What’s on Bedford: 13 – 23 October 2022


We have got a packed guide this week, with a brand new exhibition at the Higgins, spooktacular cabaret at Esquires, some stellar live music whatever your genre, plus a round-up of things to do over half term, thanks to the team at Explore Bedford.

Diaries at the ready…


Thursday 13 October 2022

Dance: Latin Dance Class with Carman
3 St Peter’s @ 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Tickets: £4 members / £7.50 non-members

Latin Dance Class with Carman at 3 St Peter’s Street. No partner required. Freestyle dance session following the class.

Thursday 13 October 2022

Drama Workshop: Monologue Roulette
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £5

Do you want to feel more confident holding the stage?
Try playing different characters?
Have a laugh?

Then come along to our Monologue Roulette workshop held in the theatre at The Place.
We will have a group vocal warm-up and then split into smaller groups to try out the monologue you have been given in a lucky dip. At the end of the evening you will be given the chance to perform in the larger group.

Thursday 13 October 2022

Comedy: Griff Rhys Jones: Work in Progress
The Quarry Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: from £12.50

Griff Rhys Jones returns to the Quarry Theatre!

Join the star of Not The Nine O’Clock News, Smith & Jones, and Three Men In A Boat as he returns to the stage with an hour of stories, anecdotes, reminiscences and outright lies – all in the name of comedy.

Friday 14 October 2022

Live music: Dreadzone + guests
Bedford Esquires @
Tickets: £22.50

Fast approaching their 30th anniversary, Dreadzone are an unstoppable force who have long been, and still are, one of the best live bands around with a loyal and ever-growing fanbase due in part to their storming and energetic live shows.

“A feast of bass heavy dubwise danceability” Clash

Saturday 15 October 2022

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

Some of the most well-loved British artists of the 20th and 21st centuries feature in a new exhibition at the Higgins Bedford on Castle Lane this autumn.

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

Saturday 15 October 2022

Food and drink: Vegan Streetfest
Harpur Square @ 10.30am – 4pm

The Bedford Vegan Streetfest will take over Harpur Square, right in the centre of the town for the first time this month.

The event will feature live music, a vegan bar and a variety of vegan street food, artisan bakes, craft cheeses, handmade cosmetics, ethical clothing & jewellery, arts & crafts and charity stalls, all created by a handpicked selection of talented, ethical and sustainable businesses.

Saturday 15 October 2022

Community: Festival of Lights
John Bunyan Centre @ 4pm – 8pm
Free entry

Bedford’s Indian community is inviting everyone to join their 12th annual Festival of Lights, based around the Diwali festival.

The free event features singing, dancing, stalls, Henna, face painting and free children’s activities.

Organised by the Bedford Indian Community, there will be authentic cuisines from North and South India as well as Bollywood performances and Bhangra group, Munde Punjab De.

Saturday 15 October 2022

Music: A Century of Swing
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £22

Join the UK’s hardest swinging band Down for the Count for “one hellova celebration of vintage music” (TimeOut London) as they celebrate A Century of Swing.

You’ll hear instrumental songs from the likes of Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller and vocal classics from singers such as Nat ‘King’ Cole and Ella Fitzgerald, all presented with Down for the Count’s own unmistakable brand of wit and humour.

Saturday 15 October 2022

Live music: Annual Come & Sing
St Andrew’s Church, Kimbolton Road @ 7.30pm
Tickets: Singers: £10 / Audience: £12

Singers Registration 1.45pm
Rehearsal 2.30pm – 5.00pm
Performance 7.30pm

Our Come and Sing is a favourite in the St Andrews’ calendar, offering a chance for singers from far and wide to join in music making, rehearsing and performing a work in one day under the expert guidance of conductor Ian Smith.

If performing is not your thing, why not come and listen to the results?

The evening will be introduced with a talk from Dr Lucy Walker, Director of Public Programming and Learning at the Britten-Pears Foundation.

Saturday 15 October 2022

Live music: Gemma Rogers + Annie & Geary
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £8

Variously compared to Kirsty MacColl, Ian Dury, Lily Allen and more, the London post-punk indie artist’s debut LP is packed with her own authentic style of witty, talky, mischievous lyrics and catchy melodies from the perky to wistfully emotional.

Saturday 15 October 2022

Cabaret: Gothica Cabaret
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £12

Extravaganza is back!

Presented by Bedford’s own glamour ghoul, Ginger Snaps, the show features a full length headline set by ‘funeral rock’ act The Dark who merge elements of 90’s hard rock/metal and EDM with a glam goth flare.

Ginger’s drag spawn Edgar Allen Hoe is back, joined by pole queen Amethyst Allure, award-winning drag performer Mild Peril plus a stunning and spooky performance by Kinetic Vibes Dance Academy.

Put on your finest for our legendary best dressed competition!

Sunday 16 October 2022

3 St Peter’s Street @ 11am – 3pm
Deposit: £12.50

A relaxing start to your Sunday listening to great music, enjoying delicious food in a refined location.

Sunday 16 October 2022

Music: Bedfordshire Festival of Music Speech and Drama Centenary Concert
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 2.30pm
Tickets: £5 / £2.50 / under 10s free

This very special concert celebrates 100 years of the Bedfordshire Festival, showcasing some of the finest talent that the Festival has seen compete in its 100-year history.

From West End actors to world-renowned musicians, the centenary celebration will welcome back Festival performers from the past, but will also feature rising stars who have competed in the latest Festivals and who are ones to watch in the future.

The concert will also celebrate the diversity of talent that Bedfordshire has to offer, featuring performances from local choirs, musicians young and old and the next generation of budding actors.

Sunday 16 October 2022

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

The all-female group play their first Sunday Afternoon Session at Esquires.

Monday 17 October 2022

Film: Bedford Film Society presents: The Duke
Main Theatre, University of Bedfordshire, Polhilll Avenue @ 7.30pm
Tickets: Season membership £69/day membership £5/free parking

In 1961, Kempton Bunton, a 60-year-old taxi driver, stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London.

It was the first (and remains the only) theft in the Gallery’s history. Kempton sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly.

What happened next became the stuff of legend. Only 50 years later did the full story emerge…Kempton had spun a web of lies. The only truth was that he was a good man, determined to change the world and save his marriage. How and why he used the Duke to achieve that is a wonderfully uplifting tale.

Tuesday 18 October 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 Samuel Finch, Flute.

Free with retiring collection (suggested donation: £5)

Wednesday 19 March 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!

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

Thursday 20 October 2022

Community Support: Death Cafe
The Place Theatre @ 5.3pm
Tickets: Free

A Death Café is an informal monthly 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.

Thursday 20 October 2022

Shopping: Christmas in October
The Arc, Howard Street @ 5pm

Kick off Christmas in style at The Arc for their annual October launch event.

Too early? We’ll leave you to tell Gemma that…

The pink Christmas tree will be in pride of place, the glitter balls will be spinning and the fizz will be flowing. A sneak peek at the Arc’s Christmas stock, smash burgers from Crown and Heel and some special treats from the Gallery Bakehouse.

Thursday 20 October 2022

Comedy: Omid Djalili: The Good Times Tour
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 8pm
Tickets: £25

Intelligent, always provocative, and entertaining, Omid’s legendary stand-up performance is a captivating comedy masterclass.

His credits range from Hollywood films to television and the West End stage. Earning praise across the world for his performances, Omid is seen hosting his own ITV quiz show The Winning Combination.

He appeared in the smash hit Mama Mia 2: Here We Go Again, His Dark Materials for BBC1 & HBO, and Letter For The King on Netflix. Omid also gained rave reviews for his leading role of Tevvye in the Chichester Festival Theatre production of “Fiddler On The Roof”.

Thursday 20 October 2022

Classical music: Piano recital by Steven Osborne
Bedford Girls’ School @ 7.45pm
Tickets: £18/£14/£5/£2

The international award-winning pianist Steven Osborne, “one of Britain’s most treasured musicians” launches Bedford Music Club’s 2022/23 season with a superb programme of French and Russian music with a  composition of his own that reveals his love of jazz improvisation.

Debussy Études (Book I)

Debussy Étude retrouvée (1915)

Debussy Études (Book II)

Osborne Improvisation on a Theme by Keith Jarrett

Rachmaninov Piano Sonata No.1 in D minor, Op.28

Thursday 20 October 2022

Live music: Daddy Long Legs
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £12.50
Daddy Long Legs – New York City’s most explosive Rhythm & Blues street gang – aren’t back, they never left.

Now the boys make their highly anticipated post-pandemic return to the UK + EU in October and unveil their new killer four-piece format with Dave Klein on Piano who joins the original lineup of Brian Hurd (Lead Vocals/Blues Harp) Murat Aktürk (Guitars/Vocals) and Josh Styles (Drums/Maracas).

Friday 21 October 2022

Theatre: Red Planet: Revolutions
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14/£11

It’s 2222 and the human settlement on Mars has finally declared its independence from Earth.
In this new dawn on the Red Planet, you have been chosen to help lead your people to the future. The decisions you make now will shape your planet’s history for generations to come. No pressure…
Red Planet: Revolution is an award-nominated interactive theatre game from Upstart Theatre. Fun and thought-provoking, this show invites you to build your very own future society – and challenges you to preserve it. You’ll face down political opponents and defend your citizens against natural disasters, as you lead the people of Mars into an uncertain future.

Told using music, sound design, two facilitators and light-weight technology, Red Planet: Revolution gives audiences the opportunity to expand their imagination, reigniting their strengths as individuals and a collective, and inspiring them to think about what they are capable of.

Friday 21 October 2022

Live music: One Night in Texas
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £25

Featuring an all-live fiddle and banjo-headed band with male and female lead vocals and packed with more songs than you can shake a stetson at, this country music extravaganza will have you (line) dancing in the aisles.

Why not dust off those boots and spurs and come and join us for a night full of country hits from the likes of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, George Strait, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Garth Brooks, The Mavericks, Billy Ray Cyrus, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson and many many more.

Friday 21 October 2022

Live music: Actors + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £13

From Vancouver, Canada, ACTORS electrify with a modern take on post-punk. On debut full-length It Will Come to You, anthemic songs evoke the urgency of early-80s U2 (Boy, October, War) as well as the driving, synth-drenched scores that emanated from the era’s movie screens.

Friday 21 October 2022

Live music: Courting + Ugly
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £12

Liverpool four-piece, Courting, head to Esquires, with support from Ugly.

Saturday 22 October 2022

Environment: Bedford Repair Cafe
The Place Theatre @ 11am – 3pm
Free entry but booking essential

All hands on deck
The Bedford Repair Cafe volunteers are back to help you fix your broken stuff. Bring your broken bikes, clothes, sewing machines, garden equipment, and electricals, or come along to learn more about repair and maintenance.

Booking is essential to help the repairers manage the day. Everything they do is free but donations are welcome to help divert more things from landfill and run future events.

Saturday 22 October 2022

Live music: Last Chance Ragtime Band Quartet
The Wellington Arms @ 8pm
Free entry

The pub piano has been tuned, Crown and Heel burgers will be grilling in the yard and the town’s finest real ale will be flowing. Good times guaranteed.

Saturday 22 October 2022
Live music: Stone Foundation
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £22

The seeds of British modern soul band Stone Foundation were sown in the early ’90s when Neil Sheasby and Neil Jones met.
Over the years they’ve collaborated with Paul Weller, Nolan Porter, Graham Parker, Carleen Anderson, Mick Talbot, Kathryn Williams, Laville, Melba Moore, Hamish Stuart, Dr. Robert from the Blow Monkeys and more.


Saturday 22 October 2022

Classical Music: Bedford Sinfonia Concert
St Andrew’s Church, Kimbolton Road @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £16/£15/£6

Piano Soloist: Paul Searle-Barnes

Conductor: Michael Rose / Piano Soloist: Paul Searle-Barnes

Mozart: Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 (Haffner)
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major, Op. 102
Haydn: Symphony No. 99 in E flat Major

Bedford Sinfonia opens its 2022/23 season with a performance at St. Andrew’s Church, Bedford of Mozart’s Symphony No. 35, composed in 1782 and known as the Haffner after having been commissioned by the Haffners, a prominent Salzburg family.

This is followed by Shostakovich’s second Piano Concerto, written as a showcase for his 19-year-old son, Maxim.

It will be performed on this occasion by Paul Searle-Barnes, an international soloist, and Director of Music at St. Andrew’s Church, Bedford. The programme ends with Haydn’s Symphony No. 99 in E flat major, the seventh of his twelve London symphonies, written in 1793 in Vienna in anticipation of his second trip to London.

Saturday 22 October

Live music: The Upbeat Beatles
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm

The Upbeat Beatles are second to none – powerhouse vocals, precision harmonies and tight musicianship.

The guys have an easy, happy rapport with any crowd, giving them a reputation to be envied as the best in the business.

There isn’t a band to touch them – 8 bars of “Twist and Shout” and you will know why! No other band can perform this song like The Upbeat Beatles!

The show takes you through the Fab Four’s long and winding road from the early Cavern days through Beatlemania, America, Sergeant Pepper to Abbey Road, with narrative and full multi-media presentation.

If you love The Beatles you’ll love this show, and if you don’t love The Beatles you’ll love this show!

For this event you can book a Circle seat with the option of dancing down on the floor.  If you book a standing ticket, this may not guarantee a seat in the circle.

Sunday 23 October 2022

Live music: Pasadena Roof Orchestra
The Quarry Theatre @ 4.30pm
Tickets: £24

With an unparalleled reputation across the UK, Europe and beyond, for over 50 years the Pasadena Roof Orchestra have been re-creating the sounds of a golden era of music from the 1920s and 1930s to widespread acclaim.

Enjoy beautifully arranged songs from Irving Berlin, Ray Noble, Cole Porter and their contemporaries and re-live the electrifying hot jazz from Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington.

Presenting the show, and putting on the top hat and tails, is the suave singer and band leader Duncan Galloway.  So pack up your troubles, come on get happy, and experience an evening of superlative  live music,  with more than a dash of wit and humour.

Sunday 23 October 2022

Live music: The Orb
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £25

One of the pioneering acts in dance music history, The Orb are visiting some of their favourite intimate UK venues to perform a greatest hits set live alongside the seminal album U.F.Orb in full for its 30th Anniversary.

Expect a wide set, stretching back as far as 1991’s ‘The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld’ all the way to the newest release, 2021’s Abolition Of The Royal Familia.

What’s on this half term…
Thanks to the team at Explore Bedford, here’s a comprehensive list of what’s on during the October half-term. Spooktacular Halloween events, escape rooms, family-friendly theatre, craft workshops and pumpkin patches galore!
Read the full listing at the Explore Bedford blog 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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