What’s on Bedford: 16 – 27 May 2024

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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 16 May 2024

Theatre: Jack’s Ashes
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £13.50

Former professional cricketer Jack gives his team talk, but as wickets fall like a ticking time bomb the anecdotes from the ashes of his career prove less than inspirational…

As Jack pads up to be the last man in to go out and save the day, Jack’s Ashes offers a humorous insight into the mental frailties that can cloud the mind and the distractions that can lead to ruin.


Thursday 16 May 2024

Bedford Skeptics: The Cambridgeshire Crucifixion with David Ingham
The North End Social Club, Roff Avenue @ 7pm
Donationi appreciated

In 2017, a routine archaeological dig was taking place on the site of a proposed housing development in the village of Fenstanton in the Cambridgeshire Fens. When human remains were found alongside a variety of Roman artefacts, none of the team at Albion Archaeology saw anything out of the ordinary.

But once the bones were washed back at HQ, something highly unusual was uncovered: a nail through the heelbone of one of the individuals. Could this be evidence of a Roman crucifixion?


Thursday 16 May 2024

Live music: Fat Dog
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

Fat Dog have earned their stripes in South London’s burgeoning alternative music scene. They come to Esquires off the back of the 12 shows in 4 days at Austin’s SXSW, having signed to Domino Records.

Their upward trajectory is powered by high-octane and chaotic live shows. Very hot in the industry and definitely the last time they’ll play this level.


Thursday 16 May 2024

Dancing: Planet Swing featuring Danny Graceland – Elvis Tribute Night
The Dance Hall, Wixams Retirement Village, Bedford Road, Bedford, MK42 6EA @ 8pm – 10.30pm
Tickets: £12.99

An evening for dancers and music enthusiasts alike. Cashless bar, plenty of seating (night club set up) and dance floor. Book in advance and come along at 7.15pm for a 45 minute dance class in Balboa, one of the original swing dances of the era. For the main event, just turn up – pay cash at reception – have fun, no booking needed.


Friday 17 May 2024

Music: The Jive Aces
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £22

Together for over 25 years, The Jive Aces have been keeping the show on the road for three decades and become renowned worldwide for their high-energy live show, having toured in over 40 countries. The band aim to spread smiles and cheer with their swingin’ music and classic vintage style from crooning smooth ballads to blasting honking rhythm & blues.

Having played for Her Majesty the Queen, selling out the Royal Albert Hall, becoming the first band to reach the finals of Britain’s Got Talent or just entertaining at one of their 250 live shows a year, they continuously showcase why they are the UK’s No.1 Jive & Swing band!


Friday 17 May 2024

Live music: The Men They Couldn’t Hang + Skimmington Ride
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

English-Folk-Punk group The Men They Couldn’t Hang will be making their debut at Bedford Esquires as part of their 40th Anniversary Tour. The band’s unique combination of barnstorming live performance, rich storytelling ability, often rooted in historical and social themes, and mix of Celtic, Folk and Country flavours saw them rise rapidly to national and international prominence where they have remained through dint of sheer tenacity and a passionate fan base.

Founded in 1984, TMTCH evolved from the Shepherd’s Bush squatting and busking scene to make their debut supporting Poguemahone at the Electric Ballroom in Camden.

Swiftly their uproarious and engaging style, coupled with keenly contemporary songs, gained a passionate national following, leading to a 40-year career filled with much-loved music, a dedicated fan community and high-octane performances.


Friday 17 May 2024

Live music: Endless Love – a tribute to Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £30.80

Get ready for the ultimate feel-good show celebrating the music of legendary hitmakers Lionel Richie and Diana Ross.

Starring a sensational cast, incredible vocals and a stellar live band, the show is packed with Motown classics and timeless smash hits such as ‘I’m Coming Out’, ‘Dancing On The Ceiling’, ‘Upside Down’, ‘Say You Say Me’, ‘Chain Reaction’, ‘All Night Long’, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, ‘Hello’,’ Can’t Hurry Love’ plus many more classics from these two legendary artistes featured together for the first time in one amazing production.

Featuring authentic live arrangements taken from both Lionel’s and Diana’s original touring shows, Endless Love is an electrifying, joyful and emotional rollercoaster guaranteed to get you singing along and on your feet! This wonderfully produced show brilliantly captures the glitz, glamour and sentiment of soaring love songs with audiences rocking out to 80s classics and gettin’ down to outright dancefloor fillers. 

You already know the words… so, singing voices at the ready and dancing shoes on, grab your tickets and let’s party All Night Long! 


Friday 17 May 2024

Live Music: Tie One On
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Tie One On are a rock/ blues band with a vast amount of live experience, whether it is large festivals or pubs/ clubs.  They are down to earth, honest, hard-working musicians with a knack of lighting up a night of Blues Rock Mayhem!


Friday 17 May 2024

Live music: Mad Mods and Englishmen
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

Following two packed-out shows earlier in 2023 it’s time to ‘save the date’ Mad Mods are back for another show at Esquires.
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Anyone that has seen the ‘Mad Mods’ live will tell you that they are no traditional covers band. Their energetic performances have built them a massive following and they have a reputation of packing every venue they play at, and then bringing the house down!

Their repertoire includes hits from The Who, Small Faces, The Kinks, Rolling Stones, Spencer Davis, Yardbirds, The Jam and many more, and yes, they’ve even been known to smash the odd guitar up on stage!

The band will be playing 2 sets with no support on the night, doors open at 7:30pm with the band hitting the stage around 8.30pm.


Saturday 18 May 2024

Family fun: Mini DJs festival
Harpur Centre @ 10am – 4pm
Free

The Harpur Centre’s Mini DJ’s Festival gives kids a unique opportunity to explore the art of DJing. You will have the chance to explore real DJ equipment and experience the thrill of making live announcements on the airwaves, igniting a passion for music and broadcasting.

In addition to the DJ workshop, children will be able to unleash their artistic flair by designing goody bags for The River Festival, spreading
joy and creativity throughout the community. It’s a fantastic chance for young minds to express themselves and leave their mark on a highly anticipated local event.

Harpur, the mascot of Harpur Centre, will be there on the day spreading cheer, posing for memorable photos, handing out balloons and encouraging new sign-ups for Harpur’s Kid’s Club.


Saturday 18 May 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Little Staughton, All Saints Church, MK44 2BL @ 1.30pm

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

Circular 6.8 mile walk through Little and Great Staughton.

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


Saturday 18 May 2024

Live music: Tiptoe Apollo + Diversion
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Tiptoe Apollo is back to The Cellar Bar playing classic covers from the Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, The Strokes, The Cure, Foo Fighters and more.

Afterwards, The Krakens play the late slot.  

The Krakens are a four-piece rock band featuring Chris Craigen on Keys/Vocals, Naomi Vranas on Bass, Jon Mason on Guitar and Seb Hensman on the Drums. They cover a variety of rock songs through the ages featuring songs from: Elton John, Queen, Nirvana, Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day and many more.


Saturday 18 May 2024

Classical music: Bedfordshire Symphony Orchestra presents
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: prices vary

A concert of music by Schubert and Brahms will be conducted by the finalists of BSO’s conducting competition to determine the permanent Music Director of the orchestra.

Bjorn Bantock will conduct Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished) and the Brahms Academic Festival Overture, and Cathal Garvey will conduct Brahms’ Symphony No. 2.

Both candidates are experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable musicians, and after the performance, the orchestra will vote for their choice as to who will lead them from September 2024.


Saturday 18 May 2024

Live music: Ion Maiden
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

Formed in August 2018, Ion Maiden was built around the core of four ex-members of some of the best Maiden tribute bands in the UK, and with only one rehearsal their first gig was an instant success with Maiden fans.

Since they exploded onto the scene the band have played Holland, various clubs throughout the UK, and London raising over £3,000 towards the Legend that is Paul Di’Anno at the Camden Underworld, who was blown away by the video footage that was sent to him in Croatia.

More recently they were honoured to be asked to open the “Birthplace of Iron Maiden” the Cart & Horses after its lengthy refurbishment, with support from another Iron Maiden stars band, Doug Sampson (Airforce) the original drummer of the Soundhouse tapes.

With a new singer on board the band are now putting on some of the most authentic Maiden shows you’ll see, apart from the real Iron Maiden that is!


Saturday 18 May 2024

Live music: Bedford Town Band
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: Pay what you can. U18s free

You are invited to join Bedford Town Band in a musical celebration of Spring.

Hear performances from all of the bands in the Bedford Town Band organisation; including Concert Brass, Progress Brass, the training academy and Bedford Town Band.


Saturday 18 May 2024

Live music: Motion + Ricochet + Beckie & Tyler
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets:

Motion is an up and coming indie rock band with a fresh new sound coming out of Luton. If you like bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Oasis you’re going to love Motion. Support on the night comes from Ricochet, a four-piece British indie rock band from Milton Keynes taking inspiration from rock legends Foo Fighters and Green Day, fused with the melodic guitar tones of Oasis and The Stone Roses.


Sunday 19 May 2024

Environment: Community Herb Garden Open Day
Rothsay Herb Garden @ 11am
Free

Rothsay Roundabout Community Herb Garden. Image: Cllr Lucy Bywater
Rothsay Roundabout Community Herb Garden. Image: Cllr Lucy Bywater

This Sunday on the Castle/Rothsay herb garden roundabout, the Community Herb Garden will host a free open day, and everyone’s welcome.

Joining on the day will be Craig Lymm to share hedgehog wisdom, Lara Victoria Jones from the Wildlife Trust and Meg from The Good Life Garden, Bedford with outdoors things for children to do.

Donations of spare plants/seedlings that can be sold are very welcome (cash only).

New volunteers to help maintain the garden are always welcome. Dates of upcoming sessions are in the noticeboard at the herb garden.


Sunday 19 May 2024

Family fun: Toby’s Tall Tales
The Higgins Bedford @ 2.30pm
Free entry / no need to book

Join trained actor and teacher Toby in the art gallery on a creative exploration of stories.

Toby will engage children with immersive story reading and help children create their own stories using puppets, drawings and songs. Ideal for ages 1-5.


Sunday 19 May 2024

Walking: “The Life and Times of John Bunyan” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £4/children over 8 £2 (Please use the code HIGGINS30 to remove the transaction fee)

Discover the story of Bedford’s most famous son who was imprisoned for his non-conformist preaching. Visit the site of the cottage in which John and his family lived, the churches in which he worshipped and the site of the gaol in which he spent 12 long years and began to write one of the best selling books in history, The Pilgrim’s Progress.

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 the walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £4 per adult or £2 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.


Sunday 19 May 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.


Sunday 19 May 2024

Live music: Vintage Stuff play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

Vintage Stuff make a welcome return to Esquires’ Sunday Afternoon Session as the season draws to a close.


Monday 20 May – Sunday 1 June 2024

Exhibition: Bedford River Project
The Higgins Bedford @ check website for opening hours
Free entry

After a year of artistic exploration and engagement with diverse communities, the Bedford River Project, with funding from Arts Council England, will culminate in a vibrant exhibition at the Higgins Bedford, following its debut at the Basement @ Bunyan. 

Among the roster of commissioned artists are Anthea Barclay (Poet and Creative Director), who also serves as Project Director, Leon Barclay (musician), Anita Powell (painter/podcaster), Paul-Michael Berwise-Ebanks (photographer), Antaya Lendore (illustrator), Anne-Marie Abbate (mixed media), and Hazera Forth (poet and podcaster).

Together, these artists have crafted a body of work that celebrates the majesty of the Great Ouse and the enduring power of art to unite and inspire.


Tuesday 21 May 2024

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

St Paul's lunchtime concert. Image: Bedford Independent/Bedford Clanger
St Paul’s lunchtime concert. Image: Bedford Independent/Bedford Clanger

This week’s recital features Jill Morton (piano) and Cecily Ward (violin).


Tuesday 21 May 2024

Friends of the Higgins talk: Hugh Belsey on Gainsborough’s Career – from Ipswich to Bath – on his tercentenary
St Andrews Church Hall, Kimbolton Road, MK40 2PF @ 7.30pm
Donations to The Friends of the Higgins welcomed

Hugh Belsey. Image: Facebook

Hugh Belsey is one of the foremost authorities on British 18th century art. At this Friends of the Higgins’ lecture, he will be looking at Gainsborough’s career.


Tuesday 21 May 2024

Community Theatre: The Secret Garden
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £12

When a garden’s kept all weeded and neat, that chases the wild away. But when it’s left alone, for nature, who knows what secret things’d grow there….

In Jessica Swale’s richly imagined adaptation of Hodgson Burnett’s much-loved classic, we follow the fortunes of Mary as her ice begins to melt and her curiosity leads her on one of the greatest adventures in popular literature.


Wednesday 22 May 2024

Culture: William Burges gallery tour
The Higgins Bedford @
Tickets: £3.50 / concessions £2.95 / booking essential

‘Dressing Table, 1867 by William Burges’. Image: The Higgins Bedford

Join the Keeper of Fine and Decorative Art across the ropes of the William Burges Gallery for an up-close look at his furniture designs. 


Wednesday 22 May 2024

Film: The Royal Ballet presents: The Winter’s Tale
Stevington Cinema Club, Stevington Village Hall, MK443 7QT @ 6.45pm
Tickets: £6

King Leontes of Sicilia is crippled with an all-consuming jealousy when his friend, King Polixenes of Bohemia, stays with him and his wife Hermione. What follows is a tale where a marriage is destroyed, a child is abandoned and all hope is seemingly lost for two lovers. Celebrating its tenth anniversary, The Winter’s Tale is an award-winning modern ballet classic, packed with emotional turmoil heightened by Joby Talbot’s compelling score and Bob Crowley’s atmospheric designs.

Shakespeare’s profound story of love and loss, artfully adapted into a contemporary three-act narrative ballet by Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon, celebrates its tenth anniversary.


Thursday 23 May 2024

Dancing: Planet Swing featuring featuring The Mark Keeley Rock & Roll Show
The Dance Hall, Wixams Retirement Village, Bedford Road, Bedford, MK42 6EA @ 8pm – 10.30pm
Tickets: £12.99

An evening for dancers and music enthusiasts alike. Cashless bar, plenty of seating (night club set up) and dance floor. Book in advance and come along at 7.15pm for a 45 minute dance class in Balboa, one of the original swing dances of the era. For the main event, just turn up – pay cash at reception – have fun, no booking needed.


Friday 24 May 2024

Comedy: Dalisa Chapondo: Feed this Black Man Again
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £16

Daliso did his first show Feed This Black Man 20 years ago. The jokes were mediocre, there was a rap about poverty in the middle (which was as offensive as you might imagine) and the big finale involved a sandwich on stage.

20 years later, Daliso has done the Royal Variety Performance, written and performed four series of Citizen of Nowhere on BBC Radio 4, been a Britain’s Got Talent finalist, toured nationwide and abroad… all sorts of things the 22-year-old Chaponda would never have imagined possible. 

So, Feed This Black Man Again is a do-over, as the now widely-loved comic revisits the themes of that ancient debut show with the considerably enhanced comic talents that two decades experience brings you. Along the way he’ll examine the huge differences between the way you think life will be at twenty, and the reality. Probably no sandwich at the end this time.


Friday 24 May 2024

Dance music: Discos for Grown Ups
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 8pm
Tickets: £21.95/£26.95

Get glittered up for a fun and fab night of dancing to the best music ever – 70s disco, 80s pop and 90s dance classics.

Boogie the night away to the dance-floor classics you love from Donna Summer, Earth Wind and Fire, Chic, Sister Sledge, Odyssey, Chaka Khan, Abba, Madonna, Robin S, Erasure, Bee Gees, Candi Staton, Faithless and many more.

Free glow sticks and retro sweets for everyone!


Friday 24 May 2024

Live music: Verra Cruz
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £13

Verra Cruz return to Esquires for their annual homecoming headline show.


Friday 24 May 2024

Live Music: The Tendons
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry 

Legendary punk rockers The Tendons make their debut at The Cellar Bar. 

Arrive early as the Cellar Bar is expecting a full house ahead of a full-on bank holiday weekend of live music.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walks
John Bunyan Trail pt 6 Meet Park Rd Stevington, MK43 7QD @ 9.30am
Great Denham Park and Ride, MK40 4FA @ 1.30pm

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

The Saturday morning North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ walk takes in an 11.3 mile stretch of the John Bunyan trail from Cranfield to Stevington. Walkers will meet at Stevington and then share cars to Cranfield.

In the afternoon, enjoy a circular six-miler along the River Great Ouse, starting from Great Denham. The walk will take you south to the river, walking along to QE Bridge then over the river and back to Kempston Mill alongside river. Really level ground, no stiles or gates.

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


Saturday 25 May 2024

Culture: Centenary celebrations at the Panacea Museum
Printing session @ 11am – 1.30pm
Talk by museum director Zara Matthews @ 2.30pm

On Saturday 25 May the Panacea Museum is celebrating the centenary of two important events for the Panacea Society, the arrival of Joanna Southcott’s Cradle and the sending of a petition of 10,000 names to the Archbishop of Canterbury demanding the opening of Joanna Southcott’s Box of Prophecies.

On Saturday 25 May, there will be a printing session on the Society’s Victorian press from 11am to 1.30pm.

At 2.30pm, the Museum Director, Zara Matthews, will give a talk about Joanna Southcott, the importance of the cradle and the Box of Sealed Prophecies.

Visitors to the Museum are encouraged to enjoy the gardens and bring a picnic.  The Tea Room will be open for drinks and snacks.

Entry to the events is free, with no need to book.

The Panacea Museum entrance is located close to Bedford town centre on the corner of Newnham Road and Castle Road, and is open Thursday to Sunday 11am to 5pm, last admission 4.30pm.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Walk: Mental Health Mates Bedford – Walk & Talk Meet Up
The Pavilion, Bedford Park @11am
Free to attend

Mental Health Mates (MHM) is a peer support group set up by journalist, author and mental health advocate Bryony Gordon in 2016. There are now over 100 MHM groups across the UK, including here in Bedford

The MHM walks in Bedford take place on the final Saturday of each month, meeting at The Pavilion At The Park and finishing back there afterwards for an optional drink and chat.

The walks are free to attend and just turn up to, you can talk as much or as little as you wish about anything, and everyone is welcome regardless of diagnosis or not.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Walking: “I Never Knew That” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £4/£2 (Please use the code HIGGINS30 to remove the transaction fee)

Bedford town centre. Image: Bedford Borough Council
Bedford town centre. Image: Bedford Borough Council

The most commonly heard phrase after the completion of a Guided Walk. This Walk encompasses all that information about Bedford and its many features that YOU never knew!

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 the walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £4 per adult or £2 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Food & drink: FoodDrunk
Bedford Esquires @ noon til late
Free entry

Once again, Esquires kicks off their summer season with FoodDrunk returning for the ninth time and bringing with it all-day street food, music and gin.

The car park will be transformed into a mini food market, Gareth will be whacking up the bunting and he’s even getting out a few hay bales for good measure. With sounds as good as the tastes throughout the day, there are two indoor rooms of live music, with the Roll Your Own Records crew taking over the outdoor area.

The food line-up includes Taco Diablo, Fold Me Close Pizza and Crown & Heel Smash Burgers. Musical accompaniments come in the form of The Tarrows, Izzy & Max, Frenzy, Uprising, Black Ridge, Geb, Amy Leeder, Moondog, Liam Burke, Timmy Turnups (OVSC) and more…

There will be 15 specialist gins, gin cocktails and mixers limited to FoodDrunk and not on the Esquires menu, as well as the usual bar offerings.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Dance music: Family Silent Disco
Bedford Esquires @ 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Tickets: £8 adv / £10 on the door

Esquires’ kids and adults party is back with a bank holiday Silent Disco.

This year it coincides with the FoodDrunk Street Food and music festival, so there will be plenty going on at the venue throughout the day.

3 Channels of music transmitted to your LED Headphones!
*Adult Party Anthems Channel (kid-friendly)
*Kids Pop Channel (adult-friendly)
*Disney Hits Channel

Recommended for kids 12 years and below.

On the day, all children must be accompanied by a participating adult. Likewise, Adults are not permitted unless accompanied by a child.

Babies in arms admitted for free but will not receive headphones.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Choral music: Continuum Choir present Miserere
St Paul’s Church @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20/£10

The brilliant Continuum Choir is back at St Paul’s Church in Bedford on Bank Holiday weekend.

If you enjoy Allegri’s Miserere and other gorgeous choral music, you will love this concert. Directed by Bedford’s Harry Guthrie, they will perform a programme full of exquisite singing from some of the UK’s finest new generation of professional choral singers – all ex Cambridge choral scholars.

If you’ve been to one of their concerts before, please come again and bring your friends. If you’re a Continuum first timer, you will be blown away by the effortless beauty of their music.

Harry says: “Coming back to my home town of Bedford is always a huge privilege. Our audience keeps on growing and, with your support, once again, we can fill every pew in St Paul’s church and enable everyone to enjoy the pleasure of exquisite singing.”


Saturday 25 May 2024

Music: The Syd Lawrence Orchestra: The Magic of Glenn Miller
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £25

Directed by Chris Dean, The Syd Lawrence Orchestra recreates the sound that brightened those dark days of the 1940s.

Celebrating the music of Major Glenn Miller, bringing memories of the war years back to life with precision and a youthful exuberance. A dynamite blend of great soloists and vocalists, faultless section work and a hard swinging rhythm section will transport you back in time to a musical era that boasted such hits as Moonlight Serenade, In The Mood, String of Pearls, and many more of your Big Band favourites!


Saturday 25 May 2024

Live music: The world-famous Elvis show ft Chris Connor
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets:£33

Starring and produced by world-renowned Elvis performer Chris Connor, this magnificent theatre production recreates two of the most popular Elvis Presley concerts.

With a 12-piece band and backing vocals by The Sweet Harmonies, the show respectfully and authentically transports audiences back in time and if you were not lucky enough to see Elvis live, you will walk away from this concert feeling that you have! many Elvis  fans are left emotionally moved when they leave the show.

There is only ONE Elvis Presley, however fans all around the world are talking about CHRIS CONNOR who is remarkably so very close to Elvis in both looks and voice and mannerisms.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Live Music:  Double Header – World On Fire & Hugo St Leger
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Like rock music? Then the Cellar Bar is the place for you! Rock out with the amazing band World On Fire followed by Hugo St Leger making his return to the venue.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Live music: Moretallica
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £13

Following a fully sold out show in 2023 Esquires is pleased to announce the return of Moretallica to the club this bank holiday weekend.

2024 is Moretallica’s 11th year of touring and to celebrate this, they will be playing songs from all 11 of Metallica’s original studio albums. At this show, there will be at least one song from every album in the set.

A Moretallica show is the most hard-hitting spectacle and display of high-quality musicianship, as you’d expect from a band with 60+ years of combined gigging experience across the UK and Europe.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Dance music: Silent Disco decades edition: 80s vs 90s vs 00s
Bedford Esquires @ 9.30pm
Tickets: £8 adv / £10 on the door (booking highly recommended)

80s Classics vs 90s Hits vs 00s Anthems. Never been to a silent disco?
Grab a pair of 3-channel, bass-heavy headphones on the way in – three DJs will be spinning big tunes, just choose which one you want to listen to. Dance, sing, shout the night away and leave with a big smile on your face!


Sunday 26 May 2024

Walking: “The Rise and Fall of Bedford Castle” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £4/£2 (Please use the code HIGGINS30 to remove the transaction fee)

Hometown tourist
Castle Mound

The Norman Conquest of Britain witnessed the introduction of castles to the landscape and in Bedford,  a major castle was built in the 12th century.  Walk through the old castle grounds, see the mound on which it once stood and hear the story of the castle and its demise in the siege of 1224. This year witnesses the 800th anniversary of the Great Siege of Bedford Castle in 1224.

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 the walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £4 per adult or £2 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.


Sunday 26 May 2024

Shop local: St Cuthbert’s Street Festival
St Cuthbert’s Street @ midday – 6pm
Free to attend

If you’re looking for something to do on the late May bank holiday weekend, then look no further than St Cuthbert’s Street, which is hosting a fabulous street festival.

For the first time, the road will be closed to traffic and the street’s independent businesses will be throwing open their doors and bringing the party atmosphere with good food, drinks DJs and live music.

The event is a collaboration between the thriving indies on St Cuthbert’s Street including Roosters, Beerfly, Herd, Vanilla Tree, The Store, Italian Touch by Ivano, Rice Thai and The Flying Cork. It follows the success of their inaugural street party last year, but with the added benefit no cars or buses to ruin the vibe.

Each business will be spilling out onto the road, so grab some food and drink, pull up a chair and enjoy the atmosphere. Expect wine tastings, beers, a la carte menus, coffees, live music, ice-creams, pizzas, shopping and walk-in tattoos available. There will be something for everyone and fingers crossed for some good weather to enjoy it.

The nearest car parks are at Lurke Street (multi-storey) and St Peter’s Street and both are free all day on Sundays. There is also ample cycle parking.


Sunday 26 May 2024

Children’s Theatre: Claytime
The Quarry Theatre @ 11am & 2pm
Tickets: from £13 (Family tickets available)

The award-winning Indefinite Articles present their work for the very young: Claytime, a play with clay, where the audience are invited to participate.

Come to a place where the earth’s natural material meets with children’s imaginations: a world of fabulous forms, amazing animals and morphing monsters. Each Claytime is totally unique – creating its own world, its own characters and its own stories drawn directly from its young audience. Truly, interactive theatre at its most engaging.

This show is made with and for 3 to 6-year-olds.


Sunday 26th May 2024

Live music: Soul On Sunday
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm until 7pm
Free Entry

DJ Stevo plays the best of 60’s/70’s Soul & Motown.


Sunday 26 May 2024

DJ set: The Beatles Dub Club
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £10

A special DJ set showcasing The Fab Four like you’ve never heard them before…

DJ Chris Arnold takes you on a magical mystery tour of his collection of covers, remixes and tracks that sampled arguably the greatest band ever – The Beatles.

Expect to hear plenty of reggae, ska, Latin, hip hop, dub, funk, house and even drum & bass takes on the wonderful music created by John, Paul, George and Ringo.

The Beatles Dub Club drew in huge crowds during the 2022 festival season with thousands of punters showing up to watch the show at Boomtown Fair, Glastonbury, Shambala, Green Man & Bluedot amongst others. The year finished off with a personal invitation by Fatboy Slim to perform at his ‘All Back To Minehead’ Weekender at Butlins.


Bank holiday Monday 27 May 2024

On the Ouse: Bank holiday cruises
The John Bunyan Community Boat @ 1.30pm and 3pm
Tickets: adult £10 / child (5 – 15) £7 / under 5s free

Leaving from the Suspension Bridge on Bedford Embankment, the bank holiday cruise is a one-hour round-trip on the tranquil River Great Ouse.

Booking in advance will guarantee you a place, otherwise you can pay onboard, first come first served.


At the Higgins Bedford

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
Sussex Lustreware are among the featured artists at the Edward Bawden & Me exhibition 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 are on display at an exhibition at the Higgins Bedford 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.


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


At the Panacea Museum

Exhibition: ‘Panacea: A Cure for All Ills’
Thursday – Sunday @ 10am – 4pm
Free entry

Free healing. Image: Panacea Museum

The current exhibition at the fascinating Panacea Museum explores the ministry which gave the Panacea Society its name.

Originally titled ‘The Community of the Holy Ghost’, their more famous name came later, connected with their international Healing offer. The Society sent out linen squares, blessed by their leader Octavia, these were placed in water to make a therapeutic elixir.  

This exhibition explains the origins of the Healing, how it became so well-known, and why it finally ended.
Entry to the museum and exhibition is free. More information about visiting the museum can be found on their website here.


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

Cocktails. Image: bridgesward/Pixabay
Cocktails. Image: bridgesward/Pixabay

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.


Theatre highlights by Paula Walker

The May issue of the Bedford Clanger is out now and you can pick up a copy from Bedford’s indie retailers, bars, restaurants, cafes, museums, theatres, pubs, libraries and more…