What’s on Bedford: 13 – 23 April 2023


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.

Thursday 13 April 2023

Live music: Woman Like Me – the Little Mix Show
Bedford Corn Exchange @
Tickets: £15/£12/£48 (family of four)

Woman Like Me – The Little Mix Show is a highly energetic show that follows in the footsteps of the award-winning girl band, Little Mix. This iconic five-star rated show has live vocals and is full of commercial pop video choreography.

Suitable for kids, tweens, teens and adults alike, The Little Mix Show brings the full pop concert experience to your local theatre. There are lots of added extras including dance competitions, free giveaways and a meet & greet with the girls after the show.

The Little Mix Show features all of Little Mix’s chart-topping hits including the brand-new LM5 album. Dance & scream to a packed-out playlist of songs that include Black Magic, Power, Woman Like Me, Wings, Shoutout To My Ex and even a few covers from their time on the XFactor.

Thursday 13 April 2023

Comedy: Castle Comedy Birthday Special
The Quarry Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £15

Castle Comedy celebrates its 11th birthday with an all-star line up! Paul Zerdin is the UK’s number-one comedy ventriloquist and winner of Series 10 of America’s Got Talent!

Zerdin and his sidekicks have since gone viral on YouTube, receiving millions of views from around the world.

He has appeared on countless TV shows including Comedy Rocks with Jason Manford (ITV1), Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show (BBC1) and three appearances at The Royal Variety Performance.
Also on the bill is Josh Pugh, English Comedian of the Year winner and star of Live at the Apollo, Comedy Central Live and Dave’s Hypothetical. Josh has amassed over three million views on his Twitter videos and regularly headlines the biggest clubs in the country.

Your host for the show is Paul Revill.

Thursday 13 April 2023

Live music: October Drift + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

October Drift return to Bedford Esquires this month.

Friday 14 April 2023

Comedy: Jack Carroll: Walking Funny
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30 pm
Tickets: £12

Jack Carroll, Britain’s Got Talent Runner-Up, Star of BBC’s Live at the Apollo and QI and Sky sitcom Trollied, as well as award-winning movie Eaten by Lions returns to the stage with his new stand-up comedy show, Walking Funny.

Friday 14 April 2023

Live music: The Homegrown album launch – A Right Royal F**k Up
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £10

The HomeGrown are launching their first album with a bang!

Get ready for a party with some exceptional talent supporting – this one is going to go off…

Friday 14 April 2023

Music: Silent Disco – 80s vs 90s vs 00s
Bedford Esquires @ 10pm
Tickets: £8

Esquires’ legendary Silent Disco returns for an Easter party – and for the first time in 15 years, three decades battle it out for your finest dance moves and loudest singing.
80s Classics vs 90s Hits vs 00s Anthems
Never been to a silent disco? Grab a pair of three-channel, bass-heavy headphones on the way in – three DJs will be spinning big tunes, just choose which one you want to listen to. Dance, sing, shout the night away and leave with a big smile on your face!

The funnest events in Esquires’ calendar these nights usually sell out in advance, so get yours early to avoid disappointment.

Saturday 15 April 2023

Walk: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Emmaus Carlton MK43 7LQ @ 1.30pm

North Bedfordshire Ramblers following a footpath alongside a summer meadow towards a rural church
Joining North Bedfordshire Ramblers is a great way to explore the county and beyond (image: North Bedfordshire Ramblers)

Six-mile walk. a circular walk through the countryside south of Emmaus.

For more information contact Margaret Sawyer 07780 933729.

Saturday 15 April 2023

Dancing: Silent Disco – family edition
Bedford Esquires @ 1pm

If you’re anything like the Esquires team, filling time over the holidays can become a bit much, so they’re bringing back their family silent disco – and it’s likely to be a sell-out.
Choose from three channels of music transmitted to your LED Headphones:
*Adult Party Anthems Channel (kid friendly)
*Kids Pop Channel (adult friendly)
*Disney Hits Channel
Recommended for kids 12 years and below.
On the day, all children must be accompanied by a participating adult. Likewise, Adults are not permitted unless accompanied by a child.
Babies in arms admitted for free but will not receive headphones.
*Children must be supervised at all times*
The smoke machines and lights are primed and there will definitely be a glowstick or two…

Saturday 15 April 2023

Relax: Fish and Chip Supper Cruise
John Bunyan Boat, Priory Marina @ 6pm
Tickets: Adult £26 Child £14

The John Bunyan Community Boat on the River Great Ouse with Bedford's Castle Mound in the background
The John Bunyan Community Boat

Enjoy a relaxing evening cruise over a fish and chip supper as the sun goes down, along Bedford’s picturesque Embankment. You’ll even discover Bedford’s unique pyramid. This cruise navigates the town lock, and then past the 12th-century mound of Bedford Castle before going under the historic Town Bridge towards Queen’s Bridge.

Saturday 15 April 2023

Film: Life After the Navigator
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

Join the Quarry for a very special screening of this 2020 released documentary including a post event Q&A with Joey Cramer (via Zoom) and director Lisa Downs (in person).

In 1986, Joey Cramer was cast as 12-year-old David Freeman in Disney’s Flight Of The Navigator and his life would never be the same.

Directed by Randal Kleiser, Flight Of The Navigator found its way into the hearts of children all over the world. The story of a young boy who goes out with his dog, and returns eight years later is today still regarded as a classic.
​Joey’s life, however, wasn’t so glamorous.

Life After the Navigator not only celebrates this 1986 classic, but takes an open, honest and in-depth look at the life of this former child star, and the path his life took since that breakthrough role.

Saturday 15 April 2023

Live music: London Calling play The Clash
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £15

London Calling are the world’s premiere tribute to The Clash.

Released in April 1977, the self-titled debut LP by The Clash reached #12 in the UK charts and is regarded as one of the greatest punk albums of all time.

London Calling will be performing the entire LP in sequence before playing a selection of hits and fan favourites by The Clash.

Saturday 15 April 2023

Live music: Carlos Linnett
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Carlos Linnett is back at The Cellar Bar for another incredible performance. An intimate venue for a talented musician and his acoustic guitar.

Saturday 15 April 2023

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

Portsmouth upstarts Hallan announce second EP ‘The Noise Of A Firing Gun’, set for release March 31st via Nice Swan Records (English Teacher, Sports Team, Courting), and share lead single ‘Unwomanly Face Of War’, out today (February 16th). Partnering with the tastemaker label for their brand new record, the thrilling quartet are primed to build on acclaimed debut EP ‘Reporting Live From The Living Room Floor’, with their newest work seeing the band experiment with production elements and shift their gaze towards synthesised sounds of the ‘80s, whilst retaining their post-punk edge.

Until Sunday 16 April 2023

Art: Charity art auction
Frescoes cafe, Mill Street
Free entry

A charity art exhibition is currently on display at Frescoes cafe, raising money for victims of the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

The work has been created by members of the Monday Night Art Club at Frescoes under the guidance of artist-in-residence, Fiona Wills and Frescoes owner, Xanthe Jackson.

The group has become a tight-knit bunch of friends mixing with regular newbies and people just looking for a chance to relax and do something different.

Each session is presided over by Fiona, with a different theme every week. Sometimes a bit of art history is involved, sometimes a specific practice such as drawing perspective, or colour theory. Whatever the theme, there is a great atmosphere and everyone is welcome, regardless of artistic ability.

Last year around Easter, the group help their first ever exhibition at Frescoes, where the walls were temporarily filled with artwork from the club members. This year, just as the earthquake happened, the club decided to provide all of their artwork for free, and to use it to raise money for those affected by the earthquake.

So far, the exhibition has raised over £350.   There are lots of unframed originals up for grabs as well as some framed work and cards. There’s a suggested donation amount, but of course, any amount is welcome.

If you get a chance, pop to Frescoes, have a look at the exhibition upstairs, maybe select a piece or two, and enjoy a coffee and cake while you make your donation online. Receipts for the donations can be emailed to fiona@fionawilsonart.com and your piece can be collected after the 17 April.

Until Sunday 16 April 2023

Art and culture: Changing Times: A century of modern British art
The Higgins Bedford
Free entry

Your last chance to see some of the most well-loved British artists of the 20th and 21st centuries as the Changing Times exhibition closes this Sunday.

From Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden and Paul Nash to Elisabeth Frink, David Hockney and Lucian Freud, the exhibition brings together some of the biggest names in British art, and explores its history since the 20th century.

Changing Times: A Century of Modern British Art is the first large-scale exhibition since the post-pandemic reopening of The Higgins Bedford.

Read more: David Hockney and Lucian Freud shine in new Higgins autumn exhibition

Sunday 16 April 2023

Walking: “I Never Knew That” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £3/£1.50

Join the Association of Bedford Tour Guides for one of their fascinating weekly walks. Each walk is of 90 minutes to two hours duration and covers a distance of one or two miles. Most walks are suitable for people who are less mobile.

Children of all ages are most welcome on all of our walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £3.00 per adult or £1.50 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.

Sunday 16 April 2023

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

Skimmington Ride return to Bedford Esquires for a Sunday afternoon session with special guests The Tenbags.

Sunday 16 April 2023

Live music: The Oozes
Bedford Esquires @
Tickets: £10

The Oozes are a loud, queer, political punk band that take inspiration from everywhere from Britney Spears to Bikini Kill.

Their sound is most comparable to classic punk and riot grrrll bands but really who knows what they’ll come out with. With grunge, post-punk and folk influences, the band’s aesthetic was born out of charity shops, queer-coded cartoon characters and a love of bright colours, funky makeup and to fight-gendered fashion stereotypes.

Monday 17 April 2023

Film: Bedford Film Society presents – Belfast
Main Theatre, University of Bedfordshire, Polhilll Avenue @ 7.30pm
Tickets: Special offer half-season membership £35/day membership £5/free parking

Belfast is a 2021 British coming-of-age drama film written and directed by Kenneth Branagh. The film stars Caitríona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, Colin Morgan and Jude Hill.

The film, which Branagh has described as his “most personal”, follows a young boy’s childhood in Belfast, Northern Ireland, at the beginning of The Troubles in 1969.

Tuesday 18 April 2023

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

Featuring a piano recital from Qianyi Ma.

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Drag: Fanny’oke and Boozy Bingo: Fanny Burns (Drag Queen)
The Cellar Bar @ 8.00pm
Free entry

Fanny Burns is back in Bedford in her new home at The Cellar Bar. She will be hosting a night of Karaoke with a twist and of course Prize Bingo.

This show contains adult humour and swearing and is strictly an over 18’s event.

Thursday 20 & Friday 21 April 2023

Theatre: Fox
The Place Theatre @ 8pm & 10.30am
Tickets: from £10

Inspired by true events, Katie Guicciardi’s Fox is a brutally honest and insightful exploration of new motherhood in an increasingly isolating society. A sharply observed drama that examines our complex relationship with ‘help’ – our desire to give it and the need to seek it for ourselves.

First produced at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2019, Fox was praised for being “a really poignant and insightful piece” (Three Weeks). The play explores sensitive themes of postnatal depression and includes mentions of
baby loss.

Thursday 20 April 2023

Community: Death Café
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: Free

Join The Place Theatre team for their Death Café every third Thursday of the month. A Death Café is an informal gathering of people (often strangers) to talk about death over a cup of tea and a piece of cake. The topic of discussion is generated by the group and there is no agenda, objective or prescribed theme. A Death Café is an open, accessible and
confidential space for those interested in talking about anything in relation to death. For further information email Adie Mueller at adiemueller@gmail.com or visit the Death Café Website at https://deathcafe.com/

Thursday 20 April 2023

Theatre: NTLive presents Good
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: from £12.50

David Tennant (Doctor Who) makes a much-anticipated return to the West End in a blistering reimagining of one of Britain’s most powerful, political plays.

As the world faces its Second World War, John Halder, a good, intelligent German professor, finds himself pulled into a movement with unthinkable consequences. Olivier Award-winner Dominic Cooke (Follies) directs C.P. Taylor’s timely tale, with a cast that also features Elliot Levey (Coriolanus) and Sharon Small (The Bay). Filmed live at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London.

Thursday 20 April 2023

Talk: Bedford Skeptics in the Pub present: The Life & Legacy of George Peabody with Christine Wagg
North End Social Club, Roff Avenue @ 7pm
Free entry, donations (and non-skeptics) welcome

Born into a poor family in Massachusetts, George Peabody moved to London and established himself as a successful banker. In his old age, Peabody won worldwide acclaim for his philanthropy. He founded the Peabody Trust in Britain, providing housing for the poor. The Peabody Trust continues his work to this day.
Christine will outline the life and achievements of George Peabody, the history of the trust and some of the notable properties it owns.
Christine Wagg is the Peabody Trust’s historian and has a background in property law.

Thursday 20 April 2023

St Paul’s Church, St Paul’s Square @ 7.45pm
Tickets: Adult £18, Student (full time, 18-25) £5, Young person (under 18) £3

Mathilde Milwidsky is described as ‘an exceptional talent’ by Maxim Vengerov. She has performed as a soloist across Europe, and in the UK at venues such as Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and live on BBC Radio 3 for the 2015 BBC Proms.

Bedford Music Club is delighted to bring her here in person following a fabulous recital that they live-streamed during the long Covid lockdown.

Thursday 20 April 2023

In conversation and book signing: John Robb – The Art of Darkness: the history of Goth
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

Author/music scribe/TV presenter and bass player for perennial post-punk survivors The Membranes, John Robb is a man who cannot sit still.

John has previously written best-selling books including ‘Punk Rock: An Oral History’ and ‘The North Will Rise Again: Manchester Music City 1976-1996’ and his latest opus is the 650-page ‘The Art Of Darkness: The History of Goth’, an in-depth account that he feels presents the first major and comprehensive overview of Goth music and culture and its lasting legacy, covering the music, culture and history of the scene from its post-punk heyday to the modern times.

Starting with a night out in a Goth club, it then takes us on a deep dive into the wider culture, exploring the social conditions that created ‘Goth’ in the post-punk period.

The book is built mainly around the 80s post-punk Goth period featuring interviews with Andrew Eldritch, Killing Joke, Bauhaus, The Cult, The Banshees, The Damned, Einstürzende Neubauten, Johnny Marr, Trent Reznor, Adam Ant, Laibach, The Cure, Nick Cave and many others.

It looks at the music, style and the political and social conditions that spawned the culture and the great music, fashions and attitudes – clubs that defined it, and is also a first-hand account of being there at some of the legendary gigs and clubs that made the scene happen.

The host for the evening will be Jason Foster who will be conducting the initial Q & A before opening the night up to the audience.  Jason has previously played in loads of bands in and around Bedford over the last 30 years and possesses a great musical knowledge, Jason previously hosted the fantastic evening with Don Letts at the venue back in 2021.

Friday 21 April 2023

Folk Music: That’s All Folk: Jim Ghedi
The Place Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £13

Jim Ghedi hails from Sheffield, South Yorkshire and although clearly well-versed in the history of Folk music, he stands out as a potential torchbearer for a new generation of respectful yet experimental performers. A truly unique talent for tapping into the rich history of folk music to extract and create timely, political and contemporary alternatives.

Friday 21 April 2023

Live music: General Levy: Live | Gravity | Kyx | Dave RYOR | Midas
Bedford Esquires @ 9pm
Tickets: £20

One of the most in-demand and distinctive MCs on the planet, Levy has been tearing up events for the last three decades, bringing unparalleled energy to his sets.

Born Paul Levy in Central Middlesex Hospital NW10 London, England in 1971, Levy grew up in the vibrant Harlesden and Wembley area for most of his early years, surrounded by different West Indian, European, Asian and African influences.

He grew up in a community heavily influenced by reggae music and black culture and from an early age, a certain militancy was instilled in him along with a love and respect for rebel music. He was also inspired by his big brother Winston Irie who had a vast record collection of music from ska to rock steady, calypso to soul, hip hop and reggae that gave Levy a steady diet of music through his adolescent years.

Since then General Levy has gone on to work with various producers such as Sly & Robbie and Sting International, Shaggy, Steelie & Cleevie, Artful Dodger, Jetstar, Ajang, Joe Grind, Gussie P, Stingray, Heartical Records, to name but a few.

Levy remains a Lionheart artist riding through the ups and downs of the music business and still maintaining focus, a love and joy for the business and people; and just like a fine wine getting even better with time and bringing the fire to any place he performs at!

Friday 21 April 2023

Theatre: Watson: The Final Problem
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £13

1894. Watson is alone. His beloved wife Mary and the great Sherlock Holmes are both gone. But London seethes with false reports and rumour.  It is time to set the record straight.

So Watson tells his tale… a tale of long-buried secrets, betrayal and death. For there is a shadow in the gutters of London. A spider’s web of poisonous intrigue lies across the city. Someone is playing a long game and Holmes and Watson face their greatest-ever challenge.

But as Watson unravels the story, is the game really over?
Watson is performed by Tim Marriott (The Brittas Empire; Allo, Allo) and directed by Bert Coules (BBC’s The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; Cadfael; Rebus).

Friday 21 April 2023

Live music: FURY + Electric Black
Bedford Esquires @

Fury are a Heavy Metal band from the West Midlands, UK. Their love of the old-school metal of Iron Maiden and Metallica are clear, but the rich and soulful voice of Julian Jenkins sets the band apart from the rest. Songs with clear purpose and strong visuals will transport you to another time, another reality, or another universe.

Saturday 22 April 2023

Walk: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Lodge Road, Sharnbrook MK44 1JP @ 1:30pm

North Bedfordshire Ramblers following a footpath alongside a summer meadow towards a rural church
Joining North Bedfordshire Ramblers is a great way to explore the county and beyond (image: North Bedfordshire Ramblers)

Six-and-a-half-mile walk. Walking through Colworth Woods, over to Odell Great Wood and back along the Ouse Valley Way. Hopefully see some bluebells to see in the woods. For more information contact Margaret Sawyer 07780 933729.

Saturday 22 April 2023

St George’s Day: Come In, St George
The Higgins Bedford @ 11am – 3pm
Free entry

A celebration of English tradition at The Higgins Bedford, to mark St George’s Day.

Featuring a ‘Memories of Morris’ (11am – 12.30pm) talk and discussion about how Morris dance in Bedfordshire has changed over the past 50 years.

From 1.30pm – 3.00pm ‘Celebrating St George’ ‘will see entertainment for all the family. A display of morris dancing in the courtyard by local teams Hemlock Morris, Red Cuthbert Morris and Golden Hare Morris, each with its own unique approach to Morris. The entertainment will culminate with a traditional mummers’ play by the Barfront Guizers in which St George (Hooray!) and a Valiant Knight (Boo, Hiss!) argue over who killed the dragon.

Saturday 22 April 2023

Comedy: Jokes and Laffs: April Comedy Night
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: £14.99

An evening filled with laughter and more. Showcasing the very best of established and new comedy talents – both homegrown and international, while also making sure to cater for all comedy lovers of all ages and backgrounds.
Performing on the night are President Obonjo (compere) Elroy Welsh, Jimmy James Jones & Geoff Schumann.
There is a bar, music and catering from Dudu Bar Lounge on the night.

Saturday 22 April 2023

Live Music: Five Five Six
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm. Doors open at 12 noon.
Free Entry

Five Five Six return to the Cellar Bar, bringing a rocking night of legendary rock tunes.

Saturday 22 April 2023

Live music: Daft Funk ‘live’ – a retrospective celebration of Daft Punk
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm

I love Daft Punk, you love Daft Punk. Esquires was never gonna get to be able to book Daft Punk, so they’re putting on the next best thing! DAFT FUNK LIVE
Dedicated to recreating the sounds and atmosphere of a Daft Punk ‘LIVE’ experience, the band’s meticulously crafted stage productions feature authentic costumes and synchronised custom light shows, with over 1500 LEDs, and a three-metre pyramid. Incorporating live guitars, synths, and drums, they weave crowd-pleasing homages along with unique mixes of Daft Punk’s greatest hits.
In light of the recent split of the official robots, the equally mysterious ‘Daft Funk LIVE’ will continue to perform Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – their work is never over.
“…totally superb, an incredibly detailed performance giving you a Daft Punk explosion of sound & colour. ”

Sunday 23 April 2023

St George’s Day celebration: The Feelgood Band play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

The Feelgood Band

What better way to spend St George’s day? The welcome return of The Feelgood Band to Bedford Esquires?

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

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker

Keep Local news Alive in Bedfordshire