What’s on Bedford: 17 – 27 November 2022


The festive season officially starts this weekend with the Christmas lights switch-on this Saturday (19 November), plus we’ve also got the low-down on the best live music, theatre, comedy, film and more.

Let the countdown to Christmas commence…


Thursday 17 November 2022

Live music: Pellow Talk – Marti Pellow
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £30/VIP £45/VIP meet & greet £75

An intimate eveing with Marti Pellow, like you’ve never seen him before. This night of stories and follows Marti’s life not just as a singer and songwriter with Wet Wet Wet, but as a boy and a man.

“ There’ll be laughter as we travel from the banks of the River Clyde to the top of the charts, then onto Broadway and beyond. There’ll be no mask and no character,” he says.

“This is me, Marti, stepping out of the shadows, speaking directly to you. The invitation is there. I hope you come and spend some time with me. Enough living has been done for a life to unfold. Enough years have passed for a story to be told.”

Friday 18 November 2022

Theatre: Daytime Deewane
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: from £10

It’s 1997 and London is about to have its last daytime rave. The end of an era is approaching. British South Asians flock for their last taste of rebellion. Among them are cousins Farhan and Sadiq. Both very different. Both escaping something. Both trying to decide what it means to be British and Pakistani, to be Muslim and a man – and they’ve got until 6pm to figure it out.

Inspired by the daytime raves of 1990s British Asian culture, Daytime Deewane explores the beauty and struggle of living with a multi‐cultural identity as a teenager. Featuring a DJ mix merging soundscapes, dance music and spoken word, this immersive new show is an exhilarating gig theatre adventure.

Daytime Deewane, by Azan Ahmed, is the latest production from Half Moon, the UK’s leading small‐scale young people’s venue and touring company.

Friday 18 November 2022

Live music: The Golden Dregs + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £8

The Golden Dregs might be on the project of just one man, Benjamin Woods, but beyond that it’s a lot of different things. “It’s adopted the guise of a bar-band, a lonely man with a piano, a singer with a backing band, and an awkward and insecure karaoke performance,” says Woods.

“I think of The Golden Dregs as a project as opposed to a group or a person. It’s a platform for me to explore different musical avenues.”

Saturday 19 November 2022

Family fun: Christmas lights switch-on
Harpur Square

(image: Bedford Borough Council)

The festive season can officially start this Saturday, with the Christmas lights switch-on. Throughout the day, Harpur Square and Midland Road will host live music, festive food and drink stalls, a seasonal Charter Market and free children’s fairground rides.

Then at 4.30pm in Harpur Square, the switching on of the lights by Mayor Dave Hodgson will illuminate Bedford town centre, officially kicking off Christmas.

Saturday 19 November 2022

Film: Oska Bright: Queer Freedom
The Place Theatre @ 1.30pm
Tickets: £5

Power in Discussion & The Place Bedford present this programme of Short Films exploring identity and love within the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Queer) community. All of the films have been made by, or feature, autistic people or people with learning disabilities.

Explore the intersection of queerness and disability through these short films about gender, friendships and the importance of language. In this selection of films from the 2022 and 2019 Queer Freedom programmes curated for the Oska Bright Film Festival, we’ll explore a rich variety of queer stories from around the world.

From enriching encounters with drag queens to touching animated shorts, from quirky melodramas told entirely through feet to a gay teen romance sure to appeal to anyone who has been falling in love with TV series Heartstopper, these films, some delightful, some experimental and some very funny, offer unique representations of queerness and disability.

Saturday 19 November 2022

Classical Music: Bedfordshire Symphony Orchestra
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £17/£16/£7/£6

Conductor: Michael Rose
Piano Soloist: Stephen Meakins

Mendelssohn: Overture Ruy Blas, Op. 95
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27

The Bedfordshire Symphony Orchestra is pleased to present the first concert of the 2022-23 season under the baton of Michael Rose, who is celebrating his 50th year as the orchestra’s principal conductor.

Local pianist Stephen Meakins will join the orchestra to perform Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto, described by a contemporary critic as ‘the most admirable, singular, artistic and complex Beethoven concerto ever’.  The concert will begin with Mendelssohn’s energetic Ruy Blas overture, and will conclude with Rachmaninoff’s second symphony, one which is rich and expansive and overflowing with late-Romantic lyricism.

Saturday 19 November 2022

Live music: Whole Lotta DC
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm

Whole Lotta DC have played Bedford Esquires five times now and have packed the venue out every time. This time the band have some new canons and bigger production so expect another great show!

Saturday 19 November 2022

Live music: Touts + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £8

TOUTS are a three-piece Irish punk band from Derry, Northern Ireland. Matthew Crossan, Jason Feenan & Luke McLaughlin. “A singer that can’t sing, a mod that can’t play bass & a drummer that can’t see”.

The toils and tribulations of small-town life is a path well-trodden, but not in the way Touts do it.  They’ve dug the path up and set fire to the rubble, inspired by dodgy politicians, shitty life and the sort of weekend politics. This results in a set of incendiary two-minute subculture anthems.

Sunday 20 November 2022

Live music: The Sam Barratt Blues Band play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

Former CC Smuggler, Sam Barratt brings his blues band to Esquires for their Sunday Afternoon Session debut.

Tuesday 22 November 2022

Comedy: Paul Chowdhry – family-friendly comedian
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 8pm
Tickets: £25

Following a complete sell-out 2021 tour, star of global smash hit ‘Live Innit’, Taskmaster & the first British-Asian stand-up to sell-out London’s Wembley Arena adds extra 2022 dates!

After barely surviving the pandemic, and with two years of pent-up killer material, Paul tackles the UK’s handling of the pandemic, why the rules of six only worked for white people, fame, England football fans and Tom Cruise landing his helicopter in someone’s garden. Don’t miss it.

Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 November 2022

Theatre: Candle Lit Macbeth
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10

Welcome to Candlelit Macbeth

In the darkness something stirs
Visceral Witches gather and spin their words

Soundscapes clatter
Screams are heard

Whispers of murder that lurk in the shade

Love betrayed

Wednesday 23 November 2022

Film: Cinema @ 3 St Peter’s presents – 8 Women
3 St Peter’s Street @ 7pm
Tickets: £12/£10.50/£9/£6

At an isolated mansion in the snowy countryside of 1950s France, a family is gathered for the holiday season. But there will be no celebration — their beloved patriarch has been murdered! The killer can only be one of the eight women closest to the man of the house.

Comedic situations arise with the revelations of dark family secrets. Eight women. Each is a suspect. One of them is guilty. Which one is it?

Thursday 24 November 2022

Folk music: That’s All Folk: Matt Deighton
The place Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: from £19

Matt Deighton’s stunning discography is an undiscovered island inhabited by a human being everyone wants to love and protect from the world around him.

Matt’s is a story of genuinely great musicianship and songwriting; but most of all, of the beauty and fragility of one of Britain’s greatest lost talents and how life around him has sometimes shaped a fate beyond his control; but who has come back with something more beautiful every time the storm abated.

Yes, Matt Deighton has returned and you probably never knew it. Well now you do; and as the Sunday Times declared – “…it’s impossible to imagine fans of Nick Drake or John Martyn not falling in love with him…”

Thursday 24 November 2022

Live music: Islands in the Stream
Bedford Corn Exchange @7.30pm
Tickets: £25

Leave your 9 to 5 worries at the door and get ready as for one night only, we celebrate the Queen and King of country music – Dolly Parton and the late great Kenny Rogers..

This thigh-slapping stage show brings together the beloved glamour and personality of Dolly, along with Kenny’s charisma and energy with hit after hit including Jolene, Ruby, 9 to 5, Lucille, Here You Come Again, The Gambler, I Will Always Love You, Coward of the County, plus the smash hit Islands in the Stream.

Friday 25 – Sunday 27 November 2022

Festive family fun: Kempston Christmas Tree Festival
Church of the Transfiguration, Kempston @ 1.30pm – 4.30pm
Free entry

Everyone’s welcome to the free event in the Church Hall. The perfect way to get in Christmas spirit or just come and keep warm.

Friday 25 November 2022

Comedy: Lava elastic Neurodivergent Comedy Night
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £9

Those that aren’t ‘Neurotypical’ (the usual) are known as ‘Neurodivergent’ with differences that include Autism/Aspergers, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia and other types of brain that aren’t ‘Neurotypical’.

LAVA ELASTIC is a night for brilliant performers who are considered from the ‘problematic’ to the ‘niche’, alongside other fantastic acts who are as varied in their styles…as their brains…which of course everyone is – but we choose to celebrate

Neurodivergent performers often struggle to get booked and to navigate the social codes around working with promoters. As a result, there are many talented people you simply don’t get to see. LAVA ELASTIC is here to change that. Neurotypical performers are of course also on the bill. Join us for a night celebrating humans of all
kinds – just doing their comedy/performance thing

LAVA ELASTIC is the UK’s FIRST openly neurodiverse comedy/performance/poetry night…brought to you by neurodivergent performer (late diagnosis of Aspergers) Sarah Saeed (aka operatic comedy diva Marianna Harlotta).

Friday 25 November 2022

Live music: The Style Councillors
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £15

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 1980s 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 lineup of musicians hell-bent on recreating the sound of 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.

Friday 25 November 2022

Live music: Gaz Brookfield + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £10

With the success of his tour earlier this year, Gaz Brookfield takes to the road once more, playing songs from his top ten album ‘Idiomatic’, plus plenty of old favourites.

Support on this tour comes in the form of, ‘Heartwork’, aka, Dan O’Dell.

Saturday 26 November 2022

Dance: Ananda Arts: Odissi Student Showcase
The Place Theatre @ 6pm
Tickets: Free

Ananda Arts is an arts organisation focussed on creating a centre of artistic excellence and development in Odissi Dance in the South East of England, with the hope of developing the art form and bringing the rich tradition and heritage of Oriya dance and music to the local community and surrounding areas.

As well as holding performances, artist development opportunities and weekly dance classes, the organisation engages with Odissi dance artists and emerging artists on a wider international level, inviting practitioners from all over the world to attend our Odissi Festival, the first of its kind in Bedford.

Saturday 26 November 2022

Choral music: Bedford Choral Society – A celebration of Vaughn Williams
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

A concert of beautiful music and ‘sweet harmony’ to celebrate the 150th birthday of Vaughan Williams.

Saturday 26 November 2022

Live music: Dirt Box Disco
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £15

Dirt Box Disco Live at Esquires with support from local legends The Tendons, a very rare show from classic 80s punk band, Flare Up and the debut of Vomit.

Sunday 27 November 2022

Live music: The Story of Soul
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £28/£26

Featuring songs by Aretha Franklin, Earth Wind and Fire, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Chaka Khan, Tina Turner, The Pointer Sisters, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Ben E King, Barry White and many, many, more.

So, make this the Night to Remember. Get your tickets now, for the must-see show of the year!

Until April 2023

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

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker