What’s on Bedford: 18 – 28 January 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 18 January 2024

Community: Death Café
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: Free (reserve a place via website)

The Death Café at The Place Theatre occurs every third Thursday of the month. A Death Café is an informal gathering of people (often strangers) to talk about death over a cup of tea and a piece of cake. The topic of discussion is generated by the group and there is no agenda, objective or prescribed theme. A Death Café is an open, accessible and confidential space for those interested in talking about anything in relation to death.

Friday 19 January 2024

Community: Quiz Night
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: £3

Join The Place for their first Quiz Night of 2024 as part of their Raise the Roof fundraiser for essential repairs to the roof and other areas of the building. It will, hopefully, be the first of a series of quiz nights and community members are invited to get a team together for what will be a fun evening!

Entry is £3 per person with teams of up to 6 people. Don’t worry if you can’t get a team together as teams can be made up on the night.

Friday 19 January 2024

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

Mat Roberts has been a huge supporter of The Cellar Bar from the start, hosting the venue’s open mic night and junior open mic, so they are delighted to welcome him back for a night of musical entertainment. 

Expect a diverse range of music, from pop to rock and anything in between.  He may even take requests!

Friday 19 January 2024

Comedy: Mark Simmons – Quip off the Mark
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £17

This isn’t your average one-liner show as there is the running theme throughout. This year Mark’s parents have sold the house he grew up in and he has had to collect his box of stuff from the loft. What’s in the box can be discovered in this top-level one-liner show structured in a way you’ve never seen before. 

Mark recently joined Dara O’Brian and Hugh Dennis on BBC2’s Mock The Week as a semi-regular on the show and now brings you his hotly-anticipated show Quip Off The Mark. He’s also been appearing on BT Sport’s DIY pundit and The Rugby’s On.

Friday 19 January 2024

Live music: Ginger plays The Wildhearts – an acoustic evening celebrating the music of The Wildhearts
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

The legendary Ginger Wildheart will be making a rare appearance at Esquires on 19 January, exclusively revisiting the back catalogue of The Wildhearts.

Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 January 2024

National Theatre Live: Skylight
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm on Saturday & 2pm on Sunday
Tickets: £15

On a bitterly cold London evening, schoolteacher Kyra receives an unexpected visit from her former lover. As the evening progresses, the two attempt to rekindle their once passionate relationship only to find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires.

Starring Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy and captured live from Wyndham’s Theatre, in London’s West End in 2014.

Saturday 20 January 2024

Theatre: MO@NA presents: From Scratch
The Ent Shed, The Gordon Arms, Castle Road @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £7

Bedford-based theatre company Modern Originals & New Artists (MO&NA, pronounced ‘mona’) is launching its inaugural event, ‘From Scratch’, at the Ent Shed on Castle Road this month.

The event promises to be a celebration of local theatre talent and creativity, featuring new plays and scenes, all all exclusively written, performed, and directed by a pool of over 30 gifted local artists.

Read: “From Scratch” event celebrates local theatre talent and creativity

Saturday 20 January 2024

Classical music: The Silvana Duo
St Andrew’s Church, Kimbolton Road, Bedford, MK40 2PF @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12 (Accompanied under 18s free)

The Silvana Duo was formed in 2013 whilst Katie Sazanova (Flute) and Hannah Woollacott (Classical Guitar) were studying at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. They have performed both as solo artists and chamber musicians in many highly respected venues, including Dulverton Classical, Benslow Music Trust, The Polish Hearth Member’s Club, Dillington Guitar Festival and Winchester Guitar Festiv

Their programme will include a variety of works from composers including Elgar and Fauré as well as pieces from folk and Celtic traditions – a truly varied programme.

Concerts at St Andrew’s is a not-for-profit enterprise dedicated to bringing international artists, local talent and the rising stars of the future to perform for local audiences at an affordable price for all to enjoy.

Saturday 20 January 2024

Live music: Bootleg Blondie
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14

CBGB’s comes to Bedford Esquires with the return of ‘Bootleg Blondie’ on the 20 January.

Expect to hear some of the greatest hits across a vast back catalogue inc: Heart of Glass, Dreaming, Union City Blue, The Tide Is High, Rapture, Atomic, Hanging on the Telephone, (I’m Always Touched by Your) Presence Dear, In the Flesh, Rip Her to Shreds, One Way or Another, Picture This, Sunday Girl, Maria, In the Flesh, Denise, Call Me and many more.

Packing out venues up and down the UK they are the only tribute to have actually featured real members of Blondie with both Clem Burke sitting in on the drum stool and Gary Valentine taking over bass duties occasionally. 

The last time the band were in town the show sold out a full 2 months in advance so an early ticket purchase is advised.

Saturday 20 January 2024

Live Music: Double Header – Tiptoe Apollo + Joe Cullen
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / bar opens at 6pm / Happy Hour until 9pm / 3am close
Free entry

Always keen to support new young acts, The Cellar Bar is delighted to welcome back Tiptoe Apollo.  They will be playing classic covers from Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, The Strokes, The Cure, Foo fighters and much much more. They played at The Dublin Castle as a support act in September 2022 and were asked to go back and headline in November. They are officially the youngest band to ever perform or headlined there.  Not to be missed!

Also on the bill is Joe Cullen, playing everything from covers by Ed Sheeran, The 1975, Oasis, Harry Styles, The Killers, Coldplay to Irish folk music.

Saturday 20 January 2024

Live music: John Otway
Bedford Esquires @

John Otway is an English singer-songwriter who has built a sizeable cult audience through extensive touring, a surreal sense of humour and a self-deprecating underdog persona.

From the age of nine, John Otway knew he wanted to be a pop star. But even at that young age, having listened to his sister’s Beatles and Stones records, he knew he would never be able to do what they do. However, when his sister got the latest Bob Dylan album, he knew there was a place for him and he set about learning how to play guitar.

A visit to a fortune teller would have a profound effect on the young Otway. After gazing into her crystal ball, she confirmed that Otway would indeed be a star and would have success with a blonde-haired musician.

Otway took this prediction very seriously and teamed up with Wild Willy Barrett (the only musician he knew who fitted the fortune teller’s description). In 1972, the pair released their first single. Gypsy/Misty Mountain was a dedication to the fortune teller who had assured Otway that fame and stardom was just around the corner. The single would be the first of a string of flops, but it did capture the attention of The Who’s Pete Townshend who offered to produce a number of tracks for the duo.

Sunday 21 January 2024

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

Acoustopaea play the Rock & Blues Sunday Afternoon Session at Esquires. Free entry.

Sunday 21 January 2024

Live music: U18’s Open Mic
The Cellar Bar @ 5pm until 7pm / bar opens at 4.30pm
Free entry

Whether you sing, play guitar, drums, or any other musical instrument, or are a band already, if you’re under 18, you are welcome to the Cellar Bar’s Junior Open Mic Night. 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.

Tuesday 23 January 2024

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

Rustam Khanmurzin (piano). Free with a retiring collection.

Tuesday 23 January 2023

Theatre: Living It Up Performing Arts Centre presents – Guitars to the Stars
University of Bedfordshire Theatre @ 6.30pm
Tickets: £7/£5/carers and under 16s are free

Don’t miss out on tickets to this year’s Living It Up performance. Image: Living It Up Events

For one night only, the University of Bedfordshire Theatre will host ‘Guitars to the Stars’, written and performed by the Tuesday adult learners at the Living It Up Performing Arts Centre who all have learning disabilities and/or autism.

Suitable for the whole family, ‘Guitars to the Stars’ features lots of music, dancing, some great acting and an abundance of fun. This year’s show is set in the future and features evil aliens that have landed on Earth and hate music.

The aliens decide to kidnap the Living It Up Radio DJs, hoping to banish music forever. However, some superheroes make it their mission to return music to the universe, with a little helper from some friends they meet along the way.

But will they succeed? You’ll have to come along to find out!

You can read our five-star review of last year’s show here and find out more about this year’s performance here.

Wednesday 24 January 2023

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

The Ipcress File” (1965), directed by Sidney J. Furie, stands out in the realm of spy cinema. This British classic introduced Michael Caine as Harry Palmer, a bespectacled, nonconformist intelligence officer, offering a gritty and realistic contrast to the flamboyant spies of its era. Based on Len Deighton’s novel, the film delves into a world of brainwashing and Cold War espionage, captivating audiences with its intricate plot and atmospheric cinematography.

This groundbreaking film, celebrated for its psychological depth and unique style, marked a significant departure from traditional spy narratives. John Barry’s iconic score adds to the film’s suspenseful ambiance. As we revisit “The Ipcress File” at our cinema club, prepare for an immersive experience into the nuanced world of espionage.

Thursday 25 January 2024

Comedy: Pink and Sassy Comedy
The White Horse, Newnham Ave, MK41 9PX, Doors 7/Show 8pm
Tickets: £8 call The White Horse at 01234 409 306 to book

After a sold out show in October, Pink and Sassy Comedy night is back featuring four up & coming comedians, each making a name for themselves on the UK comedy circuit. A winning lineup hosted by Texan-born/Bedford-residing stand-up comedian, Kimberly Policella. Arrive early for our signature cocktail, The Pink & Sassy!

Limited tickets remain.

Wednesday 24 January 2024

Live music: Slow Leaves
The Place Theatre, Bradgate Road, MK40 3DE @ 8pm
Tickets: £15

Slow Leaves is the self-contained solo project of Grant Davidson. He curates almost every aspect of the music and its presentation, including being multi-instrumentalist, producer, cover art designer, photographer, and videographer. He views the totality of these aspects as essential parts of a larger project of self-understanding.

His folk and psych-rock stylings recall older songwriters like Mickey Newbury and Nick Drake as well as more modern artists like Andy Shauf and Bill Callahan. His voice has been compared to Roy Orbison and Bryan Ferry. His newest album, Meantime, is out June 30th on Birthday Cake Records.

Wednesday 24 January 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 25 January 2024

Theatre: The Government Inspector
The Quarry Theatre @ 4.30pm & 7pm
Tickets: £14.50/£12.50

Splendid Productions proudly presents a new creative adaptation of ‘The Government Inspector’, an 1836 comedy written by Ukrainian playwright Nickolai Gogol.

The play is a satirical prod at power, privilege, corruption and classism set in a small provincial town whose public servants – including the untrustworthy Mayor – are told they are to be assessed by an anonymous official: The Government Inspector.

At the same time, an idiotic aristocratic stranger arrives in town, setting the stage for an escalating masterclass in political farce.

In Splendid’s adaptation, a highly skilled cast of three will populate an entire town of panicking officials, dismayed citizens and feckless fantasists in a fast-paced, one-hour performance which asks: if absolute power corrupts absolutely, what happens when you only have a tiny bit of power? 

Thursday 25 January 2024

Live music: Deadletter
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

One of the hottest new bands in the country, DEADLETTER are returning to Esquires, having opened Ceremony in blistering fashion in 2023.

A whirlwind of saxophones, cowbells, razor sharp lyrics and LCD Soundsystem influenced art-punk, the London/North Yorkshire six-piece have been heavily championed by Steve Lamacq and 6 Music. It’s likely you’ve already heard their brilliant single ’The Snitching Hour’, which borrowed the bassline from The Jam’s ’Start’ and turned it into something gloriously danceable.

Friday 26 January 2024

Live music: The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars present – ‘The Ronnie Scott’s Story’
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pk
Tickets: £25

Direct from London’s world-famous jazz club and combining world class live jazz,

narration and rare archive photos and video footage, The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars

return to the Quarry Theatre with a brand new programme of music celebrating ‘The

Ronnie Scott’s Story’. Mixing classic music from the jazz greats who have performed at Ronnie Scott’s over its incredible 60+ year history, alongside tales of old Soho, miscreant musicians and police raids, this is a unique evening celebrating one of the world’s most famous jazz venues, its music, and history.

Friday 26 January 2024

Live Music: 9 Times Lucky
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / Doors open at 6pm / Happy Hour 6pm – 9pm
Free Entry 

9 Times Lucky play their debut session at The Cellar Bar this month, playing songs from the rock n roll era to the present day.

Friday 26 January 2024

DJ set: Forever Indie Night – Yard Act DJ set
Bedford Esquires @ 9pm
Tickets: £10

Yard Act are coming back to Esquires to spin some tunes for us! The ‘Forever Indie’ club night is having a bit of a belated Christmas party this, when James and the gang roll back into town for a rescheduled DJ set to play some of their favourite tunes, mixed with wall to wall indie bangers. We expect this one to sell out, so grab a ticket early to guarantee entry.

Saturday 27 January 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Riseley Primary School MK44 1DR @ 10 am and 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

This week’s walks can be enjoyed either as a morning or afternoon circular walk or as an all-day ‘figure of eight’ walk.

At 10am the 5.5 mile walk heads east of Riseley to Swineshead Church returning to Riseley.

After the lunch break the group will walk to Melchbourne at 1pm, with views of Melchbourne House through Coppice Wood. This is a distance of 5.8 miles.

The terrain could be muddy so please dress accordingly.

Saturday 27 January 2024

Dance music: Shiva ‘Goes Indoors’
Bedford Esquires @ 4pm – 11pm
Tickets: £18.95 plus booking fee

Shiva Events, the team behind the hugely successful festival, FlitFest, are bringing their all-day party to Esquires for the very first time. Headlined by DJ S.K.T and SAYA, expect the finest in House and Tech.

Also on the lineup are Aaron James B2B Mo Y No, Carly C, Connor Mac, Ned & Bo and Robbie Garooba.

Saturday 27 January 2024

Live Music: Double Header – V8 + Frogz
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / bar opens @ 6pm / Happy Hour until 9pm / 3am close
Free Entry.  Bar opens at 6.00pm, Happy Hour until 9.00pm.  3.00am close.

V8 are a well-established band who have now been rockin’ the nation for over two decades with headline appearances at the BMF, MAG, Perverts in Leather, Cowpat Napton Festival, and a multitude of other venues. Prepare to be entertained with epic metal covers – this will be loud!

Frogz are a three-piece rock/punk/grunge band, fronted by Will Day.  Playing covers and original songs, their nfluences include Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Social Distortion, Johnny Cash and much more.

Saturday 27 January 2024

Live music: The Quireboys + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

Bedford legends, The Quireboys return to Esquires for their now annual January show to celebrate Griff’s birthday. Happy birthday!

Sunday 28 January 2024

National Theatre Live: Dear England
The Quarry Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: £15

Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale) plays Gareth Southgate in James Graham’s (Sherwood) gripping Dear England, an incredible 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, Rupert Goold (Judy) directs this spectacular new play.

Sunday 28th January 2024

Live music: Soul on Sunday
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm / bar opens at 3pm
Free entry

Head to the Cellar Bar for an afternoon of Northern Soul and Motown classics with DJ Stevo at the helm.

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

Sunday 28 January 2024

Live music: Fran Pegg & band play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

Fran and her band will be playing the Sunday Afternoon Session at Esquires this week.

Sunday 28 January 2024

Theatre: Bedford Drama Company presents – Radio Plays
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10/£8

Three original radio plays written by Richard Moon based on the Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will be rehearsed and performed in a day at The Place Theatre. 

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.

Until 2024

Exhibition: We Are Ten
The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane
Free entry

The Higgins begins its 10th birthday celebrations with an exhibition featuring old favourites and rarely seen works from the collection, all chosen by organisations, groups and individuals who have worked with the museum and gallery over the last decade.

The exhibition runs for the next year, with special events planned next month to mark the exact date the museum reopened in 2013. Watch this space for more information.

Until 2024

Exhibition: Edward Bawden – Planes, Trains and Automobiles
The Higgins Bedford @ Tues – Sat: 11am – 5pm/Sun: 2pm – 5pm/Closed Mondays
Free entry

The Titfield Thunderbolt 1952 by Edward Bawden. Image: The Edward Bawden Estate
The Titfield Thunderbolt 1952 by Edward Bawden. Image: The Edward Bawden Estate

Let Edward Bawden transport you in this exhibition celebrating all things travel.

Drawn exclusively from the Higgins Bedford’s Edward Bawden archive, see large linocuts of London’s iconic stations and an array of wonderful vehicles from hot air balloons to jumbo jets and tall ships to cruise liners.

Read: New Edward Bawden ‘trains, planes and automobiles’ exhibition to open this weekend

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker

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