What’s on Bedford: 15 – 25 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.

Thursday 15 February 2024

Dancing: Planet Swing with Raineys Ragtime Five
Wixams Dance Hall, Wixams Retirement Village, Bedford Road, Bedford, MK42 6EA. 8pm – 10.30pm
Tickets: £12.99

An evening of Swing and Blues at Planet Swing, Wixams Retirement Village.

7.15pm – 8pm – Balboa dance Class – £8
Raineys Ragtime Five with Sam Kelly five-time UK blues drummer of the year – playing a mix of swing and blues. Suitable for dancers and non-dancers alike.

Thursday 15 February 2024

Bedford Skeptics in the Pub: Whooping cough vaccines: a century of good science and bad with David Miles
North End Social Club, Roff Avenue @ 7.30pm
Free entry with suggested donation

A hundred years ago, whooping cough killed more than one in every hundred children born in Europe.

Eighty years ago, two women in Grand Rapids, Michigan, developed the vaccine that stopped it. All it took was years of working evenings and weekends, an army of volunteer healthcare workers and lab technicians funded by donations from local businesses.

Fifty years ago, their whooping cough vaccine was at the centre of a scare that ushered in the modern antivaccine movement.

The story of the whooping cough vaccine is a story of good science, bad science and of the limitations of science when applied to anything as complicated as human beings.

David Miles is an infectious disease immunologist who has worked mostly on diseases of childhood in Africa and the vaccinations that protect against them. He now lives in London and tutors on the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s online MSc course. His first popular science book, How Vaccines Work, will be published in March 2023. He is on Twitter as @Variolator.

Thursday 15 February 2024

Comedy: Simon Munnery – Jerusalem tour warm-up show
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

Described by Stewart Lee as ‘one of the all-time great British stand-ups’, Simon Munnery will be at Esquires this month, performing a truly unique stand-up show.

Using William Blake’s poem (B-side to the English National Anthem) and The Fall’s take on it as a springboard, Simon endeavours to serve up satire, comedy and poetry with one eye on the distant past, and the other locked laser-like on the future. As he says, it’s clearly a recipe for disaster, but what’s wrong with that? Something will come of it and you can call it art.

Thursday 15 February 2024

National Theatre Live: Dear England
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: £15

Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale) plays Gareth Southgate in James Graham’s (Sherwood) gripping examination of nation and game.
The country that gave the world football has since delivered a painful pattern of loss. Why can’t England’s men win at their own game?

With the worst track record for penalties in the world, Gareth Southgate knows he needs to open his mind and face up to the years of hurt, to take team and country back to the promised land. Filmed live on stage at the National Theatre.

Friday 16 February 2024

Exhibition and talk: Life Through Windows
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: pay what you can

An exhibition of work by a photographer taken during her daily permitted hourly exercise will open at the Place Theatre on Bradgate Road next week (15 February).

Between 24 March and 13 May 2020, Bedford-based photographer, Chiara Mac Call visited families via their windows and doorways, taking portraits from the pavement to capture that unique moment in time, when the world was in lockdown.

For the first time, the images will be exhibited together in an exhibition entitled Life Through Windows and to launch the event, Chiara will be in conversation with arts producer, Jo Hudson-Lett, to talk about the project.

Live music at the event will be provided by local Americana singer-songwriter, Kris Wilkinson-Hughes performing as My Girl the River.

Read: Exhibition of lockdown photography project opens at The Place Theatre

The exhibition, Life Through Windows, is at the Place Theatre, Bradgate Road, Bedford MK40 3DE from 15 February until 31 March and is free to view during thetare opening times.

Friday 16 February 2024

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

Made up of members of Jam69 and Popscene, two of the areas most well established and regarded covers bands, The Polaroidz make their debut at The Cellar Bar this week.

Playing Post Punk, Indie, New Wave and Synth-Pop they explore the hinterland between punk and Britpop.

Bands covered range from Simple Minds to The Smiths, The Cure to The Cult, Echo and the Bunnymen to Adam and The Ants, Big Country to The Pretenders, The Police to U2, Tears for Fears to The Teardrop Explodes, Duran Duran to Depeche Mode, plus New Order, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Blondie, Kraftwerk, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Gary Numan, OMD, Human League, The Thompson Twins, Soft Cell, Talking Heads, Joy Division, The Eurythmics, A-Ha, Blancmange, Altered Images and many more.

Saturday 17 February 2024

Exhibition: Edward Bawden & Me
The Higgins Bedford until
Free entry

Sussex Lustreware are among the featured artists at the Edward Bawden & Me exhibition at the Higgins from 17 February. Image: The Higgins Bedford
Edward Bawden & Me is on at the Higgins from 17 February. Image: The Higgins Bedford

Brand new work by some of the biggest names in contemporary British art, illustration and textiles will be on display at a new exhibition opening at the Higgins Bedford this month in celebration of the work of one of Britain’s most inventive and influential artists.

Entitled Edward Bawden & Me, the exhibition has been curated by Bawden’s good friend, illustrator and printmaker, Chris Brown and also features work by local artists’ collective, the Circus of Illustration.

Read: Star-studded new Edward Bawden exhibition opens at the Higgins Bedford

You can also read the full article in the February issue of The Bedford Clanger.

Saturday 17 – Sunday 18 February 2024

Hobbies: Bedford Tabletop Expo 2
Bedford Internatioal Athletics Statdium @ 10am – 5pm (Saturday) 10am – 4pm (Sunday)
Tickets: £12

Bedford’s first Tabletop Expo in January 2023 saw over 1,000 attendees and for 2024 there is the opportunity to greet even more hobbyists, modellers, gamers and painters than ever before.

This year’s venue is six times larger than the previous Expo, with more space for traders, participation games, displays, exhibits, competitions and workshops. There is a dedicated Bring and Buy room, on-site bar and new additions like historical reenactments, model railway displays and cosplay/LARPing features.

Browse over 30 trade stands and pick up everything you need for your tabletop gaming and miniature building. Marvel at handmade displays, miniatures and not-so-miniatures from local clubs and hobbyists. See multiple miniature railway displays from local enthusiasts. Race a 1/12th scale model car around the track! Play games designed to help children with puzzle solving, social skills and other educational elements. Make a donation to charity and paint some models of your own! Jump on a hosted or open table and play wargames, boardgames or RPGs with anyone you like. Try out a wargame, learn a new boardgame and find out more about the clubs that exist in Bedford. Join in with Lorcana, Pokemon, MTG or Yugioh and win some prizes! Painting, Diorama and Cosplay Competitions: Show off your skills and win a trophy!

We recommend allowing a visit of at least 2-3 hours to take in the whole expo.

There will also be evening entertainment on Saturday night with early access VIP tickets for that morning. Full details on the website.

Saturday 17 February 2024

Craft activity: Printing at the Panacea
The Panacea Museum @ 11-12, 12-1pm and 2-3pm
Free entry but booking here

Join local artist Anne-Marie Abbate to make art on the Panacea Museum’s incredible antique printing press.

Taking inspiration from the current exhibition, visitors will be printing onto linen handkerchiefs – bless you!

Suitable for ages 6- 96.

Saturday 17 February 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Colmworth Golf Club MK44 2AP @ 1pm

This 6.8mile walk takes you through Colmworth towards Begwary.

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

Saturday 17 February 2024

Live music: TEACH YRSELF WAH! – The Best of Pete Wylie and the Mighty WAH!
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £21.50

After last year’s sellout tour, The Mighty Wah! Is back, bigger and better. A tour, a celebration of a storied life and career, and songs that say something – and a double vinyl LP that covers all that and more.

There’ll be great music, tall tales (all true!), and the fantastic voice and guitar of Pete Wylie. Just ask The Clash, The KLF, U2, and a cast of thousands…

For fans of: Frankie, The Clash, Echo & The Bunnymen

Saturday 17 February 2024

Party Night: Abba’s Angels
Addison Centre, Kempston,  MK42 8PN @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £17.50

Live music returns to the Addison Centre with one of the UK’s premier tribute bands – ABBA’S ANGELS – four superbly talented professional singers and musicians performing a fantastic tribute to one of the most iconic bands ever.   

No holograms, no karaoke just ninety minutes of their greatest hits with dance floor fillers before and after to keep you on the dance floor all night.  Everybody needs an excuse to party and this is it.  Glam up, dress up, put on your boots and dance the night away!   

Saturday 17 February 2024

Folk Music: Keith James (UNICEF Syrian Children Appeal): Music of Yusuf Cat Stevens
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £18

During the early 1970s, the amassed body of music from this hugely popular and sincerely loved singer/songwriter made for a collection of ‘must have’ records across a whole generation. Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were on everyone’s turntables and on every radio station, live versions are played in concerts, bars and on beaches to this day. Songs such as Wild World, Father and
Son, Moonshadow and Where do the Children play have been covered by hundreds of artists worldwide. 

Keith James, a long-standing and well-respected concert performer, reflects on the timeless and insightful music of Cat Stevens, from his early pop career, life-threatening illness and spiritual journey around a performance of his beautifully-crafted and memorable songs. 

This concert will give you far more than just the music itself. There is a huge amount of insight into the history and the spirit of Cat Stevens: his early pop career and the illness that changed him existentially and spiritually into an incredibly thoughtful and loving singer songwriter, such that his songs are remembered instantly for their uplifting sense of vision, truth and human fragility.

Saturday 17 February 2024

Live music: As Everything Unfolds + Guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £13

Ignoring traditional genre boundaries with their distinctive sound, As Everything Unfolds have aspired to create a unique listening experience, combining a multitude of genres within the alternative realm and beyond.

As Everything Unfolds have been nominated for a Heavy Music Award and have appeared at European festivals including Download Festival, Graspop, Rock For People, Full Force, and shared stages with Enter Shikari, Wargasm, Holding Absence and many more.

For fans of: Paramore, Fall Out Boy, Evanescence

Saturday 17 February 2024

Comedy: Simon Brodkin: Screwed Up (Warm Up Show)
The Quarry Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £17.50

Simon Brodkin Image: Avalon
Simon Brodkin Image: Avalon

Join the world-famous prankster, Lee Nelson creator and now the most viewed British stand-up comedian on TikTok, Simon Brodkin, as he warms up for his UK tour, including two huge shows at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. In ‘Screwed Up’Simon rips into celebrity culture, social media, the police, Putin and Prince Andrew.

Nothing is off limits in this hilarious show, including his own mental health, his family, his five arrests and how he once found himself at an underground sex party.

Sunday 18 February 2024

Live music: U18’s Open Mic
The Cellar Bar @ 5pm – 7.00pm / bar opens at 4.30pm
Free entry

The Cellar Bar is throwing its doors open to the next generation of Bedford musicians, with a dedicated junior open mic session for under 18s.

Whether you sing, play guitar, drums, or any other musical instrument, or are a band already, you are welcome to take part. It’s a chance for you to perform on a stage in front of an audience with a full pa, drum kit, amps, lighting.

Hosted by none other than Mat Roberts, Mat will be on hand to offer support and advice, as well as doing a few jam sessions of his own.

Under 18’s are welcome in the bar from 5.00pm until 9.00pm on Sundays for Junior Open Mic.

Sunday 18 February 2024

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

Live music as Esquires’ Sunday Afternoon Session from The Vinyl Frontier.

Monday 19 February 2024

Film: Bedford Film Society presents – The Great Escaper
The University of Bedford, Polhill Avenue @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £69/annual membership, £5/day guest

Based on a true story, Michael Caine plays Bernard Jordan who in 2014, absconded from his care home in Hove to attend an event in France marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Visit the Bedford Film Society website to sign up to become an annual member (£69/year). Alternatively, anyone can turn up before showtime (7.30pm) and pay £5 on the door as a non-member.

Monday 19 February 2024

Games: Board game night
The Cellar Bar @ 7pm
Free entry

Head to the Cellar Bar for the first and third Monday of the month for a night of fun and (board) games.

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. If you have a favourite game, bring it with you!

“We don’t take ourselves too seriously; we’re a friendly bunchand provide a safe environment, so even if you just want to come and say hello, we’d love to see you.”

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Local history: Seasonal reopening of the John Bunyan Museum
John Bunyan Museum, Mill Street @ Tuesday to Saturday 11.00am – 4.00pm
Free entry

The John Bunyan Museum reopens for the 2024 season on 20 February. Image: John Bunyan Museum
The John Bunyan Museum reopens for the 2024 season on 20 February. Image: John Bunyan Museum

The John Bunyan Museum in Bedford will reopen for the 2024 season this month, with a new-look gift shop and entrance.

Situated next to the Bunyan Meeting on Mill Street, the museum tells the fascinating story of the Bedford man who wrote The Pilgrim’s
Progress, one of the greatest novels in the English language.

Read: John Bunyan Museum reopens to tell the story of Bedford’s most famous son

Following its annual winter closure, the museum will reopen on Tuesday, 20 February at 11am. Admission to the museum is free and there are lots of free family-friendly activities – perfect for a half-term visit.

Tuesday 20 February 2024

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

This week, Elliot Randall will give an organ recital. Entry is free but donation is appreciated.

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Friends of the Higgins talk: Lucy Lewis – first female bomb disposal expert
St Andrew’s Church Hall, Kimbolton Road, MK40 2PF @ 7.30pm
Members: Free / non members:

Lucy Lewis was the Army’s first female bomb disposal expert, and is now running the Marshals of Cambridge University. She will be sharing stories from her book, Lighting the Fuse.

You can be come a member of the Friends of Higgins here. Membership Rates Sept – Sept 2023/24: Individual – £35 /Joint – £50 / Student – £20

Tuesday 20 – Saturday 24 February 2024

Theatre: One for the Road
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10

This wickedly observant comedy by the author of Educating Rita finds Dennis on the eve of a milestone birthday, making a last-ditch attempt to break away from the confines of his middle-class housing-estate existence. 

Reaching breaking point at his birthday party he packs a rucksack to make his escape…. Will Dennis make it to the motorway slip road? Will he escape the Tupperware parties and find his way back to a time before microwaves, dishwashers and dimmer switches? Or, is it easier just to sit in front of the telly?

Tuesday 20 and Thursday 23 February 2024

Family crafts: Half-term activities – Print!
The Higgins Bedford
Check website for details

Higgins Bedford
The Higgins Bedford (image: The Higgins Bedford)

Fabulous art workshops will be taking place at the Higgins Bedford on Castle Lane this half term. Check the website for further details and how to book.

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Comedy: Bring Your Own Baby
The Quarry Theatre @ 12.30pm
Tickets: £12

Bring Your Own Baby Comedy is the award-winning lunchtime comedy show for parents… and you can bring your baby! These shows feature the funniest comedians from TV and the circuit telling their grown-up jokes in a totally baby-friendly environment.

These shows are all about you – the parents! But don’t worry, we also make sure our younger guests are well looked after. We provide buggy parking, baby changing, and helping hands so that your baby is happy and you can relax.

The bar is fully stocked, whether you fancy a cuppa or something a bit stronger. If you need to whip out a bum (the baby’s please!), a boob or a bottle then feel free.The comics won’t mind being heckled by our younger guests* either!

NB: This is not a children’s comedy club, the material will contain adult language and themes!

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Drag: Fanny’oke and Boozy Bingo
The Cellar Bar @ 8pm / bar opens at 7pm
Free entry

Fanny Burns is back and ready to entertain! Drag queen Fanny will bring her own spin on karaoke and bingo, it’s hilarious and good fun and the bingo cash jackpot has been well over £100. £2 per card of six tickets, meaning six chances of winning.  Raffle tickets for Fanny’s Flaps game are just £1.

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

Thursday 22 February 2024

NT Live: Vanya
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: £15

Andrew Scott (Fleabag) brings multiple characters to life in Simon Stephens’ (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) radical new version of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. 

Hopes, dreams, and regrets are thrust into sharp focus in this one-man adaptation which explores the complexities of human emotions.

Filmed live during its sold-out run in London’s West End.

Thursday 22 February 2023

Half term fun: Total Pop Party!
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 3pm
Tickets: various prices please check website for details

Total Pop Party is the ultimate pop concert experience, full of sing along moments and lots of audience interaction- parents included!

Come join Ruby, Ivy, Amber & Skye and celebrate the modern-day pop legends including songs by Little Mix, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Pink, Ed Sheeran, Olivia Rodrigo and many more.

This concert is non-stop from start to finish, full of fun and magic along with your favourite dance moves, Tik Tok trends, is an excellent introduction for kids who are too young to go to the big concerts but don’t want to miss out on seeing their favourite pop stars.

There’s even a chance to meet the TPP girls after the show so they can strike their favourite pose and be part of the gang!

Thursday 22 February 2023

Live music: Flamingods + Max Fulcrum & the Win.
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £13.50

A cult favourite on the festival circuit in UK and Europe, the London quartet have been crafting their distinctive genre-defying music for over a decade now.

Weaving through genres of psychedelia, new wave, electronica and punk – often within the same song – is a bit of a specialty for the band, as is their knack for blending in influences from their unique cultural heritages and love of 70s British rock and roll.

With eight nationalities between the band, listening to their music is like peeling a massive eclectic onion. The classic set up of guitar, bass and drums is there, it’s just that the band have flipped it on its head with the addition of fuzzed out Eastern guitars, percussion stations, bright vintage synthesisers, bowed string boxes and powerful vocals echoing throughout. It’s warm, powerful, soulful music made to get you moving.

Friday 23 February 2023

Comedy: Comedy Nights in The Burrow at the Blues
The Burrow at the Blues; Goldington Road (MK40 3NF) @ 7pm / first act @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14.50

Comedy nights return to the Burrow at the Blues this month, showcasing more than just rugby at Goldington Road.

For the first event of 2024, the Burrow welcomes Dan Evans. As well as playing clubs and universities throughout the UK, Dan has gigged internationally as well as being part of the sell-out Screaming Blue Murder Cabaret and Avalon Comedy Zones at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Dan’s TV and radio appearances include Brain Candy (BBC3 & 2), Channel 5 at The Store, Channel 5 Comedy Zone and the Radio 2 Stand Up Show. His writing credits include The Very World of Milton Jones (R4 – Sony Award Winner), Rory Bremner Who Else? (C4) and  The Eleven O’Clock Show (C4). 

Friday 23 February 2024

Live Music: Double Header – Duzzy Avocado + Samantha Hughes
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / bar opens at 6pm / Happy Hour until 9.00pm / open until late
Free entry 

Duzzy Avocado are back at The Cellar Bar this month, combining original songs with their unique twist on covers, thoughtfully dipped in folk and country, with intricate three-part harmonies and vivid violin melodies.

Duzzy Avocado are able to seamlessly fuse classic sounds with a modern twist, encompassing a wide range of influences and styles and keeping the audience hooked from start to finish.

Having brought their talents to festivals and high profile shows already in their fledgling career, bound to become your new favourite band and are almost certainly not one to be missed.

They are followed by Cellar Bar regular, Samantha Hughes. Samantha has previously performed at Twinwood Festival and the Festival of Vintage and she was previously a British champion on the mandolin and banjo – which we think is pretty impressive!

Samantha’s set will be part acoustic, so you are in for a treat as she plays a selection of Rock n Roll, Country, 50s/60s and 80’s party tunes, spreading some good old fashioned music from years gone by.

Friday 23 February 2024

Live music: Antarctic Monkeys
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

Arctic Monkeys tribute band who deliver all killer, no filler.

Saturday 24 February 2024

Community: Bedford Repair Café
Project 229, Bedford Road, Kempston MK42 8DA @ 9.30am – 2.30pm
Free to attend, donations welcome

The talented volunteer fixers are back at the Bedford Repair Café this month, helping residents repair their electricals, clothing, textiles, bikes, garden tools and more.

No need to book in advance, but visitors are advised they may have to queue to be seen.

Saturday 24 February 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walks
Bunyan Way – Cranfield to Stevington @ 9.30am (meeting point MK43 7QD)
Twinwood through Clapham Park @ 1.30pm (meeting point MK41 6HP)

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

Saturday morning’s 11.3 mile walk is the John Bunyan Trail part 6. Walkers to meet in Stevington at 9.30am (please park considerately on Park Road).

A number of cars will taken to Cranfield, parking at St Peter and St Pauls Church on Court Rd. Walk will start at 10.00am.

The afternoon circular walk is 7.5 miles, walking in the Twinwood area and back through Clapham Park.

Saturday 24 February 2024

Dance: Tap Factory
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: various prices please check website for details

Tap Factory is the dance show with a difference an electrifying display of high-energy dance, explosive percussion, and jaw-dropping acrobatics.

Saturday 24 February 2024

Live music and dancing: The Cotton Club presents – The Untouchables
Cotton End Village Hall, Playing Fields, Wood Lane, Cotton End, Bedford, MK45 3AN @ 8pm – 11.30pm
Tickets: £15

The Untouchables are champions of raw blues, basing their sound on the swinging soul of the great artist who recorded for Chess Records in the 50s.

With a string bass, a vintage drum kit, a cranked guitar through a hot valve amp and a wailing harp, this band turns any venue into a rocking juke joint.

The venue has a licensed bar, car park and silky smooth dance floor. Optional afternoon dance workshop in a swing/jive style dance – check the website for full details and time of the workshop.

Saturday 24 February 2024

Live Music: Matt Bedford
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / bar opens at 6pm / Happy Hour until 9pm / 3am close
Free Entry. 

Cellar Bar Regular Matt Bedford is back to perform some classic 80’s songs.

Matt hosts the Thursday Karaoke & Bandeoke nights, so those of you that have been will have had a glimpse of Matt’s talent.  Now it’s time to watch the full show!

Saturday 24 February 2024

Live music: Lene Lovich
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £18

Born in Detroit, Michigan, on March 30, 1949, Lili-Marlene Premilovich, later known as Lene Lovich, became one of the most relevant figures of the New Wave and Post Punk movement during the late 1970’s.

Lovich moved to England when she was 13 and in 1978 she released her most popular album “Stateless” that produced the hit “Lucky Number”, her signature song. Side by side with German artist Nina Hagen, she became one of the earliest female singers to embrace the alternative side of the Punk culture. Lene Lovich remains active, touring and with several side projects and bands.

Lene Lovich is now working with her current line up and is continuing to play festivals and shows as demand is ever increasing for this much loved iconic performer.

Saturday 24 February 2024

Music: Swinging at the Cotton Club
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £24

Swinging at the Cotton Club return to The Quarry Theatre with their spectacular showcase of dance and music, inspired New York’s most celebrated nightclub of the 1920s: The Cotton Club! 

A visual and musical feast, the show pays homage to the iconic Harlem hot spot, where legends like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie had the crowd swinging, whilst dancers such as Bojangles Robinson and the Nicholas Brothers lit-up the stage with their breathtaking routines.

Featuring a dynamic ensemble of talented dancers, alongside the 10-piece ‘Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra’, Swinging at the Cotton Club showcases the true essence of The Cotton Club. With impeccable choreography, dazzling costumes, and an irresistible soundtrack of swinging classics from the orchestra, this production guarantees an unforgettable evening of entertainment.

Whether you’re a seasoned dance and music aficionado, or simply looking for a night of pure entertainment, Swinging at the Cotton Club is a show that will leave you tapping your toes, clapping your hands, and longing for more. So, grab your dancing shoes and go on an unforgettable journey into the heart of 1920s New York City!

Saturday 24 Feburary 2024

Live music: Genn + Carbon Daydreams + Party Police
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

Following a series of recent singles, Anglo-Maltese quartet GENN finally release their debut album, unum, into the world. And with the promise of an eclectic mix of styles and sounds this album delivers all of this and a whole lot more.

GENN are a collective sisterhood of like-minded musicians who started out as a band originally in Malta before moving to the UK and finding Brighton as their newly adopted home.

The group has Maltese, British, Jamaican and Portuguese roots, which have inevitably shaped their experience of working within the music industry and also their sound and style.

This is a new multi-disciplinary collective that also serves as a space for other creatives to develop and release their art and collaborate with like-minded individuals.

Sunday 25 February 2024

Live music: Bag O Bones play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

Live music every Sunday afternoon at Esquires.

Sunday 25 February 2024

Live music: Meryl Streek + guests
Esquires Bedford @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 / low income budget £5

Politically outspoken Irish avant-garde punk producer Meryl Streek has released his debut album 796, an emotionally volatile and heart-wrenching collection of cutting-edge punk that pushes genre boundaries whilst traversing extremely challenging political subject matter with aplomb and vitriol.

An allocation of tckets to this event are subsidised by the Arts Council thanks to funding secured by promoters, Roar Club and Club Biscuit.

Read: Local music promoters secure grant funding to help gig-goers with cost of living crisis

For fans of: Public Enemy, Public Image Ltd, Bob Vylan

At the Higgins Bedford

Exhibition: On The Wings of a Wire Bird
Higgins Bedford
Free entry

Artist Sophie Gresswell with one of the pieces from her new exhibition at the Higgins Bedford. Image: Bedford Borough Council
Artist Sophie Gresswell with one of the pieces from her new exhibition at the Higgins Bedford. Image: Bedford Borough Council

A new exhibition in the Higgins’ Sir William Harpur Gallery is the result of a year-long journey that has taken artist, Sophie Gresswell, from Luton to the island of St Helena and finally to Bedford.

On the Wings of a Wire Bird opened on Saturday, 3 February and weaves together the threads of empire, destruction, survival, and the enduring impact of Commonwealth heritage on the British identity.

Read: Local artist explores “rich thread of mixed heritage” in new exhibition at The Higgins Bedford

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.

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker

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