What’s on Bedford: 1 – 11 February 2024


Your weekly what’s on guide for Bedford and the surrounding area from The Bedford Clanger.

Never miss a thing in Bedford ever again. From theatre to film, live music to art exhibitions, The Bedford Clanger what’s on guide lands every Thursday and is the only guide you need to know what’s on and what’s happening across the Borough for the next 10 days.

The Bedford Clanger’s What’s On Guide is kindly sponsored by The Cellar Bar.

From Thursday 1 February 2024

Exhibition: Panacea: A Cure for all Ills
The Panacea Museum, Newnham Road @ 10am – 4pm Thursday – Sunday
Free entry

Free healing. Image: Panacea Museum

To celebrate the reopening of the Panacea Museum, a new exhibition, ‘Panacea: A Cure for All Ills’, explores the ministry which gave the Panacea Society its name.

Originally titled ‘The Community of the Holy Ghost’, their more famous name came later, connected with their international Healing offer. The Society sent out linen squares, blessed by their leader Octavia, these were placed in water to make a therapeutic elixir.  

This exhibition explains the origins of the Healing, how it became so well-known, and why it finally ended.

Read: Bedford’s Panacea Museum and ‘Garden of Eden’ to reopen for 2024 season

Thursday 1 February 2024

Live Music: FUSION – A combination of Bandeoke, Karaoke and Open Mic
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / doors open @ 6pm / Happy Hour 6pm – 9pm
Free entry

The Cellar Bar’s FUSION night has something for everyone: a full karaoke setup with over 50,000 songs, sing with your friends or go solo, or why not sing with their house band, no backing tracks but the reassurance of having the words in front of you.

Finally, Bedford’s local musicians are welcome to come along for a jam session. This really is a night for all, a FUSION of musical style and experience.

Thursday 1 February 2024

Live music: Musicians’ showcase hosted by Michael Green
3 St Peter’s @ 7.30pm
Members: free entry / non-members: £3

Local Bedford musician and singer-songwriter Michael Green hosts 3 St Peter’s musicians showcase, featuring eight talented hand-picked musicians. 

Thursday 1 February 2024

Quiz: Esquires Monthly Music Quiz
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
£2 per person / max six people per team

It’s the first monthly music quiz of the year at Esquires. Featuring music from the 50’s to the present, it’s £2 per person to enter with teams of up to a maximum of six people.

Cash prize for the winning team.

Friday 2 February 2024

Live Music: Lack Of Faith
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / doors open at 6pm until late / Happy Hour 6pm – 9pm
Free Entry 

Lack of Faith are a four-piece acoustic covers band playing lively original and covers music from the 70’s to the present day, from Pink Floyd to P!nk.

Friday 2 February 2024

Live music: Chappaqua Wrestling + Guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

Chappaqua Wrestling have been championed by BBC Radio 1 and Radio 6 DJs including Annie Mac, Phil Taggart, Steve Lamacq, and Radcliffe & Maconie. Support from BBC’s Huw Stephens and Jack Saunders saw the band being invited to play sessions at Abbey Road and Maida Vale Studios. They come to Bedford off the back of their debut album.

For fans of: Wunderhorse, The Lathams, DMA’s, The Goa Express

Saturday 3 February 2024

Comedy: Bumper Blyton: The Improvised Adventure
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £16.50

A riotous improvised parody chock full of puns and innuendo, in the style of the Nation’s favourite author, Enid Blyton. Come and delight in lashings of ginger beer, grab a cheeky tongue sandwich or wrap your lips around a nice spotted dick! 

Cast yourself back to your childhood in a show that’s spontaneous and utterly unique every time, with this satirical take on childhood favourite books like The Famous Five and Mallory Towers.  A cast of the UK’s best-known and Award Winning improvisers (as seen in:
Austentatious, Showstoppers! and TV’s Doctor Who) invent a hilarious improvised adventure live on the hoof based on audience suggestions.

It’s Enid Blyton…for grown-ups!

Saturday 3 February 2024

Live Music: Five Five Six – Hugo’s birthday bash
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / bar opens at 6.pm / Happy Hour until 9pm / 3am close
Free Entry

After a sell-out New Year’s Eve performance the Cellar Bar welcomes back Five Five Six for another celebration – Hugo’s Birthday!

A full night of Five Five Six rocking out to some legendary tunes as well as welcoming some guest friends to the stage. If you thought that new year was good this promises to be immense.

Sunday 4 February 2024

Art & Culture: Artist Open Studios
POP STUDIO4, 4 Market Hall, The Arcade, Bedford, MK40 1NS @ 10am – 3pm
Free entry

Join POP STUDIO4 on Sunday 4 February for the first of their Open Studios of 2024.

Nestled in The Arcade alongside the independent shops and traders, POP STUDIO4 is a collective of artists spanning disciplines including drawing, painting, illustration and animation and they’re opening the doors to the public for the first time in 2024.

Head down from 10am-3pm to meet the artists Talia GilesFiona WilsonGiacomo VerduraMo Rahman and Emily Baxter and see them in action.  There’s an opportunity to browse and buy original art, prints and greeting cards as well as works currently in progress.

The first Sunday of the month is now the official open studios date for the artists, so if you can’t make this weekend, make sure you have 3 March in the diary.  

POP STUDIO4 if part of the Pride Of Place Bedford project.  To find out more, head to the website or Instagram.  

Sunday 4 February 2024

Discussion: Book Club
3 St Peter’s @ 4pm – 6pm
Members: free / non-members: £2.50

Join this lovely group of people for the 3 St Peter’s next book club discussion. Each month they discuss one book from the BBC’s Top 100 Books You Need to Read Before You Die (the last one was Jane Eyre).

A great way to make new friends and link up with like-minded people. This session the group will discuss Origins by Dan Brown and Wide Sargasso Sea as an optional extra.

Sunday 4 February 2024

Live music: Devil’s Mojo play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

Devil’s Mojo return to the Sunday Afternoon Session, playing two sets of rock and pop covers.

Sunday 4 February 2024

Poetry: Read Poets Society – Spring 2024
The Eagle Bookshop @ 7pm
Tickets: Free but please book via The Place Theatre website

Join the Swan Poetry Society for their monthly reading of poems reflecting the season. Listen to poetry and prose about memory and from memory. This monthly event takes place at The Eagle Bookshop in St Peter’s Street

Sunday 4 February 2024

Live Music: FUSION – A combination of Bandeoke, Karaoke and Open Mic
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / doors open @ 6pm / Happy Hour 6pm – 9pm
Free entry

The Cellar Bar’s FUSION night has something for everyone: a full karaoke setup with over 50,000 songs, sing with your friends or go solo, or why not sing with their house band, no backing tracks but the reassurance of having the words in front of you.

Finally, Bedford’s local musicians are welcome to come along for a jam session. This really is a night for all, a FUSION of musical style and experience.

Monday 5 February 2024

Fun and games: Games Night
The Cellar Bar @ 7pm
Free entry

Every first and third Monday of the month from 7pm head to the Cellar Bar for their regular games night.

Do you enjoy playing Backgammon, Rummikub, maybe cards or indeed any board game? Not played before? This is the perfect place to start, with people on hand to show you how to play. Have a favourite game? Bring it with you!

What can you expect? “Well, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’re a friendly bunch at The Cellar Bar and provide a safe environment, so even if you just want to come and say hello, we’d love to see you.”

Tuesday 6 February 2024

Live music: Tuesday lunchtime concert
St Paul’s church, St Paul’s Square @ 1pm
Free entry with retiring collection (suggested donation £5)

Cecilia Blencowe (violin). Free with a retiring collection.

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Film: Cinema @ 3 St Peter’s presents – North by Northwest
3 St Peter’s Street @ 7pm
Tickets: £12/£10.50/£9/£6

Alfred Hitchcock’s timeless classic “North by Northwest” (1959) sees Cary Grant as Roger Thornhill, an advertising executive mistaken for a government agent. Thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse, Thornhill finds himself on the run across America, from the United Nations headquarters in New York to the iconic Mount Rushmore.

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Drag: Drag Showcase featuring Miss Palma Violet and Miss Lushes Lips
The Cellar Bar @ 8pm / doors open at 7pm
Free entry

Come and join the laughter, fun and entertainment with two fabulous local drag queens – Miss Palma Violet and Miss Lushes Lips. The evening features live cabaret, lip-synching, adult fun and games, insult comedy, raffle, disco and more!

Over 18s only.

Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 February 2024

Live music: Bedford Breakthrough
Bedford Esquires @ 7 – 10pm
Tickets: £5.50

The best of Bedford’s young rock and pop musicians showcase their talents over two nights at Bedford Esquires.

Bands, artists and DJs from across Bedford Borough schools. Please be sure what night your child or friend is playing on before you purchase tickets to avoid disappointment!

Thursday 8 February 2024

Theatre: Kindness: A Legacy of the Holocaust
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £13

Kindness is largely a verbatim play based on the testimony of Hungarian survivor Susan Pollack OBE, aged only 13 when she was sent to the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau in the summer of 1944. 

Interwoven are a number of complementary narratives, including that of Mala Zimetbaum and Edek Galinski whose stunning love story and spiritual resistance is painted across a backdrop of one of the darkest periods in human history.  Kindness has been described as “beautiful and empowering” and “compelling and emotive”. It promises that Susan’s legacy of the Holocaust stays with you for a very long time.

Thursday 8 February 2024

Live music: Legends of American Country
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £25

Now seen by over 350,000 fans live and watched by millions on social media and tv around the world Europe’s no.1 multi-award-winning country music show “The Legends of American Country” is now firmly established as the top touring production of its kind.

The 2024 tour will showcase highly acclaimed tributes to icons like Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Don William, Patsy Cline and Kenny Rogers and new tributes to icons Hank Williams, Charley Pride, Glen Campbell, Tammy Wynette and Jim Reeves with countless other well-known hit songs in this must-see country musical extravaganza.

Thursday 8 February 2024

Creative: Ceramics evening
3 St Peter’s @ 7pm – 10pm
Tickets: £34 (members) and £39 (Non-members) 

Bee&Bottle Ceramics are hosting a pottery painting event at 3 St Peter’s this month, bringing a ceramic painting studio experience to on of Bedford’s loveliest locations

Be guided by the experts as you try out the techniques to create a truly unique design. All items will be professionally glazed and fired and then returned to their proud creators! 

The ticket price includes £8 to redeem on food/drinks.

Friday 9 February 2024

Live Music: Helen Lester
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / doors open at 6pm until late / Happy Hour 6pm – 9pm
Free Entry 

Helen Lester is back performing a wide range of material from across the decades, Helen will blow you away with her powerful vocals and upbeat style. Expect a bit of everything from Motown, Pop, Disco, Soul and more!

Friday 9 February 2024

Dance music: DJ Yoda – 50 years of Hip Hop audio visual show
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm – midnight
Tickets: £18

The legendary DJ Yoda returns to Bedford for the first time in many years, for his huge ’50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop’ AV show.

This is no ordinary club night, as Yoda gives a visual representation of the music and culture on screen, alongside some of the greatest Hip Hop tracks ever made. This is the first time a proper AV set will have ever been brought to Bedford.

DJ Yoda is a multi-award-winning hip-hop DJ and producer, headlining festivals and clubs around the world. No typical club DJ, his interests lie in finding fresh and unique ways to bring turntables out of the club and getting involved in bespoke collaborations. Working with classical composers to neuroscientists; brass bands to film directors; Dr Dre to Dame Evelyn Glennie; Banksy to Mark Ronson; BBC Radio 4 to the BFI, he reinvigorates his craft with wry invention and humorous intent.

Ever pushing the boundaries of live audio-visual performance his journey into popular culture – DJ Yoda: A History of Gaming – premiered at the London Film Festival on the UK’s largest screen at the prestigious IMAX, charting best loved and most fondly remembered games from the early 1980s to the present.

This event is for over 18s only. Support from B-Town’s finest, MASS C.

Saturday 10 February 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Harrold Country Park, MK43 7DS (what3words: rooks.regarding.trickling) @ 10am and 1pm

Ramblers of all abilities are sure to find a walk to suit at the Bedfordshire Festival of Autumn Walks. Image: North BedfordshireRamblers
Ramblers of all abilities are sure to find a walk to suit at the Bedfordshire Festival of Autumn Walks. Image: North BedfordshireRamblers

The morning five-mile walk takes you south of Harrold and back via Chellington.

The afternoon walk (6.25 miles) begins from the same place at 1pm, walking north of Harrold and back via Odell Great Wood.
These two walks combine as a figure of eight, morning, afternoon or all-day completing 11.25 miles.

Check out the North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ excellent website for further information.

Saturday 10 February 2024

Creativity: Beds Urban Sketchers February meet-up
The Panacea Museum @ 10.30am – 1pm
Free to attend

The Beds Urban Sketchers’ second meet-up of 2024 is at the incredible Panacea Museum. The museum tells the story of the Panacea Society – a remarkable and secretive religious community formed in the early twentieth century. Meet: 10.30am outside the museum entrance.  Full event details here.
This is a volunteer-led group and is not taught. It’s free to join in on any of our sessions and we’re open to all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please bring your own materials.

Saturday 10 February 2024

Children’s Theatre: Autism and Sea
The Place Theatre @ 12 noon and 3pm
Tickets: from £8

Join on an adventure with Finn, Ollie & Astrid to explore the world of autism. This show is an introduction to the characters and how certain traits affect their everyday lives. It’s their first day of school and something unexpected awaits them on their new school venture. 

In this immersive show experience, no one character is the same and each experiences autism very differently just like us. Autism & Sea LIVE is based on a series of books written and illustrated by Amy Le Dain. This show will be an immersive and sensory experience where these characters will come to life. Because sometimes everyday life is an adventure.

Age recommendation – 2-8 years

Saturday 10 February 2024

Children’s Theatre: The Bubble Show
The Quarry Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: from £12

Back by popular demand! Join Mr. Bubbles with his extraordinary soap bubbles in all shapes and sizes.  The Bubble Show is a unique blend of magic, storytelling, and bubble art! Enjoy bouncy bubbles, bubbles inside bubbles, smoke bubbles, square bubbles, giant
bubbles, and even fire bubbles! 

Actor, storyteller, and Guinness World Record holder, The Highland Joker, is one of the top bubble artists in the world, bringing you an interactive, fun, international award-winning bubble extravaganza!

Saturday 10 February 2024

Live Music:  Triple Header featuring Stalkers, Frenzy & Joe Cullen
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / bar opens at 6pm / Happy Hour until 9pm / 3am close
Free entry. 

The Cellar Bar’s first triple header of 2024 and what a lineup: Stalkers are a five-piece rock band bringing youth energy and new rock to the scene since July 2023. Returning to the Cellar Bar with a full setlist, why not head down and watch them for a set full of classics, attitude and good times.

Frenzy return to the The Cellar Bar for a fantastic night of new wave punk – the band describe themselves as a cross between Jilted John, the B52’s and Bob Dylan. You can expect a high-octane set from this up-and-coming local band.

Finally, Joe Cullen will be playing covers by Ed Sheeran, The 1975, Oasis, Harry Styles, The Killers, Coldplay and maybe some Irish folk mixed in!

Saturday 10 February 2024

Live music: Jack Hutchinson
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

Jack J Hutchinson, the British blues/rock guitarist and singer/songwriter, will be coming to Esquires for the first time in many moons, when visits this month.

Saturday 10 February 2024

Live music: Get It On – one night of Glam Rock
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £29

It’s time to bang a gong and Get It On for – one night of glam rock, brought to you by the producers of the hit disco tribute show – Lost in Music.

An outrageous celebration of a golden age, live on stage. The costumes, the make-up, the music – so, bring your tiger feet and join in for a night like no other and be transported back to a time dreams were made of.

Featuring the biggest hits from T.Rex, Mud, Slade, Bowie, Suzi Quatro, Wizzard, Sweet and many more.

Sunday 11 February 2024

Live music: Sub Machine play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm – 8pm
Free entry

Esquires’ legendary Sunday Afternoon Session welcomes Sub Machine.

Every Thursday

Cocktails, Quiz Night & Karaoke
The Cellar Bar from 5.00pm

Pit your wits against The Cellar Bar’s resident quizmaster to see if you can win the jackpot every Thursday from 8pm. £2 per person entry and a maximum of six per team. The winning team will win the jackpot PLUS a round of shots. Followed by Karaoke til close

Every Saturday

Food & drink: Cocktail mixology masterclass
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm / doors open at 12 noon
£30 per person

The Cellar Bar’s resident mixologist, Marley, will explain how to create some outstanding cocktails for your tasting enjoyment. Then, it’s your turn to put what you’ve learned into practice by making (and drinking) three cocktails!

Every Sunday

Live Music: Open Mic Night
The Cellar Bar @ 7.30pm
Free Entry

Guitar, open mic night

Every Sunday, join Mat Roberts for the Cellar Bar’s weekly Open Mic night. An opportunity for new and experienced performers to get up on stage and perform.

So whether you think you are the next Tom Grennan or just want a good night of entertainment, head the to Cellar Bar from 7.30pm.

Until 2024

Exhibition: We Are Ten
The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane
Free entry

The Higgins begins its 10th birthday celebrations with an exhibition featuring old favourites and rarely seen works from the collection, all chosen by organisations, groups and individuals who have worked with the museum and gallery over the last decade.

The exhibition runs for the next year, with special events planned next month to mark the exact date the museum reopened in 2013. Watch this space for more information.

Until 2024

Exhibition: Edward Bawden – Planes, Trains and Automobiles
The Higgins Bedford @ Tues – Sat: 11am – 5pm/Sun: 2pm – 5pm/Closed Mondays
Free entry

The Titfield Thunderbolt 1952 by Edward Bawden. Image: The Edward Bawden Estate
The Titfield Thunderbolt 1952 by Edward Bawden. Image: The Edward Bawden Estate

Let Edward Bawden transport you in this exhibition celebrating all things travel.

Drawn exclusively from the Higgins Bedford’s Edward Bawden archive, see large linocuts of London’s iconic stations and an array of wonderful vehicles from hot air balloons to jumbo jets and tall ships to cruise liners.

Read: New Edward Bawden ‘trains, planes and automobiles’ exhibition to open this weekend

Don’t forget the February edition of the Bedford Clanger is out now. Find it in all good independent shops, restaurants, pubs, cafes, museums, galleries, theatres and more…

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker