What’s on Bedford: 14 – 24 September 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 14 September 2023

Comedy: Tom Davis – Under Dog
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 8pm
Tickets: £21

Grab one of the few tickets still available to see Tom Davis live in Bedford. The star of King Gary, The Curse, Murder in Successville and podcast Wolf and Owl with Romesh Ranganathan is bringing his Under Dog show to the Corn Exchange.

Thursday 14 September 2023

Comedy: British Comedian of The Year: Bedford Heat
The Quarry Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £14

Castle Comedy and the Quarry Theatre host the British Comedian of the Year: Bedford Heat. This competition has the biggest comedy prize in the UK, a whopping £10,001.

This will be a special show where some of the UK’s best acts do their best 10-minute sets in the hope of going through to the final for the chance to win the mega cash prize! The standard of entrant has been outstanding, with established headliners putting themselves forward and some of the most exciting upcoming talent. The quality will be sky high.

Judging at each heat will be by you, the audience.

Friday 15 September – 11 October 2023

Exhibition: Bright Electric Beasts
The Arc, Howard Street @ seven days a week
Free entry

Local artist Mo Lea has produced a new body of work entitled ‘Bright Electric Beasts’. Each of the animals featured has been created using traditional pencil drawing techniques on textured paper, with additional digital enhancement.

Colours have been inverted, saturated and enhanced and Mo has made stunningly vibrant images that seem to glow on the dark backgrounds.

Come and enjoy the exhibition at The Arc emporium under Lurke Street car park. As a bonus you can grab a fresh coffee and some homemade cake while your browse.

Friday 15 September 2023

Live music: Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac tribute
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £24.50

A small number of tickets still available for Go Your Own Way – the brand new spellbinding show featuring the music from the legendary multiple Grammy Award-winning Fleetwood Mac.

The band’s rock n roll legacy is performed by a highly talented ensemble of musicians who take audiences on a powerful journey through Fleetwood Mac’s incredible song book.

Paying tribute to their “Rumours” line up of Stevie, Mick, John, Christine and Lindsey, you’ll hear hits including “Dreams”, “Don’t Stop”, “Everywhere”, “Rhiannon”, “Gold Dust Woman”, “Little Lies”, “Big Love” and many more.

Friday 15 September 2023

Theatre: Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15/£12

Laugh Out Loud Theatre Company take on two of Alan Bennett’s popular monologues from his ‘Talking Heads’ series.

Her Big Chance – Meet Lesley, an actress. She has just completed a video (‘targeted chiefly on West Germany’) in which she plays Travis, a career girl who enjoys life, spends a remarkable amount of time topless and shoots a man with a harpoon gun. She tells all, blind to the sinister undertones of her story as well as to her own self-delusions and gullibility. 

A Chip in the Sugar – Graham, a middle-aged bachelor, emotionally unintelligent and chronically dependent on his mother, finds life difficult enough at the best of times. When Mother meets an old flame and seems set to marry him, Graham’s old insecurities rear their ugly heads.

Alan Bennett is a master of observation and his plays explore the inner world of people, their hopes, fears and petty grievances. They are funny, poignant, relatable and sad at the same time and are as relevant as ever in today’s world.

Friday 15 September 2023

Live music: Joe Cullen
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm, bar opens at 6.00pm
Free entry

He rocked the place last time he played so it’s no surprise Joe is back at The Cellar Bar.  Playing covers by Ed Sheeran, The 1975, Oasis, Harry Styles, The Killers, Coldplay plus more…

Friday 15 September 2023

Comedy: Paul Zerdin – Puppetman
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

The America’s Got Talent winner is back with a brand-new comedy show for 2023. 

Join Paul and an array of ‘funny and sharp-tongued’ (The Observer) creations including Sam, Albert, Baby, Roger the bodyguard and an urban fox, as he takes to the road with a show which promises that ‘when you are not laughing, you will simply be left in awe’ (Three Weeks).

As seen on Lost Voice Guy’s Christmas Comedy Club (ITV), Michael McIntyre’s Big Show (BBC1), The Royal Variety Performance (ITV), and Tonight At The London Palladium (ITV).

Friday 15 September 2023

Live music: THE CUREHEADS + Siouxsie & The Budgiees
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14

Despite officially retiring in March 2023 The Cureheads have gone back on the road following the untimely passing on of their drummer Belle Star, deciding that “Life is too short to retire”.

September 2023 sees The Cureheads team up with England’s only tribute to Siouxsie & The Banshees to play several blockbuster shows around the UK and call into Bedford by public demand.

Saturday 16 September 2023

Magic: Morgan & West’s Massive Magic Show For Kids
The Quarry Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: £12.50/£10.50

Roll up, roll up! Morgan & West are back with a massive magic show for kids (and their childish grown-ups)! 

Expect gawps, gasps, and guffaws in this relentlessly funny and fantastical magic-filled extravaganza, guaranteed to delight those aged five and 105, and indeed everyone in between!

Morgan & West have shown their scientific skills in Unbelievable Science (national tour), brought good will to all with their Great Big Christmas Magic Show (national tour), attempted to escape The Slammer (CBBC), and even fooled Penn & Teller (ITV/CW Network).This season they’re hitting the road with their brand new magic show full of their trademark wit, whimsy, and wall-to-wall silliness.

Conjuring capers, mysterious magic tricks, larger than life laughs, and fantastic facial furniture all crammed into one hour of non-stop fun for all the family.

Saturday 16 September 2023

Live music: The Wandering Minstrels present – “The World of Gilbert and Sullivan”.
Blunham Parish Church @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 from shelaghashley@btinternet.com

‘The Wandering Minstrels’, one of the UK’s foremost G&S companies, present a great treat for Gilbert and Sullivan fans! Songs and scenes
from many of the Savoy Operas, including ‘HMS Pinafore’, ‘The Mikado’, ‘The Pirates of Penzance’, ‘The Yeomen of the Guard’, ‘The Gondoliers’, ‘Iolanthe’ and ‘Utopia, Limited’.

Don’t miss two hours of Savoy favourites, combining the biting wit of W. S. Gilbert and the enchanting music of Sir Arthur Sullivan, beautifully sung and presented in period costume. It promises to be a delightful evening!

Refreshments are available. Proceeds to Blunham Church.

Saturday 16 September 2023

Musical theatre: Cilla & the Swinging 60s
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15/£12

Cilla & The Swinging 60s stylishly celebrates the life and music of the legendary Cilla Black alongside a handpicked selection of her well-known contemporaries, including Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Petula Clark, The Beatles and many more.  

Starring the unforgettable voice (as seen on ITV and in the West End) of Sandy Smith as Cilla, the show will take you on a rollercoaster journey through many of the greatest pop songs of the 60s including Cilla’s own chart toppers ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’ “Alfie” and ‘You’re My World’.  

This show is selling out theatres around the country and the reviews speak for themselves.

Other great songs of the decade are featured including Dancing in the Street, Shout, Do You Love Me and Proud Mary – hit after hit and great music, dancing, singing and a huge smiling memory with the unforgettable Cilla Black.

Saturday 16 September 2023

Live music: Legend of Barry White – Let the Music Play
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £24.50

Direct from the USA comes this critically-acclaimed tribute to the legendary Barry White features the incredible vocalist William Hicks also known as “the big man with the big voice”

100 million records sold, 20 gold and 10 platinum singles – the world loves Barry White and Barry White loved the world.

You’re the First, the Last, My Everything; Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe; You See the Trouble with Me; Never, Never Gonna Give You Up; Just the Way You Are; What Am I Gonna Do With You and, of course, Let the Music Play… you’re never more than a song away from another million-selling hit.

William is joined on stage by his Soul Unlimited Orchestra and support comes from the stunning Motown trio The Supreme Dreamgirls.

“William’s vocal and deliverance is phenomenal and this show is simply stunning” Eddie Holland (Motown Legendary Songwriter Holland-Dozier-Holland).

Saturday 16 September 2023

Live music: Five Five Six
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

They are back!

If you’ve not seen Five Five Six at The Cellar Bar before, you are in for a treat, get ready for a great night of legendary rock tunes.  The Cellar Bar literally rocks when these guys play!

Saturday 16 September 2023

Live music: The Style Councillors
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm

The Style Councillors are the world’s one and only tribute to The Style Council.

Formed in 2013 by Darren Fletcher (Paul Weller) and Steve Hayes (Mick Talbot), The Style Councillors have quickly built a loyal fanbase for the group which was Paul Weller’s home for the majority of the 1980’s and where he wrote some of his finest songs. Dani Clay (Dee C. Lee) and Craig Read (Steve White) are joined by the Bad Manners Horn Section and a stellar line up of musicians hell-bent on recreating the sound of The Style Council.

After the dissolution of The Jam in 1982, Paul Weller joined forces with Mick Talbot, formerly of The Merton Parkas, Dexys Midnight Runners and The Bureau, to form The Style Council. The band released a string of succesful singles between 1983-1989 such as Speak Like a Child, Money-Go-Round, Long Hot Summer, My Ever Changing Moods, You’re The Best Thing, Shout To The Top, Walls Come Tumbling Down, A Solid Bond In Your Heart, Come To Milton Keynes, The Lodgers, Why I Went Missing, and more.

Sunday 17 September 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

Bedford Town Centre from above
Bedford Town Centre Image: Bedford Borough Council

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 17 September 2023

Live music: Hits from the Blitz
Quarry Theatre @ 3pm
Tickets: £16.50

The Quarry Theatre will be swinging along to the “Hits from the Blitz” show when this unique “feel-good” 1940’s show, as featured at Dame Vera Lynn’s Charity Gala Nights, comes to town.

War-time tunes & “sing-a-longs” are brought to life by the singers and multi-instrumentalists of the “Five Star Swing” band, featuring Simone from the latter days of the Ivy Benson Orchestra plus Chris Smith (Jnr) composer and arranger for Glenn Miller’s Brother, Herb and the BBC Radio Big Band.

Sunday 17 September 2023

Theatre: StageWrite Autumn 2023
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: Pay what you can £3 – £15

StageWrite is a hothouse for the development of new writing for theatre, designed to help plays grow from page to performance. It supports writers in the process of getting their work up on its feet and in front of an audience for the very first time.  

Plays are performed script in hand to allow for a more developed experience than a rehearsed reading (where actors simply read the play out loud). 

StageWrite presents two plays over the course of one evening, performed by professional actors, 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.  Every time StageWrite happens, it’s different – the nature of profiling brand new work!  

Suitable for 16+

Monday 18 – Tuesday 19 September 2023

Theatre: Candlelit Macbeth
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15/£12

“Something wicked this way comes”

Set in the 11th century and faithful to Shakespeare’s text this retelling centres on the witches and their thirst for revenge. They choose a champion to challenge the Christian kings and Macbeth answers the call.

“Is this a dagger I see before me”

Murder, poetry and sword fighting combine as the tale unfolds using candle light to ignite the imagination and chill the soul. Things are about to get very dark indeed.

Macbeth is brought to life by this talented and enthralling story-telling company, igniting the imagination with poetry, sound-scapes, shadows and movement. Faithful to the text and famous Shakespeare characters. Suitable for those studying the play at GCSE as well as lovers of the Bard.

Tuesday 19 September 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 cello recital by Riccardo Pes. Free with a retiring collection.

Wednesday 20 September 2023

Family storytime: Jackastory
The Place Theatre @ 10.30am
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. 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 in an intimate and friendly atmosphere, on a mound of comfortable cushions!

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

Wednesday 20 September 2023

Drag: Fanny’oke and Boozy Bingo
The Cellar Bar @ 8pm
Free entry

Fanny Burns is back and ready to entertain! She will be hosting her regular 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.

Wednesday 20 September 2023

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

Norma Desmond, an aging silent film queen (Gloria Swanson) refuses to accept that her stardom has ended in this classic Billy Wilder black comedy.

Sunset Boulevard is the latest in Cinema at 3 St Peters’ LA season.

Thursday 21 September 2023

Quiz: 50 Years of Hip Hop Quiz
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
£2/person, maximum of six per team (age 16+ due to bad words)

Head to Esquires for a celebration of 50 years of Hip Hop, with the venue head honcho, Gareth running his first ever quiz (go gentle…)!
The quiz will cover the full spectrum of Hip Hop, from its inception through to modern day (although we all know the last 10 years or so has been pretty terrible)…

So, do you know your Tribe Called Quest from your Biggy? Do you know what the four elements are? Test your Hip Hop knowledge across varying rounds of difficulty and take home some tasty cash and drinks prizes in return.

Thursday 21 September 2023

Community: Death Cafe
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Free to attend

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.

Thursday 21 September 2023

Talk: Skeptics in the Pub presents – Designing A City
North End Social Club, Roff Avenue @ 7.30pm
Pay What You Can

As Assistant Chief Architect at the Milton Keynes Development Corporation, Tony Mackay was responsible for the design of commercial, leisure and housing projects from inception to completion for over a decade.

In his talk, Tony will explain the design and execution of the Milton Keynes masterplan as well as his experiences in shaping the design of the new Chinese city of Songjiang near Shanghai.

Tony is also an artist having exhibited in London, Copenhagen, Liverpool and Shanghai and a founder of the Eagle Gallery, Bedford.

Thursday 21 September 2023

Theatre: Dog/Actor
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14.50/£12.50

Two explosive and comedic short plays written by Steven Berkoff, performed back-to-back by the same one actor.

The first play: DOG follows a day in the life of a racist football hooligan and his beloved pitbull terrier, Roy, who changes his life. The second play: ACTOR is a spoken word monologue which delves into the heart of the acting industry, humorously and poignantly portraying the trying life of a struggling artist.

Without the use of any set or props, DOG/ACTOR presents a masterclass in physical theatre and comedic storytelling, promising a thrilling theatrical experience.

Friday 22 and Saturday 23 September 2023

Families: Roald Dahl and the Imagination Seekers
The Place Theatre @ 10.30am, 1.30pm, 4.30pm (Friday) and 10.30am, 1pm (Saturday)
Tickets: £8

Get Lost & Found and The Roald Dahl Story Company is proud to present the UK tour of Roald Dahl and the Imagination Seekers.

Direct from an acclaimed tour of the Australia this brilliant family show celebrates Roald Dahlʼs extraordinary stories from The BFG to The Twits – and many more along the way.

Somehow, Roald Dahl’s words are mysteriously disappearing – not only from books, but children’s minds too! Luckily, the top-secret Ancient Guild of Taletenders have come to the rescue: join them for fun interactive games, immersive storytelling, and some theatrical magic to help save these stories forever!

Especially made for ages six and up, the show is an immersive and interactive performance, involving games and imaginative play.

Friday 22 September 2023

Live music: Lord Baker Soul & Ska Show
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm/doors open at 6pm
Free entry

An incredible Soul and Ska show that will get you dancing from the first song. Lord Baker really knows how to entertain and we guarantee you will not be disappointed! 

Friday 22 September 2023

Live music: The Total Stone Roses
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15/£17.50

The UK’s BEST Stone Roses Tribute return to the stage at Esquires. If you love I Am The Resurrection, Made Of Stone, Fools Gold, Waterfall, She Bangs The Drums and many more then do not miss this chance to hear your favourite Stone Roses anthems performed live by the UK’s finest tribute.

Saturday 23 September 2023

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers weekly walk
Kempston Mill, MK42 7FB @ 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)

A 6.8 miles moderate circular walk beginning and ending at Kempston Mill.

Saturday 23 September 2023

Live Music: Sophia Soul
The Cellar Bar at 8pm/ doors open at 6pm
Free entry. 

The wonderful Sophia Soul will be appearing at The Cellar Bar this week. A modern-day diva, Sophia Soul has had an outstanding career in live vocals spanning over 14 years. Having previously been the frontwoman for several successful groups and bands, she’s currently taking the UK by storm venturing into her solo career.

Saturday 23 September 2023

Live music: An evening with Fynnius Fogg
The Place Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £15/£12

For the band Fynnius Fogg’s 50th Anniversary, they are holding charity music events across the UK. Come and support them and a worthy cause. 

Saturday 23 September 2023

Live music: A Flock of Seagulls + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £22

As part of their UK tour, Bedford Esquiers has secured a rare date with 80’s futuristic legends A Flock of Seagulss this month.

The band is now recognized as a pioneering act, capturing the zeitgeist of their time, particularly with multi-layered hits such as Space Age Love Song, Telecommunication and Modern Love is Automatic.

Massive success in the USA has kept the band Stateside over the years with the UK very often overlooked on the touring front so to secure a show for Bedford Esquires is great news for the venue and the legion of the band’s fans.

Saturday 23 September 2023

Comedy: Joe Avati – When I Was Your Age
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 8pm
Tickets: £25

In Joe Avati’s hilarious new show he asks you to leave your political correctness at the door. Internationally renowned for his inimitable style Avati is a master of treading the very fine line saying what everyone is thinking but no one dares to say whilst not resorting to the use of profanities or vulgar shock tactic routines.

In his latest offering ‘When I Was Your Age’ he tackles the ‘then versus now’ generational differences of today’s children, the complexities of modern day parenting compared to the strict upbringing of yesteryear and threaded throughout all of this he tackles the minefield of cancel culture, the woke brigade and why people are over political correctness.

His observations are not only deadly accurate but extremely relatable to all ages. This is a show for all the family. Bring your kids so they know what it was like when you were their age, bring your parents to highlight how much they have changed since they were your age and bring your friends to laugh and reminisce about growing up as teenagers when you were that age.

Sunday 24 September 2023

Walking: “The Jewel in Bedford’s Crown” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £3/£1.50

The River Great Ouse, Bedford: The Swan hotel and the town's famous swans.
The River Great Ouse, Bedford: The Swan hotel and the town’s famous swans.

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.

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

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 7 January 2024

Exhibition: Quilla Constance – Teasing Out Contingencies
The Higgins Bedford until January 2024
Free entry

Don’t miss your chance to see eight new large-scale paintings and a costume installation by Bedford artist Quilla Constance (also known as QC) at The Higgins Bedford until 7 January 2024.

As British society becomes increasingly polarised, this exhibition seeks to cross social borders, confront stereotyping, and challenge gender, racial and class inequalities.

QC states “Teasing Out Contingencies seeks to create exciting new narratives to explore: what is British society now and where are we going?” – These are timely questions as we emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic, and as we re-examine our relationship with the British monarchy in the wake of the Queen’s passing and the Coronation of King Charles III.

Read more here: Don’t miss the Teasing Out Contingencies exhibition at The Higgins Bedford

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

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