What’s on Bedford: 23 February – 5 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.

Friday 24 February 2023

Music: Jacquie Dankworth & Charlie Wood – Just You, Just Me
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £18

Multi-award-winning vocalist, Jacqui Dankworth, is joined by acclaimed American pianist-vocalist, Charlie Wood for a unique concert of duets celebrating a century of song.

Inspired by some of the great musical partnerships, such as Ray Charles; Betty Carter, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn, George & Ira Gershwin and Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway – the concert will feature numbers including Alone Together, Autumn In New York, It Don’t Mean a Thing, A Foggy Day, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and You’ve Got a Friend.

Friday 24 February

Bedford School Great Hall and Foyer Gallery @ 7pm
Admission free
One of the highlights of Bedford School’s Creative Arts calendar is the inspirational Detweiler Competition, which is an exciting exhibition of work by the school’s pupils. Prizes are awarded in four different categories: Art, Music, Drama and Creative Writing. This year’s theme is ‘Order/Disorder’.

Friday 24 February 2023

Live music: You Win Again – celebrating the music of the Bee Gees
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £27

Direct from London’s West End, prepare to experience the distinct sound of one the greatest bands to have ever graced the stage in this unforgettable concert spectacular. Immerse yourself in the Bee Gees’ music through the sixties, seventies and eighties.

This concert spectacular takes you on a musical journey through all your favourite songs, including: Night FeverStayin’ AliveHow Deep is Your Love?Jive Talkin’TragedyIslands in the StreamGreaseIf I Can’t Have You and many more.

This fabulously authentic production ensures the Gibb brothers’ incredible legacy of classic hit songs is well and truly stayin’ alive.

Friday 24 February 2023

Live music: The Zipheads + Meansteed + The Broadway Twisters
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

The Zipheads return to Bedford with their high-energy manic punk’n’roll. Harrows’ own hard rock heroes Meansteed join as well as The Broadway Twisters with their stylish rockabilly-noir.
Ages 14+ Under 16s to be accompanied by an adult.

Friday 24 February 2023

Drag Showcase: Miss Parlma Violet and Miss Lushes Lips
The Cellar Bar @ 8.00pm
£10.00 includes a drink on arrival

Come and join the laughter, fun and entertainment with two fabulous local drag queens – Miss Palma Violet and Miss Lushes Lips.

Featuring live cabaret, lip-syncing, adult fun and games, insult comedy, a raffle, disco and much more. This show contains adult humour and swearing (all the good stuff!) and is strictly an over-18s event.

Saturday 25 February 2023

Dance: Red Cuthbert Morris
Various locations in Bedford town centre from 11.15am

This Saturday, Red Cuthbert Morris will be dancing in Bedford town centre at various locations. Catch them here:

11.15 @ Harpur Street/Lime Street; midday @ the Harpur Centre; 2pm @ St Paul’s Square; 2.45pm @ Silver Square and finally at The Bear on Bedford High Street.

Saturday 25 February – Saturday 4 March 2023

Exhibition: Narratives art show
The Eagle Gallery, St Peter’s Street @ 10.30am – 5.00pm Tue – Sat, 11.00am – 3.00pm Sun
Free entry

Alexandra Andreica presents her first solo show at Bedford’s Eagle Gallery.

Saturday 25 February 2023

Classical music: B.S.O – Michael Rose 50th anniversary concert
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £6 – £17

Rossini: Overture to Semiramide
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

The Bedfordshire Symphony Orchestra are delighted to present their first concert of 2023, celebrating a remarkable milestone – 50 years with Michael Rose on the podium.

In 1972 Michael moved to Bedfordshire as County Music Inspector and, ever since, has conducted the Symphony Orchestra, performing a diverse repertoire over the years and welcoming such high-profile soloists as Tasmin Little and John Lill. In 1990 Michael was awarded the OBE for his services to music.

Saturday 25 February 2023

Comedy: Simon Brodkin – Screwed Up
The Quarry Theatre @ 5pm & 8pm
Tickets: £22.50

Fresh from his sold-out, critically-acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe run and becoming the most viewed British comedian of all time on TikTok, world-famous prankster and Lee Nelson creator Simon Brodkin is back with an outrageous new stand-up show.

In ‘Screwed Up’ Simon rips into celebrity culture, social media, the police, Putin, Prince Andrew and Jesus. Nothing is off limits in this hilarious show, including his own mental health, his family, his five arrests and how he once found himself at an underground sex party.

Saturday 25 February 2023

Live music: BBC Music introducing…
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £8

BBC Music introducing… presents Second Thoughts, Sarah Carton, Ladybird and Katie Ann, in association with Juicebox Live.

Saturday 25 February 2023

Live Music: Matt Bedford
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free Entry

Local musician Matt Bedford will be returning to The Cellar Bar for another great night of 80’s and current music covers. The Cellar Bar is all about live music, especially supporting local artists. This promises to be another memorable night of Cellar Bar performances!

Monday 27 February 2023

Film: Romeo and Juliet (1996)
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: £5

Join the Bedford Film Programmers for a Valentine’s treat with chocolate covered strawberries and Shakespeare’s most famous play. Here, updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue. The gun-toting members of the families wage a vicious war on the streets as the star-crossed lovers meet their tragic destiny.

In director Baz Luhrmann’s contemporary take on William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, the Montagues and Capulets have moved their ongoing feud to the sweltering suburb of Verona Beach, where Romeo and Juliet fall in love and secretly wed. Though the film is visually modern, the bard’s dialogue remains.

Monday 27 February 2023

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

Two American filmmakers retreat to Fårö island for the summer and hope to find inspiration where Bergman shot his most celebrated films. As the days pass by, the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, and the couple is torn apart.

Tuesday 28 February 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 piano recital from Xindi Zhu.

Tuesday 28 February 2023

Art: The Circus of Illustration’s Drink and Draw – hilarious headlines
The Park pub, Kimbolton Road @ 7.30pm
Free (donation appreciated)

The Circus of Illustration’s monthly Drink and Draw is back and everyone (over 18) is welcome. This month’s theme is ‘hilarious headlines’.

Any skill level, free, no need to book, just turn up. Equipment and resources are provided in a no-pressure, relaxed atmosphere to chat, drink and doodle.

Wednesday 1 March 2023

Children: Jackastory
The Place Theatre @ 10.30am
Tickets: Pay What You Can

Listen to members of The Place team read their chosen children’s stories and discover some new favourites of your own. You are welcome to bring your own book suggestions with you too. Each session runs for forty-five minutes to an hour, with a break for refreshments.

This will be a very relaxed event with young and old, being invited to join the readers on the stage in an intimate and friendly atmosphere, on a mound of comfortable cushions!
(Aimed at 2-5-year olds, but all ages welcome)

Wednesday 1 March 2023

Theatre: Motherload
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10

MOTHERLOAD! is a bold and bonkers clowning show for the end of days. Meet Mother Nature, the sexiest woman alive turned dumpster fire.

She’s doing a TED talk. It’s a last chance bid to save her apathetic children. Why? She loves them. As the tech starts to glitch, and her body gyrates with the FEVER of a morally confused echo chamber, she regurgitates our cultural trash into a lipsync of epic proportions.

It is a surreal comedy that blasts through climate apathy. A coming of age story from the mother of all mothers.

Wednesday 1 March 2022

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

Semi-retired Michigan lawyer Paul Biegler (James Stewart) takes the case of Army Lt. Manion (Ben Gazzara), who murdered a local innkeeper after his wife (Lee Remick) claimed that he raped her.

Over the course of an extensive trial, Biegler parries with District Attorney Lodwick (Brooks West) and out-of-town prosecutor Claude Dancer (George C. Scott) to set his client free, but his case rests on the victim’s mysterious business partner (Kathryn Grant), who’s hiding a dark secret.

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 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.

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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