What’s on Bedford: 2 – 12 March 2023


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.

From Thursday 2 March 2023

International Women’s Day: Art and photography exhibition
Herd, St Cuthbert’s Street (check opening times on their Facebook page)
Free entry

To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, Herd on St Cuthberts Street has invited local female artists and photographers to display their work within the restaurant throughout the month.

Thursday 2 March 2023

Quizzing: Quiz Night
The Cellar Bar @ 8.00pm
£2 per person entry

Pit your wits against the Cellar Bar’s resident quiz master to see if you can win the jackpot. Maximum of six players per team. Winning team wins the jackpot plus a round of shots!

Thursday 2 March 2023

The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10

This funny, tender heart-felt, one-woman (and a puppet) show is drawn from workshops with women of all ages and writer and performer, Michele O’Brien’s own lived experiences with her 91-year-old Mother, Gena.

We often hear people say, “If only I asked!” when a parent is no longer with us and Michele was determined to take the many opportunities she had to share with her Mother, to change that.

In so doing, she has created a deeply personal, but truly relatable piece of storytelling theatre that explore the joys, the frustrations, the shared memories, and the love that bind generations together. A universal tale for all to enjoy.

Thursday 2 March 2023

LGBT: Escape Mates: LGBT Community
Don’t Get Locked In Escape Rooms @ 6.30pm
£20.00 includes a free shot

Come and meet up with some like-minded people in a safe, comfortable environment. For just £20 (which includes an escape room experience and a free short on arrival) you’ll be put into a group of up to six or eight people to play one of the seven themed escape rooms.

Afterwards, you’ll have the option to play another escape room for a reduced price of £15 or stay and have a drink in the bar.

Thursday 2 March 2023

Theatre: Mythos: Ragnarok
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £18

Join Odin and Loki in their struggle to overcome primaeval giants, rival Gods and Goddesses, and each another’s ambitions in this dark comic adaption of Norse mythology.

Weaving ancient myths, legends, and folk tales into original pieces of theatre, Mythos utilises a cast of actors who specialise in professional wrestling to create some of the most intense and thrilling fight scenes in the history of theatre.

Named a “Must See Show” of Edinburgh Fringe 2022, the show earned more positive public reviews than any other show of the festival and was nominated for the Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence.

Friday 3 March 2023

Live music: Popes of Chiltown + Easydread + The Tics
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

After an absence of three years, Popes of Chillitown are finally returning back to Bedford Esquires.
Popes of Chillitown play ska/dub/punk with a progressive edge. Impossible to tie down and with enough energy to power a small city, their songs drag you through punk, two-tone, rock, hip-hop, reggae, drum & bass, dub, metal and more.

Renowned for their energetic live shows, they have amassed a loyal following over the years. Since 2011, Popes have released three well-received albums, two EPs, toured the UK with US legends Fishbone, Voodoo Glow Skulls & The Slackers as well as doing extensive headline touring of their own across the UK & Europe.

Friday 3 March 2023

Live Music: Lois ‘Legs’ Laurelle
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free Entry

Lois is one third of the successful close harmony trio The Hotsie Totsies and has performed at HMS Belfast, Twinwood Festival, The Victoria & Albert Museum, Goodwood Revival and Ronnie Scotts to name a few.

She is no stranger to entertaining and this sharp-witted broad has branched out with her very own unique solo cabaret act.

Expect audience participation, classic songs from the 1940s and lots of laughs. You will also end up riding on your own Chattanooga Choo!

Friday 3 March 2023

Theatre: Coming Out of My Cage (and I’ve Been Doing Just Fine)
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10

Coming Out Of My Cage (and I’ve Been Doing Just Fine) is a storytelling show with music, karaoke and audience participation.

Tim and Hannah come across a viral video of an Irish bar singing The Killers’ Mr Brightside to their recently departed friend.

Reading online comments they uncover stories of incredible people – united all by one song. A fusion of karaoke, lip-syncing and absolute bangers, Coming Out Of My Cage (and I’ve Been Doing Just Fine) is a love letter to music and the power of community and an unashamedly good night out.

Saturday 4 March – Sunday 11 March 2023

Culture: The Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama
Bedford Corn Exchange, the Harpur Suite and the Howard Room
Tickets: £2.50 (under 10s free) / season ticket £13

Bedfordshire Festival of Music Speech & Drama

Following its centenary celebrations in 2022, the Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech & Drama will begin its second century in style, showcasing over 1,500 musicians and actors, performing in over 250 competitive classes.

This year’s Festival will shine a spotlight on the finest musical and dramatic talent from across the county and beyond, giving people of all ages and abilities the chance to perform on the stages of the Corn Exchange, Howard Room and Harpur Suite and receive feedback from some of the country’s most eminent experts in music, speech and drama.

Audience members can attend any of the sessions throughout the event for just £2.50 and those under 10 are free. A season ticket to attend an unlimited number of classes throughout the week costs just £13.

Saturday 4 March 2023

Live music: Ultimate RnB – the definitive RnB tribute band + DJ MASS C
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £14

This weekend, Esquires plays tribute to some of the greatest music ever made. Ultimate RnB is a full seven-piece live band featuring session musicians and vocalists that have played with some stone-cold legends of the RnB genre.

The Midlands-based band draws on its members’ diverse musical backgrounds, having supported and billed with the likes of Jocelyn Brown, Mica Paris, Soul to Soul, Sister Sledge and Clean Bandit, while touring nationally and internationally with the elite AMC Gospel Choir, top UK tribute band Ultimate Madness, dance phenomenon, Hacienda Classical and Lewis Capaldi.
The dynamic result is a high-end performance, featuring hit songs from the most memorable artists of this genre: En Vogue, Lauryn Hill, Sisqo, Next, TLC, Boyz II Men – the list of favourites continues throughout this 90-minute show.
Support comes from the finest DJ this town has produced in a long time, MASS C, who will be spinning Hip Hop, Funk, Soul and Breaks before and after Ultimate RnB.

Saturday 4 March 2023

Theatre: On Track
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10

March 2020. Dynamic single mother Kit’s world suddenly shrinks. Staying at home to save lives means a retreat back to the role of mother and homemaker. With the walls closing in, the garage and two wheels become her sanctuary…

On Track is a new play drawing on true stories, using a blend of comedy and visual, physical theatre. The audience follows Kit’s journey of discovery through the shocking history of women’s cycling. Riding at night, disguised as men, these cycling pioneers powered over Victorian ideals of the genteel, house-bound woman and opened up
new worlds.

On Track explores mental health and tells the story of how, during lockdown, a simple bicycle became a vehicle to freedom once again.

Saturday 4th March 2023

Live Music: Mat Roberts & J37
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free Entry

The fabulous Mat Roberts and his band J37 are back at The Cellar Bar for a night of classic covers and party songs.

Sunday 5 March 2023

Theatre: StageWrite Spring 2023
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.

Every time StageWrite happens, it’s different – the nature of profiling brand new work!  Follow on Instagram (lifeboxtheatre) and Twitter (@lifeboxtheatre) for updates.

Sunday 5 March 2023

Poetry: Read Poets Society – Spring 2023
The Eagle Bookshop @ 7pm
Tickets: Free but please book via The Place Theatre website

Join the Read Poets Society for their monthly poetry reading of poems reflecting the season. This monthly event takes place at The Eagle Bookshop in St Peter’s Street.

Monday 6 March 2023

Film: Bedford Film Society presents – The Quiet Girl
Main Theatre, University of Bedfordshire, Polhilll Avenue @ 7.30pm
Tickets: Special offer half-season membership £35/day membership £5/free parking

Set in 1981, a nine-year-old girl from a dysfunctional family goes to live with distant relatives for the summer. Living with a middle-aged farm couple, she discovers a new way of living.

Tuesday 7 March 2023

Children: Bring You Own Baby Comedy
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 younger guests are well looked after. Buggy parking, baby changing, and helping hands are provided so that your baby is happy and you can relax.

Tuesday 7 March 2023

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

Featuring a cello recital by Luke Howard.

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Children: Meet Me a Tree
The Place Theatre @ 11am & 1pm
Tickets: from £8

Meet Me a Tree is an interactive first opera for 0-2 year olds and their carers with music by Schumann, Delibes and Handel as well as words and music created by the company.

HurlyBurly invites you and your baby on a multisensory journey through a year in the life of a tree: singing with blackbirds, marching through fallen leaves, smelling new blossom and feeling the wind on your cheeks. With beautiful singing and relaxing music at its core Meet Me a Tree is an opportunity to unwind and have fun for new parents, carers and babies.

Wednesday 8 March 2022

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

Tale about a fictional relationship between William Shakespeare and a young woman who poses as a man in order to star in one of the writer’s plays.

Suffering from writer’s block, Shakespeare is in need of a new muse. He soon finds inspiration in the form of a beautiful female aristocrat, but her daring determination to act in his play puts their already forbidden relationship on even more dangerous ground.

Thursday 9 March 2023

Exhibition: Illustrate featuring David Litchfield, Katie Allen, Marisa Straccia and Todd Robinson
Goldington Academy Art Centre, Haylands Way @ 5pm – 7.30pm
Free entry

We are excited to be hosting ‘Illustrate’, an exhibition composing of four very talented, local artists, on Thursday, 9 March.

Come along to the Arts Centre anytime between 5.00 pm – 7.30 pm for a viewing of spectacular work on display in our exhibition space by David Litchfield, Todd Robinson, Marisa Straccia and Katie Allen.

This is a great opportunity for the local community to gather for an evening of art, meeting the artists and of course for children to experience the arts. The exhibition can be accessed through the side entrance of the school on Haylands Way, following signage.

Thursday 9 March 2023

Quiz: Esquires’ monthly music quiz
Bedford Esquires @ 8.30pm

Teams of up to six people £2/person
Featuring music from the 50s to the present day. Cash prize for the winning team.

Thursday 9 March 2023

Theatre: NTLive – The Seagull
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: from £12

Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) makes her West End debut in this 21st-century retelling of Anton Chekhov’s tale of love and loneliness.

A young woman is desperate for fame and a way out. A young man is pining after the woman of his dreams. A successful writer longs for a sense of achievement. An actress wants to fight the changing of the times. In an isolated home in the countryside, dreams lie in tatters, hopes are dashed, and hearts broken. With nowhere left to turn, the only option is to turn on each other.

Thursday 9 March 2023

Live music: Dub War + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

Originally formed in 1993 in Newport, Wales, DUB WAR were a band that tore into the atmosphere with a unique, head- turning fusion of rock, punk, hip-hop and reggae dub – efforts which, in 2020, Metal Hammer declared as ‘tiresomely overlooked’ and alike to the genius of Rage Against The Machine and Faith No More.

Since then, frontman Benji Webbe has worked his revolutionary ways within the folds of the legendary Welsh metalband Skindred.

Friday 10 March 2023

Theatre: Hidden Stories: Now You See Me and Darlint Peidi
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10

Hidden Stories is a double bill of exciting and empowering new one-act plays by female playwrights, directors, and performers, exploring little-told and unseen stories.

Now You See Me by Carly Halse is “hidden story” of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in England.

Darlint Peidi by Rosemary Hill tells the story of Edith Thompson who was executed in 1923 alongside her young lover Frederick Bywaters.  Was she executed for adultery rather than murder, a victim of the social climate of the time? If she had lived through the swinging sixties would society have judged her differently?

Friday 10 March 2023

Theatre: Sold
The Quarry Theatre @7.30pm
Tickets: from £12

When one woman tells of her extraordinary journey to overcome the brutality of slavery, she becomes a beacon for the British anti-slavery movement.

Born into slavery in the British colony of Bermuda, Mary Prince went on to become an auto-biographer and champion of freedom. Her book had an electrifying effect on the abolitionist movement helping to free many Africans in bondage.

Through theatre, song, music, drumming and dance, this masterpiece of Black British theatre is inspired by the storytelling traditions of the West African griot.

Age Suitability: 11+ (there are descriptions of beatings and punishments and a visual image of a noose on set).

Friday 10 March 2023

Live music: Funke and the Two-Tone Baby
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £10

A one-man phenomenon that mixes folky singalong anthems with blistering blues riffs, juxtaposed with fat bass, big-beats and sub kicks. A frenzied amalgamation of organic and electronic that defies all preconception.
Born from festivals and knocking on the door of 1000 shows, F&TTTB has wowed audiences from Glastonbury to Sziget, WOMAD to Boomtown and Alexandra Palace to a Bahraini Princes’ private studio. He has also secured support tours and shows with Skinny Lister, Dutty Moonshine Big Band, Comet is Coming, Beans on Toast, Hazel O’ Connor, Ferocious Dog, Hayseed Dixie, Mark Chadwick (Levellers) and many more.
A lo-fi peach with orchestral depth, a DJ without decks and a blur to the eyes, Funke generates huge sounds from seemingly nothing and sweeps up audiences in an awestruck wave of power, energy and sweat. A truly unique act that needs to be seen to be believed.


Friday 10 March 2023

Dance music: International Women’s Day Weekender feat Jamz Supernova
Herd, St Cuthbert’s Street @ 8pm – 3am
Tickets: £10

As part of Herd’s International Women’s day Weekender they will be kicking things off in fine style with an all female line up of super talented Dj’s headlined by the one and only Jamz Supernova.

Jamz has graced the stages at Sonar, Parklife, Glastonbury, Detonate, Outlook, Kala, Lovebox, Beat Herder, Lost Village, We Out Here, Lost & Found, Warehouse Project and is no stranger to the European circuit with regular slots away including Berlin, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Budapest, Barcelona, Porto, Paris, Amsterdam and Oslo.

Jamz is a tastemaker and her melting pot of club sounds can be heard on her weekly Saturday daytime BBC 6MUSIC show.

Friday 10 March 2023

Live music: LTJ Bukem + Ruthless MC
Bedford Esquires @ 10pm
Tickets: £15

A true pioneer of Drum & Bass comes to Esquires this month when LTJ Bukem touches down in Bedford for the first time since 2016.
Ground breaking DJ. Inspirational musician record label entrepreneur. Club visionary. The man who took the drum and bass concept from a small venue off London’s Charing Cross Road to the nation’s superclubs and then onto the international stage. The geezer whose records launched breakbeat into a brand new galaxy of sound.
A Renaissance man for a digital age.

LTJ Bukem will be joined by Ruthless MC, with support from Optimum (Release), Wes B (Skank) and Dave RYOR.

Saturday 11 March 2023

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

Featuring Dr Anthony Gritten (Royal Academy of Music).

Saturday 11 March 2023

Science: Bedford Science Lab 2023
The Higgins Bedford / John Bunyan Museum / The Panacea Museum @ all day
Free entry (some events are bookable, so visit the Higgins website for information)

Hands-on experiments and workshops as part of British Science Week. Image: Little Science Lab

Science Labs are back in Bedford to celebrate STEM during British Science Week. Head to the Higgins, the Panacea Museum and the John Bunyan Museum for a wealth of hands-on activities, workshops and demonstrations bringing science to life.

Saturday 11 March 2023

Children: The Bubble Show
The Quarry Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: from £11

Join Mr. Bubbles with his extraordinary soap bubbles in all shapes and sizes!  The Bubble Show uniquely combines magic, storytelling, and bubble art! Enjoy bouncy bubbles, bubbles inside bubbles, smoke bubbles, square bubbles, giant bubbles, and even fire bubbles!

Actor, storyteller, and Guinness World Record holder, The Highland Joker, is one of the top bubble artists in the world, bringing you an interactive, fun, international award-winning bubble extravaganza!
Age guidance: 3-12 years.

Saturday 11 March 2023

Dance music: International Women’s Weekender
Herd, St Cuthbert’s Street @ 4pm onwards
Free entry

Herd’s International Women’s Day weekender continues with an all female DJ takeover from 4pm til late.

Saturday 11th March 2023

Live music: Emmaus Charity Concert
St Andrew’s Church, Bedford @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

Following the success of 2019, the Great Ouse Orchestra and Choir conducted by Christopher Ridley are back to raise money for Emmaus, a Bedford homeless charity.

The evening will be full of varied musical pieces performed by Bedford’s best local professional and amateur musicians.

Every penny of your £12 ticket will be donated to the charity.

Saturday 11 March 2023

Live music: The 2 Tones Ska Band
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £12

The eight-piece band formed in 2007 have been blowing away audiences with their unique treatment of classics from the Trojan and 2 Tone labels mixed with a few cheeky modern classics.
If your soundtrack of life has a few of these classics in it then you are in for a good ‘moon-stomping’ night out:
Gangsters, Sally Brown, Tears of a Clown, Rat Race, Baggy Trousers, Pig Bag, Message to you Rudy, Ska Train, Town Called Malice, Red Red Wine, This Is Ska, 3 Little Birds, Nightboat to Cairo, Rat Race, Pressure Drop to name but a few.

Saturday 11 March 2023

Live Music: Sophia Soul
The Cellar Bar @ 8.00pm
Free entry

Modern-day Diva SophiaSOUL has had an outstanding career in live vocals spanning over 14 years. Having previously been the frontwoman for several successful groups and bands, she’s currently taking the UK by storm venturing into her solo career.

Sunday 12 March 2023

Live music: PVA
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

Grammy-nominated, South London trio PVA are heading to Bedford this morth.
Their tour follow the release of their debut album “BLUSH”, which was released to critical acclaim in October 2022 via Ninja Tune, landing at #2 in the UK Official Dance Albums Chart, #13 in the Official Independent Albums Chart, and #25 in the Official Vinyl Albums Chart.
The last year also saw the band make an incendiary live appearance alongside the likes of Burna Boy, Marcus Mumford, Loyle Carner, and The Big Moon, on BBC’s Later… with Jools Holland, performing their BBC Radio 6 Music playlisted single “Hero Man”. They also released a cover of Big Thief’s “Not” – which was recorded for a ‘Future Artists’ session with Jack Saunder’s on BBC Radio 1 – as well as a number of singles and videos including “Kim”, “Bunker”, “Bad Dad”, and “Hero Man”, which have all earned significant plaudits across press and radio, including support from Lauren Laverne, Mary-Anne Hobbs, and more.
As further proof of their mesmerising live allure, PVA were nominated for “Best Live Performer” at 2022’s AIM Awards, a nomination which came as the band made a slew of powerful performances across Latitude Festival, Standon Calling, The Great Escape, Route du Rock, Into The Great Wide Open, Congés Annulés, and Wilderness, as well as SXSW in 2021.

Now, the band continue their must-see victory lap with these new dates across the UK.

Sunday 12th March 2023

Live Music: Open Mic Night
The Cellar Bar @ 7.30pm
Free Entry

Mat Roberts hosts Open Mic Night at the Cellar Bar. An opportunity for new and experienced performers to get up on stage and perform.

Until 25 March 2023

History and heritage: John Bunyan Exhibition
Panacea Museum @ 10am – 4pm Thursday – Saturday
Free entry www.panaceamuseum.org/events

Temporary exhibition at the Panacea Museum including pieces from the John Bunyan Museum collection.

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


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