What’s on Bedford: 20 – 30 October 2022


Need something to take your mind off the current political situation and/or apocalyptic weather? Then why not check out our comprehensive what’s on guide, featuring the best of the Borough’s live music, comedy, theatre, film and Halloween events.

We’ve also got a round-up of things to do during half-term, thanks to our friends at Explore Bedford.


Thursday 20 October 2022

Community Support: Death Cafe
The Place Theatre @ 5.30pm
Tickets: Free

A Death Café is an informal monthly 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.

Thursday 20 October 2022

Shopping: Christmas in October
The Arc, Howard Street @ 5pm

Kick off Christmas in style at The Arc for their annual October launch event.

Too early? We’ll leave you to tell Gemma that…

The pink Christmas tree will be in pride of place, the glitter balls will be spinning and the fizz will be flowing. A sneak peek at the Arc’s Christmas stock, smash burgers from Crown and Heel and some special treats from the Gallery Bakehouse.

Thursday 20 October 2022

Comedy: Omid Djalili: The Good Times Tour
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 8pm
Tickets: £25

Intelligent, always provocative, and entertaining, Omid’s legendary stand-up performance is a captivating comedy masterclass.

His credits range from Hollywood films to television and the West End stage. Earning praise across the world for his performances, Omid is seen hosting his own ITV quiz show The Winning Combination.

He appeared in the smash hit Mama Mia 2: Here We Go Again, His Dark Materials for BBC1 & HBO, and Letter For The King on Netflix. Omid also gained rave reviews for his leading role of Tevvye in the Chichester Festival Theatre production of “Fiddler On The Roof”.

Thursday 20 October 2022

Classical music: Piano recital by Steven Osborne
Bedford Girls’ School @ 7.45pm
Tickets: £18/£14/£5/£2

The international award-winning pianist Steven Osborne, “one of Britain’s most treasured musicians” launches Bedford Music Club’s 2022/23 season with a superb programme of French and Russian music with a  composition of his own that reveals his love of jazz improvisation.

Debussy Études (Book I)

Debussy Étude retrouvée (1915)

Debussy Études (Book II)

Osborne Improvisation on a Theme by Keith Jarrett

Rachmaninov Piano Sonata No.1 in D minor, Op.28

Thursday 20 October 2022

Live music: Daddy Long Legs
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £12.50
Daddy Long Legs – New York City’s most explosive Rhythm & Blues street gang – aren’t back, they never left.

Now the boys make their highly anticipated post-pandemic return to the UK + EU in October and unveil their new killer four-piece format with Dave Klein on Piano who joins the original lineup of Brian Hurd (Lead Vocals/Blues Harp) Murat Aktürk (Guitars/Vocals) and Josh Styles (Drums/Maracas).

Friday 21 October 2022

Theatre: Red Planet: Revolutions
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14/£11

It’s 2222 and the human settlement on Mars has finally declared its independence from Earth.
In this new dawn on the Red Planet, you have been chosen to help lead your people to the future. The decisions you make now will shape your planet’s history for generations to come. No pressure…
Red Planet: Revolution is an award-nominated interactive theatre game from Upstart Theatre. Fun and thought-provoking, this show invites you to build your very own future society – and challenges you to preserve it. You’ll face down political opponents and defend your citizens against natural disasters, as you lead the people of Mars into an uncertain future.

Told using music, sound design, two facilitators and light-weight technology, Red Planet: Revolution gives audiences the opportunity to expand their imagination, reigniting their strengths as individuals and a collective, and inspiring them to think about what they are capable of.


Friday 21 October 2022

Live music: One Night in Texas
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £25

Featuring an all-live fiddle and banjo-headed band with male and female lead vocals and packed with more songs than you can shake a stetson at, this country music extravaganza will have you (line) dancing in the aisles.

Why not dust off those boots and spurs and come and join us for a night full of country hits from the likes of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, George Strait, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Garth Brooks, The Mavericks, Billy Ray Cyrus, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson and many many more.

Friday 21 October 2022

Live music: Actors + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £13

From Vancouver, Canada, ACTORS electrify with a modern take on post-punk. On debut full-length It Will Come to You, anthemic songs evoke the urgency of early-80s U2 (Boy, October, War) as well as the driving, synth-drenched scores that emanated from the era’s movie screens.

Friday 21 October 2022

Live music: Courting + Ugly
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £12

Liverpool four-piece, Courting, head to Esquires, with support from Ugly.

Saturday 22 October 2022

Environment: Bedford Repair Cafe
The Place Theatre @ 11am – 3pm
Free entry but booking essential

All hands on deck
The Bedford Repair Cafe volunteers are back to help you fix your broken stuff. Bring your broken bikes, clothes, sewing machines, garden equipment, and electricals, or come along to learn more about repair and maintenance.

Booking is essential to help the repairers manage the day. Everything they do is free but donations are welcome to help divert more things from landfill and run future events.

Saturday 22 October 2022

Community: Well-being Day
Bedford Spiritualist Church, Ashburnham Road
Free entry

A holistic well-being day is being launched to support those living with or caring for someone with a terminal condition, illness or diagnosis.

The day aims to provide a healing, nurturing space to people who are often left ‘in limbo’ following a terminal diagnosis or overwhelmed with hospitals and medicalised settings.

On offer there will be different holistic therapies such as Reiki, reflexology, gentle aromatherapy massage, guided breathwork, meditation, hypnotherapy, pain and stress management techniques, as well as a space to just be, be listened to, to talk through things and just be heard.

Saturday 22 October 2022

Live music: Last Chance Ragtime Band Quartet
The Wellington Arms @ 8pm
Free entry

The pub piano has been tuned, Crown and Heel burgers will be grilling in the yard and the town’s finest real ale will be flowing. Good times guaranteed.

Saturday 22 October 2022
Live music: Stone Foundation
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £22

The seeds of British modern soul band Stone Foundation were sown in the early ’90s when Neil Sheasby and Neil Jones met.
Over the years they’ve collaborated with Paul Weller, Nolan Porter, Graham Parker, Carleen Anderson, Mick Talbot, Kathryn Williams, Laville, Melba Moore, Hamish Stuart, Dr. Robert from the Blow Monkeys and more.


Saturday 22 October 2022

Classical Music: Bedford Sinfonia Concert
St Andrew’s Church, Kimbolton Road @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £16/£15/£6

Piano Soloist: Paul Searle-Barnes

Conductor: Michael Rose / Piano Soloist: Paul Searle-Barnes

Mozart: Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 (Haffner)
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major, Op. 102
Haydn: Symphony No. 99 in E flat Major

Bedford Sinfonia opens its 2022/23 season with a performance at St. Andrew’s Church, Bedford of Mozart’s Symphony No. 35, composed in 1782 and known as the Haffner after having been commissioned by the Haffners, a prominent Salzburg family.

This is followed by Shostakovich’s second Piano Concerto, written as a showcase for his 19-year-old son, Maxim.

It will be performed on this occasion by Paul Searle-Barnes, an international soloist, and Director of Music at St. Andrew’s Church, Bedford. The programme ends with Haydn’s Symphony No. 99 in E flat major, the seventh of his twelve London symphonies, written in 1793 in Vienna in anticipation of his second trip to London.

Saturday 22 October

Live music: The Upbeat Beatles
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm

The Upbeat Beatles are second to none – powerhouse vocals, precision harmonies and tight musicianship.

The guys have an easy, happy rapport with any crowd, giving them a reputation to be envied as the best in the business.

There isn’t a band to touch them – 8 bars of “Twist and Shout” and you will know why! No other band can perform this song like The Upbeat Beatles!

The show takes you through the Fab Four’s long and winding road from the early Cavern days through Beatlemania, America, Sergeant Pepper to Abbey Road, with narrative and full multi-media presentation.

If you love The Beatles you’ll love this show, and if you don’t love The Beatles you’ll love this show!

For this event you can book a Circle seat with the option of dancing down on the floor.  If you book a standing ticket, this may not guarantee a seat in the circle.

Sunday 23 October 2022

Live music: Pasadena Roof Orchestra
The Quarry Theatre @ 4.30pm
Tickets: £24

With an unparalleled reputation across the UK, Europe and beyond, for over 50 years the Pasadena Roof Orchestra have been re-creating the sounds of a golden era of music from the 1920s and 1930s to widespread acclaim.

Enjoy beautifully arranged songs from Irving Berlin, Ray Noble, Cole Porter and their contemporaries and re-live the electrifying hot jazz from Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington.

Presenting the show, and putting on the top hat and tails, is the suave singer and band leader Duncan Galloway.  So pack up your troubles, come on get happy, and experience an evening of superlative  live music,  with more than a dash of wit and humour.

Sunday 23 October 2022

Live music: The Orb
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £25

One of the pioneering acts in dance music history, The Orb are visiting some of their favourite intimate UK venues to perform a greatest hits set live alongside the seminal album U.F.Orb in full for its 30th Anniversary.

Expect a wide set, stretching back as far as 1991’s ‘The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld’ all the way to the newest release, 2021’s Abolition Of The Royal Familia.

Monday 24 October 2022

Film: Parallel Mothers
Main Theatre, University of Bedfordshire, Polhilll Avenue @ 7.30pm
Tickets: Season membership £69/day membership £5/free parking

Spanish drama thriller film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Two single women meet in a hospital room where they are both going to give birth. One is middle aged and doesn’t regret it, while the other is adolescent and scared.

The two women form a strong bond with one another as they both confront motherhood.

 Tuesday 25 October 2022

Live music: Lunchtime concerts
St Paul’s Church @ 1pm
Free entry with a retiring collection (suggested £5) in aid of church funds

This week’s lunchtime concert at St Paul’s church, Bedford featuring Nataly Ganina, piano.

Free with retiring collection (suggested donation: £5)

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Environment: Bedford – People, Planet, Pint: Sustainability Meetup
Brewpoint, Cut Throat Lane, Clapham @ 7 – 9pm
Free to attend

Brewpoint front entrance summer

Started in Glasgow during COP26, People Planet Pint events bring together those with a shared passion for sustainability in all its forms for a relaxed chat.

We meet monthly to chat about what’s going on in the Net Zero / Sustainability space, “network” and meet others who are interested in the industry.

Chat with other industry experts, talk directly to business owners facing the challenges you’re trying to solve and find other who can collaborate and help you.

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Music: Bollywood Brass Band
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: from £12

Bollywood Brass Band is the UK’s pioneering Indian-style brass band, playing the great tunes and compulsively danceable rhythms of Bollywood.
Twice nominated for Songlines World Music Awards, the band has performed all over the world – in venues, at festivals, and for Indian weddings in the UK, Norway, India, Thailand and South Africa. The Bollywood Brass Band is versatile, playing both amplified stage sets and in a street formation, and they are equally at home headlining a festival or delivering exciting workshops in schools.

With brass, saxophone, dhol drums and a colossal sousaphone, the Bollywood Brass Band is one of the most colourful, joyful and exhilarating acts around.

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Film: Rocketman

Cinema @ St Peters @ 7pm
Tickets: £9/£10.50/£12

Young Reginald Dwight changes his name to Elton John and collaborates with singer-songwriter Bernie Taupin to become one of the most iconic figures in pop history.

Set to his most beloved songs, it’s the epic musical story of Elton John, his breakthrough years in the 1970s and his fantastical transformation from shy piano prodigy to international superstar.

Thursday 27 October 2022

Live music: The Quireboys + The Dirty Strangers
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

The Quireboys are returning to their home patch on Thursday 27 October.
The band, now led by Guy Griffin, are coming off the back of a sold out show at The Forum and a very busy summer period, with very special guests The Dirty Strangers in tow.


Thursday 27 October 2022

Folk music: The Magpies
The Place Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £13

Based on a deeply felt musical friendship, The Magpies work collaboratively, arranging material led by powerful vocals and glittering instrumental ornamentation.
They each draw on their wide-ranging influences to create a unique blend of transatlantic folk, transporting audiences to distant lands and capturing imaginations with their enthralling live show.

Thursday 27 October 2022

Live music: Big Girls Don’t Cry
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £25

It’s time to hang on to what we got and celebrate the iconic sounds of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.

During the sixties and seventies number one hits Sherry, December 1963 (Oh What a Night), Walk Like a Man, Rag Doll and Big Girls Don’t Cry helped propel the Four Seasons and Frankie Valli to super stardom.

Oh what a night it will be! It’s the time, it’s the place, it’s the motion.

Friday 28 October 2022

Comedy: Carl Hutchinson
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

After two consecutive sell-out years, Carl returns with a brand new show! Expect stories, observations & audience interaction.

Friday 28 October 2022

Film: Don’t Look Now (1973)
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: £5

Laura and John, grieved by a terrible loss, meet in Venice, where John is in charge of the restoration of a church. They meet two mysterious sisters, one of whom gives them a message sent from the afterlife.

Friday 28 October 2022

Live music: The Life of Riley
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £8

Formed in Bedford in 1991, The Life Of Riley are one of Bedford’s best-loved bands and a full-throttle nod to Irish folk music and dance-along shanties – dancing shoes compulsory!

Friday 28 October 2022

Live music: Bodega + Regressive Left
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £16

Esquires is super excited to announce that NYC’s Bodega will be heading to Bedford as part of their UK tour in October.

The band played a joyous, sold out show here in 2019 and revisit the venue as part of an intimate run to celebrate their critically acclaimed new album ‘Broken Equipment’.

Saturday 29 October 2022

Children’s Theatre: Mischief and Mystery in Moon Valley
The Place Theatre @ 10.30am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm
Tickets: from £8

Based on the much-loved Moominland novels by Tove Jansson, this gentle heart-warming show tells the story of a year in Moomin Valley.

Each section of the story has an interactive element; audience members have a snowball fight, build a camp-fire and go sea-swimming.
The characters of Moomintroll, Snufkin, Little My and Thingummy and Bob are brought to life with 2D rod puppets and life-size 3D puppets. The show uses beautiful original music and songs, and pre-recorded narration. The iconic Tove Jansson illustrations are recreated in a magical pop-up book.

Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October 2022

Children’s Theatre: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show
The Quarry Theatre: Saturday @ 1pm &3pm; Sunday 11am & 1pm
Tickets: from £12

Dive into Eric Carle’s bright and colourful world as his beloved stories are transformed from page to stage using a menagerie of 75 lovable puppets and charming music. Featuring your favourite titles: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, The Very Lonely Firefly and of course, the star of the show, The Very HungryCaterpillar.

Created by Jonathan Rockefeller, the critically acclaimed The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show is a vibrant celebration of Eric Carle’s adored classics and the perfect introduction to live theatre.

Saturday 29 October 2022

Comedy: Jokes and Laffs
The Place Theatre @ 6.30pm
Tickets: from £14.99

An evening filled with laughter and more. Showcasing the very best of established and new comedy talents – both homegrown and international, while also making sure to cater for all comedy lovers of all ages and backgrounds.

Saturday 29 October 2022

Comedy: Dom Joly
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £21.50

Dom Joly’s Channel 4 show was must-see Friday-night telly. Sandwiched between Friends and Frasier, Joly had caught the slipstream of Cool Britannia and propelled himself to stardom as one of Britain’s funniest and most clever entertainers.

Saturday 29 October 2022

Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £8
We are delighted to be able to announce that we on Saturday 29th October, we’ll be hosting the first of series of BBC Music Introducing in Beds, Herts & Bucks in association with @Juicebox Live nights across venues in the Three Counties!

Live performance on the night will come from PATSpaceAcreSpyda and Olivia Lynn

Saturday 29 October 2022

Club night: Halloween Silent Disco
Bedford Esquires @ 10pm – 3am
Tickets: £10

The silence returns this October as the annaul Halloween Silent Disco is back at Esquires.

Grab a ticket in advance, because once the headphones have gone, they’ve gone!
Dress code – DRESS DEAD.
There will be prizes for the best (and worst) dressed across the evening and the venue will be typically spookified too…
Three DJs will be spinning for you…
COVIE: Garage, House, Party Anthems and Disco
SAM VOIDED: Indie Bangers, 80s and 90s Classics & Number 1s
BEN MUTINY: Rock Classics, Pop Punk, Nu Metal & Emo

Sunday 30 October 2022

Creative Community: Role Playing Games Youth Club
The Place Theatre @ 10am
Tickets: £4

A great opportunity for young people to engage in creative problem-solving in a fun, welcoming supervised space. Great for developing speaking and listening skills, team building and developing storytelling and creativity.

Dungeons & Dragons, and other Table Top Role Playing Games (TTRPGs) are a great alternative to videogames, challenging young people to work together, teaching English and Maths skills, and helping young people socialise with like-minded young people.

A great low-cost hobby, where all necessary equipment will be provided and young people will get hands-on learning in how to play these entertaining, player-led, story-based games. No prior experience is necessary.

Run by CRB checked staff at The Place Bedford.

What’s on this half term…
Thanks to the team at Explore Bedford, here’s a comprehensive list of what’s on during the October half-term. Spooktacular Halloween events, escape rooms, family-friendly theatre, craft workshops and pumpkin patches galore!

Read the full listing at the Explore Bedford blog here.

Until January 2023

Exhibition: Edward Bawden: Artist Plantsman
Higgins Bedford
Free entry but timed tickets required

Every day, influential British artist and designer, Edward Bawden, would spend an hour in his garden at his home in Great Bardfield before starting work in his art studio. Plants and gardens were one of the most prominent and constant subjects of not only his work but also his life.

Drawn exclusively from the Edward Bawden archive, explore Bawden’s lifelong love of plants and gardens through a wide range of his work, including early wallpaper designs, well-known prints, advertising campaigns and private commissions.

From the grand gardens of Carthage and the botanical gardens at Kew, to Bawden’s own gardens at his parent’s home in Braintree and his beloved one-acre plot in Great Bardfield, discover Bawden’s passion for plants and gardens across decades of his work, featuring pieces that have never before been on public display.

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