What’s on Bedford: 20 – 30 June 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.

Friday 21 June 2024

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

Raising money for their Raise the Roof campaign, The Place Quiz Night is back! Join them for a relaxed evening in teams of up to 6 people and help raise money for the theatre.

Friday 21 June 2024

Live music: Roslie Cunningham + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

This Friday sees the welcome return of Rosalie Cunningham to Esquires.

Friday 21 June 2024

Live music: I’m Alive – the ultimate Celine Dion tribute concert
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £30.80

The Ultimate Céline Dion tribute concert with an incredible full live band and starring the highly acclaimed vocalist January Butler.

With dazzling costumes, jaw dropping vocals and a sensational ‘live concert’ feel, this show will take you on a two hour electrifying journey through Céline’s life and career as we travel through four decades of hits.

Packed with Worldwide platinum selling hits including “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now”, “I’m Alive”, “Think Twice”, “My Heart Will Go On”, “That’s the Way It Is” “The Power of Love” “River Deep, Mountain High” and many more hit songs and arrangements performed by January who has taken her years of studying the movements, mannerisms and intricate detail of Queen Céline and packaged it into a show which is only second to the real thing.

Friday 21 June 2024

Live Music: Bad Hombre
The Cellar Bar @ 6pm til late
Free entry

Bad Hombre are a high-energy trio formed in 2012 and with over 250 gigs under their belt. This will be their debut gig at the Cellar Bar, performing Surf, Pop, Rock, Mod, Indie, Punk & New Wave covers.

Expect to hear your favourite tunes from The Jam, Stereophonics, The Kinks, The Fratellis & Kaiser Chiefs amongst many others. The band’s energy is infectious, dancing shoes and drinking hats are recommended!

Friday 21 June 2024

Live music: The Dekkertones + Dr Ska
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14


THE DEKKERTONES are back at Bedford Esquires on Friday for some ‘Midsummer Madness’ on the longest day of the year.

The DekkerTones are a nine-piece ska/reggae/rocksteady/2tone covers band playing authentic ska and reggae from the late 60’s Trojan and Bluebeat scene right through to the 2tone era.

Packing out venues around the region this mighty warhorse of Ska and Reggae play a set of over two hours getting the party started in the room every time and for lovers of that music this is a night not to be missed !

Saturday 22 June 2024

Creative: Bedford in a Day photography project
Bedford Borough @ midnight til midnight
Free to take part!

Bedford in a Day 2019

Calling all night owls!

There is still a chance to take part in this year’s Bedford in a Day photography project, that aims to build a photohaphic record of 24 hours in Bedford Borough.

Members of the public have pitched to submit a photo for each of the 48 half-hour slots throughout the day. There are still some slots available – and they’re very convenient if you are a shift worker, a night owl or just fancy the challenge!

The available slots are at 1am, 1.30am, 2am and 2.30am. If you would like to submit a photo please email clanger@bedfordindependent.co.uk with the slot you’d like and a description of what you’ll be taking a photo of.

Saturday 22 June 2024

Environment: Bedford Repair Cafe
Project 229, 227-229 Bedford Rd, Kempston, MK42 8DA @ 10am – 3pm
Free entry but only one item per household please!

The super-fixers are back at Bedford Repair Cafe this Saturday, fixing your stuff for free from 10am-3pm. No need to book, just turn up to Project 229 in Kempston, ANY TIME between 10am and 2.30pm, with one item per household to repair.

If you need additional accessiblity or want to let the team know what item you plan to bring, you can fill in this form: forms.gle/GpDhtu8iEnpu8CCH9 It is not a booking form, just a way for the team to be prepared.

Types of items we can repair: bikes; small electrical items including lamps, kitchen items, radios and toys; textiles including toys and clothes*; gardening equipment including lawnmowers; costume jewellery and general DIY fixes eg: gluing things, help sourcing parts etc…

They can’t repair microwaves, leaky kettles/irons or large items eg: fridges/washing machines.

It is completely free to attend, but donations are welcome to support the work the volunteers do.

*Please note we are low on sewing volunteers this time, so please be patient as there will be a queue.

Saturday 22 June 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Keysoe Row West, MK44 2JJ @ 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

To meet up, drive to the end of Keysoe Row West and keep going along road and meet at the fence of Thurleigh Air Field. The walk is 6.8 miles between Riseley and Keysoe. Plenty of fields so may be muddy.

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

Saturday 22 June 2024

Music: My Girl The River – Album Launch
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £12

Join My Girl The River, Bedford’s own genre-blending acoustic duo, to celebrate the upcoming release of their third album, a collection of singles and unreleased songs entitled ‘Songs About Space’. Kris and Joe will be joined by other musicians on the night to perform the new album and some favourites from their first two releases. Expect stories, laughter, harmonies, tears and a sing-a-long or two. 

Special guest, Bedford guitarist Charlie Luscombe, will provide some lovely fingerstyle guitar in the foyer upon arrival and during the interval.

My Girl The River is the work of Louisiana to Nashville to London songwriter and performer Kris Wilkinson Hughes along with husband, bassist Joe Hughes. Described as ‘Nashville meets southern gothic’ and with ‘sugared espresso’ vocals, Kris’ songwriting has been compared to Jason Isbell and Lucinda Williams. She is not afraid to discuss the many facets of the human condition in her songs.

From grief, to loneliness, to love and self belief, even Nashville Hot Chicken, all grounds are covered. A powerful storyteller. She has supported artists such as Laura Cantrell and Suzanne Vega on tour and performed at the Bluebird Cafe, Jazz Fest, Isle of Wight and Black Deer Festivals.

Saturday 22 June 2024

Choral music: Bedford Choral Society Concert: Carl Orff – Carmina Burana and Poulenc – Gloria
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £17 / £14 / students £5 and one accompanying adult £5

Bedford Choral Society Corn Exchange. Image Becky Kerr photography

Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, composed in the 1930s, is best known for its rousing ‘O Fortuna’ opening but there is much more to enjoy in this colourful, highly rhythmic and boisterous choral work. 

Also written in the 20th century, Poulenc’s Gloria animates a traditional sacred piece with a sense of drama and fun. Both will be performed by Bedford Choral Society, Bedford Youth Chorus and accompanied by Bedford Sinfonia, conducted by Ian Smith.

Saturday 22 June 2024

Live music: Wych Elm + Dog Race + Freya Beer
Esquires Bedford @ 7.30pm

A pixie-esque howl atop a grungey bass infused rumble that emanates from the shadows. This three-piece from Bristol are pure aphotic aural gratification. Aligning menace to melody, desire to (their beguiling din) and spooky curiosity to their lyrics – a powerful package.

Bedford/London five-piece Dog Race’s latest single ‘It’s The Squeeze’, a cold-sweat invocation of modern anxieties and personal suffocation. Their previous singles found champions in the likes of The Line of Best Fit, Clash, Notion, Dork, So Young and Anthony Fantano, as well as BBC Radio 1 and playlisted on BBC Radio 6.

Hailed as ‘a raw and thrilling new talent’, Freya Beer is a singer-songwriter from West London. Inspired by art and literature, alternative fashion and music. Freya distils her disparate influences through a gothic soul and devil-may-care spirit that dares to dream in the darkness.

FFO: Mannequin Pussy, Pretty Sick, Lowertown, Sir Chloe

Saturday 22 June 2024

Live music:  Last Chance Ragtime Band
The Cellar Bar at 8.30pm
Free entry

Returning once more to The Cellar Bar, is the fabulous The Last Chance Ragtime Band.

In their own words: We are a stomping Lindy Hop Jazz Band from Bedford. We play the best swing music especially crafted. Can’t wait!

Saturday 22 June 2024

Dance music: Footloose 80s
Bedford Esquires @ 8.30pm
Tickets: £7.50

After a SELL OUT return, Footloose 80s is back at Esquires with a Most Excellent 80s Party!!

A night of the biggest pop hits and anthems from the decade that brought you Pacman, Mr T and the Rubix Cube! With the awesome light show, visuals and good times you expect from our events!

Expect the best of: Whitney, Duran Duran, Culture Club, Haircut 100, Spandau Ballet, Journey, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Dolly Parton, Adam Ant, Bon Jovi, The Human League, Kylie & Jason, Tiffany, Bryan Adams, Dexys, Lionel Richie, Chaka Khan, Kim Wilde, Madness, Kagagoogoo, the Jam, A-ha, Bros, Bowie, Springsteen, Astley, Erasure and many more…

Fancy Dress – why not?!? GO WILD!

Sunday 23 June 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/£2 (Please use the code HIGGINS30 to remove the transaction fee)

Bedford has many impressive statues and memorials. They cannot speak for themselves but our guides can tell you their story and why they take their place in Bedford’s history. 

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 23 June 2024

Live music: Coffee with Jam open mic
The Place Theatre @ 3 – 5pm
Free entry

The Place’s new open mic Coffee & Jam session is brought to you by Dan and Sheryl as part of the theatre’s Raise the Roof fundraising campaign.

Join them for a chilled jam session; participation welcomed but not compulsory

No booking is required – just turn up and enjoy. Bar open – Vibes chilled.

Sunday 23 June 2024

Live Music: Sunday Chillout Session – Bring Your Own Vinyl
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm – til late
Free entry

“We think we’ve got a pretty good sound system at The Cellar Bar,” says owner Marcus. “So what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than listening to vinyl records, even better to listen to your favourite album.

Sunday 23 June 2024

Live music: Fran Pegg & Mark Ayles
The Castle, 17 Newnham Street @ 5.30pm
Free entry

Acoustic tunes for all to enjoy from the duo of Fran Pegg and Mark Ayles.

Sunday 23 June 2024

Live music: Matthew and the Atlas + Foreign Fields
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

Founded by Matt Hegarty, Matthew and the Atlas was borne of the late 00’s folk rock movement as he became a regular in the West London scene.

Since then, he has released four albums, traversing a range of musical territories from classic acoustic folk, to dramatic synth-laden electronica, and urgent guitar led alt-rock. The common thread has been a song-writing style that marries a subtle melodic sensibility with lyrics full of natural imagery and dark emotional heft – all delivered in his striking and distinctive vocal. In the process Hegarty has quietly built a major cult following in Europe and the US.

Tuesday 25 June 2024

Art & Culture lecture: The Jurassic world of Mary Anning
The Addison Centre, Kempston @ 10.45am / 11am start
Tickets: NBAS members – free / guests £10

Dr Aaron Hunter will introduce you to 19th-century palaeontologist Mary Anning and discover how she searched the Jurassic rocks of England’s south coast to unearth what were believed to be sea dragons and what we now call marine reptiles.

He will look the social history and influences of Mary and the 19th-century scientists that she would have worked with. The talk will journey into a distant past, from southwest England to southern Germany where shallow seas were inhabited by fish lizards, marine crocodiles and floating islands of tree trunks with ancient starfish-like animals attached to them.

It will finish by looking at the animals that ruled the land for millions of years, the dinosaurs, and how the first palaeontologists discovered, reconstructed and named these amazing creatures from the Jurassic World.

Tuesday 25 June 2024

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

This afternoon’s free lunchtime concert features a cello recital by Molly Oldland.

Tuesday 25 June 2024

Art: The Circus of Illustration’s Drink and Draw – Bedford River Festival
The Park pub, Kimbolton Road @ 7.30pm
Free (£2 donation appreciated)

On the last Tuesday of every month, Bedford’s creative community meets up at the Park pub for the Circus of Illustration’s monthly Drink and Draw sessions. With a different theme each month, it’s open to absolutely anyone (over 18) of any skill level and there’s no need to book.

Equipment and resources are provided in a no-pressure, relaxed atmosphere to chat, drink and doodle.

This month’s theme is the River Festival, so head to the pub, grab a drink and get creative designing posters for the annual celebration of the River Great Ouse. Cheers!

Drink and Draw is for all grown ups!
– Chat with new people who like creative stuff

Wednesday 26 June 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.

Wednesday 26 June 2024

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

“Lagaan,” directed by Ashutosh Gowariker in 2001, is an epic Indian drama featuring Aamir Khan. 

Set in Victorian India, it tells the story of a small village whose inhabitants, burdened by high taxes, challenge their British rulers to a cricket match to avoid the taxes. The film beautifully combines sports, romance, and social commentary, making it a powerful tale of resistance and unity. “Lagaan” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, making it an internationally acclaimed masterpiece.

Wednesday 26 June 2024

Comedy: Simon Says Comedy
The Cellar Bar @ 8pm
Tickets: £10 on the door / £8 in advance.

The Cellar Bar’s 2024 comedy season kicks off with another four outstanding comics: Peter Jones, Nirali Patel, Ben Adams and headliner Laura Lexx – all hosted by Mr Sparkly Boots himself Simon Hall!

Tickets are non-refundable and you will be asked to show your ticket with QR code on the door.  Only people with a valid ticket will be allowed entry to the venue.

Tickets are £8 in advance and £10 on the door (subject to availability).

Wednesday 26 June 2024

Live music: Electric Six + Balter
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £22

Detroit legends, Electric Six are heading back to the UK for some intimate summer shows including a stop off at Esquires. Mixing garage rock, disco, punk, new wave, and metal into cleverly dumb, in-your-face songs celebrating hedonism in multiple forms, they have an unerring commitment to their over-the-top style, delivering energy and absurdity in equal measure.

Known for their HUGE hits “Gay Bar”, “Dance Commander” and “Danger! High Voltage” plus a slew of fantastic albums, including their exceptional recent release, Turquoise; their live show is the most fun you can have with your clothes on…

Wednesday 26 June – Friday 28 June 2024

Theatre: The Valentine Letters
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10

The Valentine Letters is an enthralling new play based upon the Second World War correspondence between Royal Air Force airman and Prisoner of War John Valentine and his wife Ursula.

These letters provide an unprecedented insight in to how two people struggle to find solace and keep their hopes and love alive despite the anxieties of John’s dangerous operational life, his three years behind barbed wire, and Ursula’s endeavours raising a newborn under the constant threat of aerial attack.

The Valentine Letters is a testament to the pain of separation, isolation, coping, and change, interspersed with humorous and heartwarming moments. A remarkable account of the effect of the Second World War on the lives of a young married couple and their generation.

Thursday 27 June 2024

Dancing: Planet Swing featuring TJ Johnson & His Band
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.

Thursday 27 June 2024

Fun times: Karaoke
The Cellar Bar @ 9pm/requests from 8pm/happy hour 6pm – 9pm
Free entry

Karaoke at the Cellar Bar every Thursday with over 50,000 songs to choose from. Perform like a pro with professional lighting, sound and share the stage with your friends with multiple microphones. Hosted by the one and only Matt Bedford.


The Cellar Bar is the only place to be on a Thursday night!

  • No free drinks or gimmicks here! Just pure karaoke with over 50,000 songs
  • Perform like a pro with our professional lighting, sound and a proper stage
  • The best sounding performers and acoustics on the High Street
  • Sing with your friends using multiple microphones
  • And the one and only Matt Bedford hosting your night

Friday 28 June 2024

Comedy: Comedy Nights in The Burrow at the Blues with headliner Ashley Frieze
The Burrow at the Blues; Goldington Road (MK40 3NF) @ 7pm / first act @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14.50

With his charming, daft, and warm brand of music-infused stand-up comedy, this guitar-toting funny man has been entertaining audiences across the UK for nearly 20 years. His original songs, with well-crafted lyrics and catchy tunes, span many genres from Jazz to Coldplay, via 1960’s girl-group pop.

Friday 28 June 2024

Live music: Mark Chadwick (Levellers) + B-Sydes
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

One of the UK’s most successful songwriters, Mark Chadwick, has co-written 20 chart singles and 6 Top 40 albums (including a Number 1) as part of the Levellers, the band he has fronted for over 25 years. Still going strong, the Levellers are festival favourites and have cemented their cherished status with headline performances at Glastonbury, Isle Of Wight, Cambridge Folk Festival, Bestival and Boomtown and many European and UK events and in 2003 they successfully created their own annual Beautiful Days Festival which takes place in August at Escot Park in Devon.

During this time Mark has released two solo albums ‘All the Pieces’ and ‘Moment’ and his upfront and personal solo performance will see him play a mixture of material from these albums and Levellers classics. Be warned, Mark will have you up dancing!

Friday 28 June 2024

Live music: Tess & The Durbervilles
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

The Cellar Bar is welcoming back Tess & The Durbervilles and this four-piece band from Bedfordshire and are guaranteed to get you dancing throughout the night. With hits from six decades they’ll play tracks from The Beatles to Jessie J, Dusty Springfield to Kings of Leon, Aretha to the Scissor Sisters and Madonna. 

Saturday 29 June 2024

Art and culture: Together for Bedford
The Higgins Bedford
Free entry

More than 100 pieces of artwork created by pupils from 40 schools across Bedford Borough are on display at an exhibition at the Higgins Bedford this summer.

On the theme Together for Bedford, the students were asked to help celebrate, support and involve all the borough’s different communities through art, by taking inspiration from the communities they belong. The exhibition opens on 29 June until 8 September.

Saturday 29 June 2024

School fete: DENFEST – Great Denham Primary School Fete
Great Denham Primary School @ midday – 4pm
Free entry with paid attractions

This summer, the Friends of Great Denham are hosting DENFEST – Great Denham Primary School’s very own summer festival.

On Saturday 29th June from 12-4pm, enjoy an afternoon of festive entertainment for the family whilst raising money to support the school. Entry to the festival is free, but you can buy wristbands to the inflatable FUNZONE.  There will also be fairground games, Animal Edge petting zoo, a BBQ, Ice Cream Joe, a licensed bar and more to explore.

Saturday 29 June 2024

Comedy: Jokes and Laffs – Summer 2024
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: £14.99

Jokes and Laffs returns with another fantastic lineup for their summer season.

Stand-up/writer/presenter/actor Nabil Abdulrashid (Britian’s Got Talent, Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo) is joined by Mr Blair, Miss Mo’Real and President Obonjo, the larger-than-life stand-up comedy character who has been taking the comedy scene by storm. 

Saturday 29 June 2024

Live Music:Danny Barton
The Cellar Bar from 6pm
Free entry

The wonderful Danny Barton returns to The Cellar Bar, playing a mix of acoustic rock and pop crowd pleasers and new material.

Saturday 29 June 2024

Live music: Avril Lavigne + Lottery Winners + phem
Bedford Park @ 5pm
Tickets: £65

Alt-rock singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne is coming to Bedford Park on 29 June 2024. Image: supplied by Cuffe & Taylor:Live Nation
Alt-rock singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne is coming to Bedford Park on 29 June 2024. Image: supplied by Cuffe & Taylor:Live Nation

Avril Lavigne, the alternative rock singer-songwriter renowned for redefining the 00s pop-punk landscape, is opening this year’s Summer Sessions at Bedford Park.

Aged just 17, Lavigne became the youngest female solo artist to hit the Number One slot in the UK album charts, catapulting her to stardom with unforgettable anthems like “Complicated” and “Sk8er Boi”. She became the voice of a rebellious generation, known for her infectious hooks, signature punk-inspired style and fearless attitude.

Continuously evolving, proving a mainstay in the global charts, she boasts a multi-platinum status, as well as international accolades including, ten JUNO’s (Canadian Music Awards), three BRIT nominations, eight GRAMMY nominations, and many more. An uncompromising force in music and culture, Avril Lavigne is an enduring icon, set to bring her rebellious spirit to Bedford Summer Sessions in 2024.

Sunday 30 June 2024

Walking: “The Jewel in Bedford’s Crown” 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)

The River Great Ouse, Bedford: View from Newnham Bridge.
The River Great Ouse, Bedford: View from Newnham Bridge.

The Jewel in Bedford’s Crown is undoubtedly the River Great Ouse and its Embankment. This entertaining and informative circular walk takes you along the banks of the river, which has been described as one of the finest riverside settings in England. Learn the story of the Victorian Embankment development and enjoy a walk in the ornamental gardens.

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 30 June 2024

Live music: Sunday Afternoon Jazz
The Castle, 17 Newnham Street @ 2pm – 5pm
£2/person / maximum six people per team

The Castle sees the return of the amazing jazz duo of Mike Kemp and Geoff Tooley. What better way to spend Sunday afternoon!

Sunday 30 June 2024

Live Music: Mat Roberts
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm til late
Free entry

The hugely talented Mat Roberts will be performing at The Cellar Bar.  The bar will also be showing any Euros 2024 England games.

Sunday 30 June 2024

Live music: Jess Glynne
Bedford Park @ 5pm

Jess Glynne returns to Bedford after her headline set in 2018. Image: Cuffe & Taylor

Jess Glynne made history by becoming the first British female solo artist to score seven number ones on the UK Singles Chart – among them ‘I’ll Be There’, ‘Hold My Hand’ and ‘Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself’. Her two previous Platinum selling albums have both become Number 1 records and she collected three Ivor Novello nominations, won a Grammy, and racked up nine Brit Award nominations and 1.2 billion streams.

The singer-songwriter is headlining the TKMaxx Summer Sessions in Bedford Park for the second night of this season’s shows.

At the Higgins Bedford

Exhibition: Rediscovering Black Portraiture
The Higgins Bedford
Free entry

Virgin of Guadeloupe 1745 recreated by Peter Brathwaite. Image: Getty Publications

The newest exhibition at the Higgins began as a diversionary lockdown project in 2020 and can now be seen at Kensington Palace, the Bodeian Library in Oxford and now in Bedford.

It features the work of Manchester-born professional opera singer, Peter Brathwaite, who has lived in the Black Tom area of Bedford since 2018.

With all his singing work cancelled during the pandemic, Peter began looking for an outlet for his creative talents and started recreating famous and lesser-known Black portraiture paintings using as props whatever he could find around his house.

It was inspired by the Getty Foundation’s lockdown project, but quickly took on a life of its own, gathering a large international online following. You can explore the project at his Instagram page @peter_brathwaite.

And from Saturday, 18 May, they will form part of an installation at the Higgins Bedford which will lead visitors through the main collections and into Cecil Higgins’ house, with Peter’s interpretation of The Paston Treasure at its heart.

Read: ‘Rediscovering Black Portraiture’ at the Higgins Bedford this May

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.

At the Panacea Museum

Exhibition: ‘Panacea: A Cure for All Ills’
Thursday – Sunday @ 10am – 5pm
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