What’s on Bedford: 15 – 25 September 2022

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Our comprehensive guide to what’s on in Bedford over the next 10 days is here. Some events have understandably been postponed or cancelled as a mark of respect for the State Funeral on Monday 19 September, so please check with the venue in advance.


Until 17 September 2022

Exhibition: River by Simon Wrigley
Basement@Bunyan, John Bunyan Museum
Free entry

A new exhibition of artwork at by Simon Wrigley titled ‘River’. All work is being sold to raise funds for the Kings Arms Project.


Friday 16 September 2022

Exhibitions: People In Places – a photography exhibition
Herd, St Cuthbert’s Street
Free entry

A group photography exhibition curated and organised by Zoe Stafford, featuring work by Zoe, Ela Walenda (pictured) among others.


Friday 16 September 2022

Live jazz: Tom Syson and Dominik Fuss
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14.50/£12.50
English trumpeter Tom Syson and Austrian trumpeter Dominik Fuss are joining forces on to present a spectacular night of original music, alongside pianist Jacky Naylor, double bassist Huw Williams and drummer Jay Davis.

Dominik and Tom will be leading two different quintets in concerts in the UK (Vortex Jazz Club, Quarry Theatre) and Austria (Porgy & Bess Jazz Club, ZWE Jazz Club) in September 2022, with the aim of creating new and exciting music, as well as reimagining existing compositions.

This will be an individual take on a two-trumpet quintet line up, drawing inspiration from both jazz and classical music.


Friday 16 September 2022

Live music: Sweet Caroline: Neil Daimond the ultimate tribute act
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £24/£22

Sweet Caroline – The ultimate tribute to Neil Diamond The good times never seemed so good. introducing Sweet Caroline, the ultimate tribute to Neil Diamond featuring Gary Ryan, as seen on ‘Stars in Their Eyes’.

Taking it back to where it began, this musical journey celebrates 50 years of a legend. From Brooklyn to Hollywood, Neil Diamond has left a legacy of great songs which have been covered by every great vocalist. Spanning all genres from the Reggae of Red Red Wine, through the Country of Cracklin’ Rosie, and the Hollywood music of The Jazz Singer.

From the producers of Fastlove and The Magic of Motown, celebrate the music that has endured through six generations as we bring you all things Diamond with a sensational live show.

Enjoy all the hits such as, Forever In Blue Jeans, America and Love On The Rocks and of course, the unforgettable Sweet Caroline.


Friday 16 September 2022

Live music: The Total Stone Roses
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £15

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 exclusive opportunity to hear your favourite Stone Roses anthems performed live at Esquires by the UK’s finest tribute.


Saturday 17 September 2022

Comedy for kids: The Noise Next Door’s Mysterious Mansion of Mystery
The Quarry Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: £10/£8

Take a tour of the world’s most bewildering building with comedy heavyweights The Noise Next Door. Who knows what lurks in the curious corridors and bizarre boudoirs of this ancient manor house? You do! What you say goes in this hour of anarchic entertainment that is fun for literally everyone.
A little bit spooky, a little bit stupid and a whole lot of funny.


The Noise Next Door are thirteen time sell-out veterans of The Edinburgh Fringe and have appeared on ‘The One Show’ (BBC One) and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ (ITV1). They have also appeared alongside the likes of Michael McIntyre, Katherine Ryan, Romesh Ranganathan and Harry Hill.


Saturday 17 September 2022

Classical music: The Corporation of Musick, Music from the Court of Louis XIII and Henry Purcell 
St Andrew’s Church, Kimbolton Road @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12 / under 18s free

The Corporation of Musick is a cornett and sackbut ensemble dedicated to recreating the sounds and styles once heard in the royal courts, churches and streets of Renaissance and Baroque Europe.

This concert will demonstrate the three distinct types, and all the different sizes, of oboe being used in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. And the programme will contain music from the court of Louis XIII, and the English theatres – James Paisible and Henry Purcell, finishing with a ’tavern’ set of the popular music.


Saturday 17 September 2022

Comedy: The Noise Next Door Hometown Heroes
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14/£12

The quickest wits in comedy are coming to town with a side-splitting evening of hilarious off-the-cuff songs, scenes and characters.

The stars of ‘Tonight at the Palladium’ (ITV1) will spin comedy gold out of the all things that YOU, the live audience, think are the best, worst and down right weirdest things about your hometown. Maybe a bit of local laughter really can save the day!


Sunday 18 September 2022

Theatre: Stagewrite Autumn
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: Pay What You Can from £3

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.
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Monday 19 September 2022

Broadcast of her Majesty Queen Elizabether II State Funeral 
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 11am
Free (booking essential)

Bedford Borough Council will be holding a public screening at Bedford Corn Exchange for those wishing to watch the funeral of our late Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II.

The funeral will be on Monday 19 September from 11am, with doors at Bedford Corn Exchange opening from 10am.

With numbers strictly limited due to the capacity of Bedford Corn Exchange, residents must book their place to watch the proceedings in advance.

To book a place, contact the Bedford Corn Exchange box office on 01234 71804, or visit the council website here.


Tuesday 20 September 2022

Live music: Los Bitchos
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £14
Formed in 2017 over a mutual love of cumbia (Afro-Latin dancing music, laced with rock guitar), Los Bitchos have performed at festivals this summer including Primavera Sound (Barcelona), Super Bock (Portugal), Bluedot, Latitude and End of the Road.

Support on the night comes from electronic dreampop of KYŌGEN, featuring Kyoko from Pins.


Wednesday 21 September 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)

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Tuesday 20 September 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 Emmanuel Bach. Free with retiring collection.


Wednesday 21 September 2022

Film: Elvis
Cinema @ St Peters @ 7pm
Tickets: £9/£10.50/£12

Elvis is a 2022 biographical musical drama film directed by Baz Luhrmann, who co-wrote the screenplay with Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, and Jeremy Doner.

The film follows the life of rock and roll icon, singer, and actor Elvis Presley, told from the perspective of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.


Wednesday 21 September 2022

Theatre: The Last Motel
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £11

Abalone’s desperate. He’s taken holiday to commit armed robbery and now he has a woman stuffed into the boot of his classic car.

Join us at The Last Motel to see if Abalone’s hostage changes his perspective on life.

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Thursday 22 September 2022

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

As a young fan of the likes of The Waterboys and Levellers, Will experimented with alternative styles and sounds, and when he began writing his own songs, Noble Jacks was born to take these songs to the stage. With Noble Jacks, Will has toured relentlessly with sold out shows across the UK and beyond, including Glastonbury and Cambridge Folk Festival  In 2019 Noble Jacks performed at Americanafest in both London and Nashville TN, and Will was nominated instrumentalist of the year at the UK Americana Awards in Jan 2020.
With three studio albums, plus a viral YouTube single (Dreams Carry Me On) under his belt with Noble Jacks, Will is now also recording and performing as a solo artist, showcasing his more traditional folk writing and playing style.
Expect heartfelt vocals accompanied by guitar, harmonica, energetic fiddle and foot-stomping rhythms!

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Thursday 22 September 2022

Comedy: British Comedian of the Year
The Quarry Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £12

Castle Comedy & 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 the audience and an industry expert.
Andy Stedman will host the show.


Friday 23 September 2022

Film: Grease (1978)
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: £5

In this musical classic, high school student Danny meets Sandy over the summer holiday and they fall in love. When the holiday is over he expects never to see her again. But after boasting of his conquest to his friends, he discovers that she has been transferred to his school.

Packed with classic songs including ‘Summer Lovin’, ‘Greased Lightning’, “You’re the One That I Want’ and ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’ the film is a joy from beginning to end.

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Friday 23 September 2022

Live music: The Outcasts
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm

Classic 1977 punk band from Belfast playing a selection of their great tunes. Originally on the iconic Good Vibrations label. The band are still putting new releases.


Friday 23 September 2022

Comedy: Arthur Smith: Laughter, Music, Thoughts & the Odd Poem
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £15

Join comedian, writer, broadcaster and all-round British institution, Arthur Smith, and bask in an evening of laughter and off-the-wall humour with one of the ‘alternative comedians’ who shook up the world of light entertainment in the nineteen eighties and nineties. 

Expect an evening of sublime playfulness, crammed with jokes, anecdotes, short stories, poems, songs (at least 1 from Leonard Cohen) and readings from his memoirs” My Name is Daphne Fairfax” which has won praise from literary critics. He will also tell the story of his late father PC Syd Smith, survivor of Colditz POW camp and London copper.


Saturday 24 September 2022

Community: Bedford Repair Cafe
The Place Theatre from 10am
Tickets: Free (booking essential)

Got torn clothes, broken electricals, toys and household items? Wish you could fix them and avoid landfill?

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.

As part of Great Big Green Week the team at The Place Bedford will be interviewing the amazing volunteers at Bedford Repair Cafe to uncover some useful tips & tricks that you can do yourselves at home! Stay to watch our demos whilst your stuff gets fixed.

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Saturday 24 September 2022

Theatre: These Hills are Ours
The Place Theatre @7.30pm
Tickets: Pay What You can from £8

Do you ever want to run away from it all? Dan and Boff did exactly that: they ran a series of routes from the centre of the city in which they found themselves, to the top of the peak overlooking that city. But what are we really running from?

In story and in song, These Hills Are Ours is the story of what they found out on those journeys. It’s about escaping it all by running to wild places. Escaping the city, escaping your past, escaping the restrictions of upbringing or class or politics. It’s a celebration of wild places and our freedom to roam them.


Saturday 24 September 2022

Live music: Affleck’s Palace + Pastel + Vega Rally
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £15

Formed in Manchester in summer 2019, Afflecks Palace are a four-piece psyche guitar band described as “the birth of Nu-Madchester” by online curation platform Manchester Lemon and is championed by BBC 6music’s Steve Lamacq, Chris Hawkins & John Kennedy of XFM.

The band’s last two singles ‘This City Is Burning Alive’ & ‘Carpe Diem’ have been playlists on BBC6music.


Saturay 24 September 2022

Live music: Blaze Bayley
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £18

Having started his professional music career in Wolfsbane, Blaze Bayley was elevated to global heights when he joined Iron Maiden between 1994 and 1999.

Since leaving Iron Maiden, Blaze embarked on a solo career, during which he has released eleven full-length studio albums, plus live albums, live DVDs and compilations. He’s also enjoyed an enviable reputation as one of the hardest working artists touring around.

In 2015 Blaze celebrated the 15th anniversary of his first solo release “Silicon Messiah” and then saw a significant worldwide resurgence of interest in his career, not least with the release of the “Infinite Entanglement” trilogy during the period 2016 to 2018.


Sunday 25 September 2022

Live music: The Workshop Boys play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

Formed by former members of Los Marbles and Cutting Out, The Workshop Boys have fast become one of Bedford’s best-loved bar bands.

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Coming soon…

From 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


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.


Until October 2022

Exhibition: Body & Soul
The Higgins Bedford
Free entry

Edvard Munch (1863–1944), Woman with a Brooch (Madonna), 1903 © The Trustees of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery

A new exhibition exploring how women have been represented in art over the past two centuries, opens at The Higgins Bedford on 2 April.

Read: Body & Soul: Higgins’ new exhibition explores the representation of women in art

Highlights in the Body & Soul exhibition – all drawn from the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery Collection – include artworks by Edgar Degas, Edvard Munch, Dora Carrington, Stanley Spencer, Henri Matisse, Gwen John, Roy Lichtenstein, Lucian Freud and Chila Burman.

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker