themes of indulgence and pleasure-seeking by artists Fiona Wilson, Sarah Sayer, Natalie Wells and Amanda Silk.

7pm – doors open to view artwork with 1er Cru Champagne
8pm – Wine tasting with cheese pairing


Friday 1 April 2022

Adult entertainment: Drag Queen Bingo
Herd, St Cuthbert’s Street @ 7pm
Tickets: £30 including dinner

After its riotous launch earlier this year, Drag Queen Bingo returns to Herd and a wild night is guaranteed. Enjoy a couple of games of bingo followed by a cabaret. £10 non-refundable deposit required when booking.


Friday 1 April 2022

Live music: Bambara
Bedford Esquires @8pm
Tickets: £10

Currently A-Listed on BBC 6 Music, Bambara is a post-punk band currently based in Brooklyn, New York.

Formed in 2009 in Athens, Georgia, the band spent the latter part of 2018 supporting Idles on their US tour and followed up in 2019 by releasing a swarm of incredible singles, including one of last year’s finest ‘Serafina’.


Friday 1 April 2022

Live music: The Pop Punk Still Sucks Spring Tour
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £8

The first hometown headline show at Bedford Esquires on the spring “Pop Punk Still Sucks” tour with the boys in Project Revise, Until You Disappear and support from the amazing Diversion.


Friday 1 April – Sunday 3 April 2022

Gameplay: TTRPG Livestream Weekend 
The Place Theatre @ various times
Tickets: Free

After the success of their 24hr Tabletop Roleplaying Game Stream last year, the Gameplay team are back in 2022 for more games!

Starting on Friday 1 April, The Place Gameplay team will run games throughout the weekend, with a rotating cast of players exploring different game systems and stories. Stay tuned to find out which games they will be playing and the times they will play them at.

Success or failure helps dictate the direction that the story unfolds, making roleplaying games a vessel for collaborative storytelling.


Saturday 2 April 2022

Children’s theatre: Slime
The Quarry Theatre @ 11am and 1.30pm
Tickets: £7.50/£9.50/£30 family ticket

Being a slug is hard. Everyone thinks you’re disgusting.

Slug and Caterpillar are starving, and the only leaf left in the garden is just out of reach. Slug thinks they should work together. Get the leaf, eat the leaf, play a game, be friends. Caterpillar has other ideas. Slugs are gross, they’re covered in slime and they have terrible taste in music.

Things get sticky.

Enter the undergrowth to SQUISH, SQUELCH and PLAY your way through this hilarious, surreal show for two – five-year-olds and their families, told with a handful of words and lots of SLIME.


Saturday 2 April 2022

Exhibition: Archipelago: Take Part Queen’s Park Community Exhibition
The Higgins Bedford until 12 June 2022
Free entry

Still from the Archipelago film of the Allotted sequence © Caroline Wendling

A new exhibition celebrating the vibrancy of Queen’s Park opens at the Higgins Bedford this month.

Using film, embroidery and clay, curated by artist Caroline Wendling the exhibition is a collaboration with residents as part of the Take Part Queen’s Park project.

“Queen’s Park is like an archipelago [a group of islands] – a place where people who each have their own cultures and traditions come together to form one unique, vibrant and unified community,” said Caroline Wendling.

Delivered by Bedford Creative Arts in partnership with The Higgins Bedford and funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Harpur Trust and housing association bpha.


Saturday 2 April 2022

Live music: Girls in Synthesis
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £10

Girls In Synthesis have quickly forged a fearsome reputation as one of the most exciting and volatile live acts in London.

In equal parts frantic, considered, ear-splitting and melodic, the group take their cues from the early DIY punk and post-punk pioneers to keep everything in-house; artwork, videos, performances and recordings are created entirely by the group and their handful of trusted collaborators, with their three hand-packaged vinyl E.P releases selling out in days on pre-orders.

Their explosive shows have seen them handpicked for support slots with bands as disparate as Bad Breeding, Slaves, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Wolf Alice, Warmduscher and Damo Suzuki.


Sunday 3 April 2022

Poetry: Read Poets Society – Games People Play
The Eagle Bookshop @ 7pm
Tickets: Free

From the nursery to the grave, in school, at work, in life, in death – we all play games – some warm, some friendly, some mean, and spiteful.

Games People Play  – human psychology – or sport, chess, cards and love? Playing the game fair and square or cheating?

Poetry, prose and drama playing with the GAMES PEOPLE PLAY.

PLEASE NOTE: Read Poets Society occurs at the Eagle Bookshop, on St. Peter’s Street.


Sunday 3 April 2022

Live music: Crosstown play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

Crosstown make their Esquires’ debut. No strangers to the venue, the club is looking forward to welcoming Carl, Mark and Nigel to the Sunday Afternoon Session.


Monday 4 April -Sunday 10 April 2022

Stage Combat Workshop
The Place Theatre @ various times
Tickets: from £8

This is a fantastic opportunity to come along to a stage combat taster workshop with qualified instructor Kiel O’Shea!

No previous experience is necessary and you don’t have to be a performer. Places are limited so please book in advance to avoid disappointment. Adult and Youth Classes available.


Monday 4 April 2022

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

14-year-old Tyler gets drawn into a perilous criminal network in an affecting drama that reflects the real-life brutality of county lines drug dealing.


Tuesday 5 April 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 The Goldentones, Bedford’s favourite a cappella quintet.


Tuesday 5 April 2022

Classical music: All-night Vigil by Rachmaninoff with Cantamus Chamber Choir conducted by Henry Vann
St Paul’s Church @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 on the door with a retiring collection in aid of humanitarian support for Ukraine

A rare chance to hear Rachmaninoff’s beautiful ‘All Night Vigil’ is being given by ‘Cantamus’ chamber choir at St Paul’s church, Bedford.

The piece is often known as ‘vespers’. The movements, selected by Rachmaninoff, are taken from the monastic chants sung in Eastern European churches on feast days. These special services would have included prayer through the night and vespers early evening but brought together the composition lasts just over an hour. There are two Kyivian Chants from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The pieces are regarded as one of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873 to 1943)’s most celebrated compositions; they were first performed in 1915, just three years before he fled Russia with his family, spending the rest of his life working in America.

A retiring collection will be taken in aid of humanitarian assistance for Ukraine.


Wednesday 6 – Saturday 9 April 2022

Musicl theatre: The Last Five Years
Sharnbrook Mill Theatre @
Tickets: £14

An emotionally powerful and intimate musical about two young New Yorkers who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. Cathy tells her story backwards while Jamie tells his chronologically.

A stunning show from Jason Robert Brown who also composed Parade and The Bridges of Madison County.


Wednesday 6 April 2022

Environment: Chris Packham – Pictures from the Edge of the World
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £29.50

The new show from TV presenter, naturalist, conservationist, award-winning photographer and author, Chris Packham is designed for impact. Challenging conventional ideas about where beauty is found, what good photography and art is and what it is for.

Everyone is tempted by glamour, the big, the brash and the beautiful. But Chris champions the underdog and pushes back at familiarity breeding contempt – for him humble everyday creatures are just as alluring.

He likes to ‘make something out of other people’s nothing’ when it comes to photography and loves the challenge of finding beauty in ugly places. And when he travels to some of the world’s wildlife hotspots he wants to see them in a new way, to put some art into his photos.


Wednesday 6 April 2022

Film: The Godfather
Cinema @ St Peter’s @ 6.30pm
Tickets: £9/£10.50/£12

Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, this mob drama, based on Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name, focuses on the powerful Italian-American crime family of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando).

When the Don’s youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino), reluctantly joins the Mafia, he becomes involved in the inevitable cycle of violence and betrayal. Although Michael tries to maintain a normal relationship with his wife, Kay (Diane Keaton), he is drawn deeper into the family business.


Wednesday 6 April 2022

Storytelling: Jackastory
The Place Theatre @ 10.30am
Tickets: Pay What You Can

Listen to members of The Place team read their chosen children’s stories and discover some new favourites of your own. You are welcome to bring your own book suggestions with you too.

Each session runs for forty-five minutes to an hour, with a break for refreshments. This will be a very relaxed event with young, and old, being invited to join the readers on the stage in an intimate and friendly atmosphere, on a mound of comfortable cushions! Jackastory runs twice a month.

(Aimed at 2-5-year olds, but all ages welcome)


Wednesday 6 April 2022

Family entertainment: The Circus Sonas Family Show
The Place Theatre @ 2.30pm
Tickets from £11

All the way from Northern Ireland Father and son Martin and Logy take the traditional circus double act and give it a unique and modern twist.

This family-friendly show contains circus stunts that will make you gasp, juggling tricks that will surprise you, and magic tricks that will make you go WOW! There will be shouting, cheering, and lots, and lots of laughing.

Top class circus entertainment, and the two best beards in the business. This show is suitable for children and adults of all ages.


Wednesday 6 April 2022

Adult Cabaret: Dirty Tattooed Circus
The place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £11

An adult cabaret starring Ireland’s fun-est circus performers: Martin Mor, and Logy Logan. If Motorhead had sex with Cirque Du Soleil, this is what you’d get. Strictly adults only!

Over the course of a show, you will feel amused, amazed, confused and, at times, worried for the performers’ wellbeing.

This is not your standard circus comedy fare, although they do juggle, they just happen to do it with axes, claw hammers and large open gardening shears. The chemistry and trust between the two international circus performers, Martin Mor and Logy Logan, is evident throughout.

As they banter and joke their way between risky and precarious stunts, it is not only the performers who are in danger, but also the audience. Not from any physical harm of course but from a good-natured ribbing and mocking from the two charming bearded Irishman.


Thursday 7 April 2022

Community: Life is a Cabaret
The Place Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: Pay what you can

Come and savour the glamorous, provocative musical underworld of cabaret…at its peak of popularity in the small performance venues of Paris and Berlin in the years after World War 1, it produced a string of exotic, alluring artistes who went on to become household names all around Europe and beyond.

This is the second in a series of two talks/multimedia presentations produced and brought to us by Lee Knapp, a member of the local Bedford community.


Friday 8 April 2022

Children’s Theatre: Basil Brush’s Family Fun show
The Quarry Theatre @ 2.30pm
Tickets: £8/£10

Fresh from appearances on CBBC’s Crackerjack, Britain’s most loveable fox takes you on a journey of laughs, storytelling and song in show for all the family specially written for the live stage and packed with fun and excitement. Come join in the mayhem! Suitable for children aged 3years+.

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Friday 8 April 2022

Comedy: Basil Brush: Unleashed
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12/£14

Showbiz legend, national treasure, fox.

Children of the 2000s, 1970s (and everything in-between) this one is for you as Basil goes prime time! Join him as he takes to the road following his much talked about and totally sold-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Festival in a show for the adults!

Fresh from appearances on The Last Leg (Channel 4) and Celebrity Juice (ITV2), join Basil as he gives his comedic take on everything from Love Island to Westminster, in his trademark anarchic style.


Friday 8 April 2022

Live music: False Heads
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £10

False Heads are an east London-based three-piece rock/punk band consisting of Luke Griffiths (Vocals/Guitar), Jake Elliott (Bass) and Barney Nash (Drums/Vocals).

Emerging out of 2020 with a Joe Cross mix of ‘Twenty Nothing’ taken from their debut album, the band have now clocked up near 2.8 million streams and accelerating towards the magic 3 million mark.

False Heads’ reputation is picking up pace and their unbelievably fearless live shows end up in controlled chaos time and time again.

Think QOTSA and The Pixies with a bit of The Ramones thrown in for good measure.


Saturday 9 April 2022

Creative: Beds Urban Sketchers Foster Hill Road Cemetary sketch crawl
Entrance on corner of Foster Hill Road/Park Road North @ 10.30am
Free to take part

Join the Bedford chapter of the global Urban Sketchers movement to sketch on location in and around Bedford. 

This month, the group is meeting at Foster Hill Road Cemetary, followed by a coffee and ‘throwdown’ at the Pavilion in the Park, when sketchers share their work with each other.


Saturday 9 April 2022

Community: Bedford Repair Cafe
The Place Theatre @
Booking essential / donations welcome

The Repair Cafe Fixers are back to help you repair your household items. Learn how to sew, solder and diagnose problems with a variety of items- clothes, toys, and bikes.
Not got an item to fix? We also love to help build confidence in repair skills, so come along to learn from the best!
Book your slot here.
Please note: electrical fixing slots are now fully booked.

Saturday 9 April 2022

Family-friendly: Bedford Who Charity Con 7
King’s House, Ampthill Road @ 10am – 5.30pm
Tickets: £42.50/£22.50/£15/family tickets from £50

Bedford’s seventh Doctor Who charity convention is taking place this month, and heading the guest list is Colin Baker, who played the Doctor on television in the 1980s.

Colin is a veteran of many Doctor Who conventions but describes Bedford’s as “the best one-day event I’ve ever done.”

A warm and witty guest, Colin will be joined by Sophie Aldred (who played Ace, the Doctor’s companion) and Terry Molloy (who played Davros, the creator of the Daleks).

Miranda Raison, who starred as Tallulah alongside David Tennant and the Daleks, is coming too; you may also remember her from Spooks.

All profits will be donated to Bedford Foodbank. A full guest list plus ticket information is available on the convention’s website bedfordwhocharitycon.co.uk.


Saturday 9 April 2022

Theatre: I, Elizabeth
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £12.50

From the award-winning creators of Austen’s Women, Dalloway, Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, Orlando, The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn, Female Gothic, The Time Machine, and Christmas Gothic.

1568: At a vital but volatile crossroads in history a young queen steps from the shadows to reveal her thoughts on marriage, succession, religion and war. But time is against her…

Elizabeth I: Queen at 25, political phoenix and famously unmarried – but who was the woman beneath the crown?

Using only Elizabeth’s words, Rebecca Vaughan explores the queen’s struggle to reconcile the desires of womanhood with the duties of sovereignty.


Saturday 9 April 2022

Live music: Organ recital with Charles Wooler
St Paul’s Church @ noon
Free entry with retiring collection

St Paul’s series of Saturday lunchtime organ recitals are held throughout the year. Why not go along and combine your visit with a light lunch or coffee and cake from the Saturday cafe?

Admission is free with a retiring collection.


Saturday 9 April 2022

Live music: Mad Mods and Englishmen
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £8

Anyone that has seen the ‘Mad Mods’ live will tell you that they are no traditional covers band.
Their energetic performances have built them a massive following and they have a reputation of packing every venue they play at, and then bringing the house down!
Their repertoire includes hits from The Who, Small Faces, The Kinks, Rolling Stones, Spencer Davis, Yardbirds, The Jam and many more.

Sunday 10 April 2022

Shopping: Bedford Flea and Affordable Art Market
St Paul’s Square @ 10am – 3pm

Woo hoo! Bedford Flea is back for 2022 and it’s bigger and better than ever. The perfect way to spend a Sunday in Bedford…

FLEA: You’ll find a smorgasbord of unique, second-hand goods that fall under antiques, vintage, collectables, bric-a-brac & curiosities. It’s all about the one-offs so if you see something you like, don’t delay!
AFFORDABLE ART: Talented artists with fresh ideas – from photography to glass, intricate oil paintings to contemporary illustration. And, all based within a stone’s throw of Bedford.
LOCAL PRODUCE: Locally-grown ingredients and homemade produce direct to you, from small, artisan businesses that are within a maximum of 30 miles from Bedford (as the crow flies). From local cheese and locally brewed beer, to sauces and condiments, cakes and skincare.

Sunday 10 April 2022

Live music: MOJO play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

Legendary Bedford guitarist Dave King returns to Bedford Esquires for a Sunday Afternoon Session with Tony Morton on drums, John Morey on bass and Neil Cook on vocals.


Sunday 10 April 2022

Live music: Lovely Eggs
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £15

Missing in action at Bedford Esquires for nearly four years, The Lovely Eggs return to the venue as part of their mammoth UK tour.

For the last two years, The Lovely Eggs have sat back and watched England and the rest of the planet slowly eat themselves. Their number one selling album “I am Moron” is the result of their observations, a relentless analysis of a modern culture that is bringing the world to its knees.

The Lovely Eggs are one of the most exciting, innovative and genuine bands of the Great British Underground. Welcome to their world.


Easter holidays

Easter at Shuttleworth

Those lovely people at Explore Bedford have put together an Easter holiday guide, with the best family fun days out, egg hunts, craft workshops and more.

Featuring what’s on at the Panacea Museum, Easter fun at Shuttleworth, workshops at the Higgins and the Love Bedford East Trail, there’s something for everyone, whatever the weather.

Find their full what’s on Easter guide at the Explore Bedford website here.


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

 

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