What’s on Bedford: 23 March – 2 April 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.

Last chance to see…

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

Your last chance to see this temporary exhibition at the Panacea Museum including pieces from the John Bunyan Museum collection.

Exhibition closes on Saturday 25 March.

Thursday 23 March 2023

Quiz Night: The Cellar Bar weekly quiz
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. £2 per person entry and a maximum of 6 per team.

The winning team takes the jackpot plus a round of shots!

Friday 24 March 2023

Illustrated talk: The English Country House in the 21st Century
The Chapter House, St Peter’s Church @ 7.30pm
Free entry to members of the Historical Association/non-members welcome (suggested donation minimum donation £3)

The ‘English Country House in the 21st Century‘ is the subject of an illustrated talk by Professor Peter Mandler, national President of the Historical Association (HA) and Professor of Modern Cultural History at Cambridge. Profession Mandler will concentrate on how country houses survive (and thrive) today, in political and economic terms.

In 1997 Peter wrote ‘The Fall and Rise of the Stately Home’ which he ended in the 1990s and so this lecture will update the story to the 2020s.

England is known worldwide for its stunning stately homes. The lecture should appeal to anyone interested in these Country Houses and their role in the England of the last 150 years of our history.

Friday 24 March 2023

Comedy: The Thinking Drinkers Pub Quiz
The Quarry Theatre @7.30pm
Tickets: £16

Fancy five free drinks? Two of the world’s leading alcohol experts return with a hilarious quiz show that gets the rounds in – in more ways than one.

With a pen and question sheet in one hand and several world-class drinks in the other, join them on a uniquely absurd, fact-filled journey through time. You will learn and laugh a lot as the answers to life’s most important and unusual questions appear at the bottom of your glass. And did we mention the five free discerning drinks?

Friday 24 March 2023

Live music: Whitney – Queen of the Night
Bedford Corn Exchange
Tickets: £24

Direct from The West End, Whitney – Queen Of The Night celebrates the music and life of one of the greatest singers of our time with a sensational cast and stunning live band.

The show takes audiences on a magical rollercoaster ride through three decades of nostalgic hits that include: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, “One Moment In Time”, “I’m Every Woman”, “I Will Always Love You”, “My Love Is Your Love”, “So Emotional Baby”, “Run to You”, “Saving All My Love”, “How Will I Know”, “Million Dollar Bill”, “The Greatest Love Of All”, and many more.

Friday 24 March 2023

Live Music: Danny Barton
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free Entry

Bedford’s own Danny Barton performs at The Cellar Bar, playing a mix of acoustic favourites and new material.

Friday 24 March 2023

Live music: Out of Love + Bruises + Club Dread
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £4

Castlefest UK presents Out of Love at Bedford Esquires, with support from Bruises and Club Dread.

Saturday 25 March 2023

Children’s Theatre: Rapunzel and the Tower of Doom
The Quarry Theatre @ 11am & 1.30pm
Tickets: from £10.50

Tangles? Split Ends? Frizzy? Flyaway? It’s bad enough having a bad hair day but pity poor Rapunzel spending her life in a tower with some strange woman using her captive’s locks as a step ladder! What sort of damage is that going to do to your hair?

Theatre of Widdershins have taken this traditional tale right back to its roots, teased out the tangles and styled it into a beautifully coiffured hair piece! This enchanting show promises plenty of body, volume and loads of highlights. Make an appointment to see the show – because you’re worth it!

From Saturday 25 March – Saturday 25 November 2023

Craft and creativity: Printing and art sessions
The Panacea Museum @ 2pm – 3pm
Free entry

Join the Panacea Museum’s friendly volunteers to make press-print art on their beautiful antique press. Either a book a time slot or drop in between 2pm and 3pm.

Suitable for ages six to 96, so bring the whole family!

Saturday 25 March 2023

Live music: Collision Day Fest
Bedford Esquires @ 11am – 11pm
Tickets: £20

Castlefest Uk, Anti-Mind and Black Orange Music are hitting up Bedford Esquires with Collision Day Fest, taking over the venue for the whole day with two stages, 20 bands and some amazing collabs.

Graphic Nature and Lake Malice headline the line up with support from Cage Fight, Black Coast, Feel Shame, Knife Bride, Tragic, Terra IV, Depravity, Lure In, Negative Frame, Swarmed, Broken Tooth, Null, Good Cop, Death of Us, Assimilate, Swarm6ix, Shoot to Kill and High Regard.

There will be food, there will be merch and there will be Forever Loud onsite as official media partner for the event with live interviews.

Saturday 25 March 2023

Classical music: Bedford Choral Society present Haydn’s The Seasons
Bedford Corn Exchange @
Tickets: £16 & £13/Students £6

Bedford Choral Society

This iconic secular oratorio, accompanied by Bedford Sinfonia, is the first time Bedford Choral Society has performed Haydn’s ‘The Seasons’ in its entirety during its 156-year history.

Soloists soprano, Rachel Nicholls, tenor, Philip Salmon and bass, Andrew Slater.

Saturday 25 March 2023

Live Music: Kaleidos
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free Entry

With members from different musical backgrounds, Kaleidos’ musical influences are from soul, pop, R&B, jazz, hip hop and funk.

Expect a night of funky and soulful popular songs.

Sunday 26 March 2023

Gaming: RPG Youth Club
The Place Theatre @ 10am
Tickets: £4
Aged 10-18?

Love games, fantasy, stories and play? Want to be the hero (or villain) you’ve always imagined? Want to meet people who share your interests?

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

Sunday 26 March 2023

Film: Cinema @ 3 St Peter’s presents – Little English (including Q&A with the director)
3 St Peter’s Street @ 7pm
Tickets: £12/£10.50/£9/£6

Cinema@3 St Peter’s is excited to be among the opening screenings for this new British romantic comedy ‘Little English’.

The event also features a post-screening Q&A with the film’s director, Pravesh Kumar and producer, Dominique Unsworth.

Little Englishis a laugh-out-loud story of a dysfunctional Punjabi family in the pressure cooker life of a terraced suburban home in Slough.

Newly arrived from India, naïve Simmy has come to marry the family’s eldest son Raj, who shockingly does a runner, leaving Simmy locked in the house by her domineering mother-in-law. However, Simmy is smarter than she appears, and soon enlists the support of the family’s disgruntled in-laws, including a sugar crazed, diabetic grandpa and dangerous, but hot, brother in law, fresh out of jail. Together they plan Simmy’s big escape.

Sunday 26 March 2023

Family fun: Sunday Crafternoons
The Higgins Bedford @ 2pm – 4pm (drop in, no booking necessary)
Free entry

Join in monthly creative activities for families to enjoy together. Explore the amazing art and fascinating artefacts on display around the building, then use your imagination and a range of media and materials to get arty.

Monday 27 March2023

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

During World War II in Leningrad, the siege of the city is finally over, but life and death struggles continue in the wreckage that remains.

Two young women search for meaning and hope during their struggle to rebuild their lives amongst the ruins.

Tuesday 28 March to Saturday 1 April 2023

Community Theatre: A Man of No Importance
Sharnbrook Mill Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £16

A Man of No Importance is a delightful musical drama set in 1960s Dublin. It tells the story of Alfie Byrne, an Oscar Wilde-loving bus driver whose passion is directing an amateur theatre troupe, the St. Imelda’s Players.

When they are determined to stage the controversial and racy “Salome” at the local church, it angers the church authorities leading to personal truths being revealed and secrets exposed. The aftermath will change his life forever, showing the power of family, friendship and acceptance along the way.

Featuring a host of wonderful characters of all ages, from a sarcastic stage manager and a trio of difficult actresses to an Irish housewife, A Man of No Importance will fill the award-winning theatre company’s stage at the start of its 80th anniversary year.

David Russell, the show’s director, said: “It’s a story of friendship, acceptance and truth that will both tug at the heart and bring joy.” Prepare to laugh, cry and enjoy a bit of Irish craic.

Tuesday 28 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 violin recital from Fumi Otsuki.

Tuesday 28 March 2023

Art: The Circus of Illustration’s Drink and Draw – Funny Faces
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 ‘Funny Faces’.

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 29 March 2023

Folk Music: Chris Cleverley – Secret Verses Tour
The Place Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £11

This tour sees Chris Cleverley embrace a bold new paradigm as he moves away from the British Folk Scene that inspired his earlier sound, toward the American Indie music which has characterised his more recent influences.

Visceral and unflinching, Chris’s songs tackle themes of climate/nuclear emergency, pervasive artificial intelligence, institutionalised racism and mass displacement of people.

Owing much to the music of Sufjan Stevens, Elliott Smith, Anais Mitchell and Bright Eyes, Cleverley has seen his musical and artistic identity grow and mature.

Thursday 30 March 2023

Theatre: NTLive presents The Life of Pi
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: from £12.50

Puppetry, magic and storytelling combine in a unique, Olivier Award-winning stage adaptation of the best-selling novel.

After a cargo ship sinks in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, a 16-year-old boy named Pi is stranded on a lifeboat with four other survivors – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a Royal Bengal tiger. Time is against them, nature is harsh, who will survive?

Filmed live in London’s West End and featuring state-of-the-art visuals, the epic journey of endurance and hope is bought to life in a breath-taking new way.

Thursday 30 March 2023

Live music: Jazz Jam
3 St Peter’s, Bedford, MK40 2PN @ 7pm
Free for member’s and their guests/£7.50 for non-members.

In keeping with the impromptu spirit of the genre, a group of talented local jazz musicians have launched a Jazz Jam at 3 St Peter’s.

Come and enjoy the sounds of their house band, Eclipse Jazz, and perhaps join them for an improvised jamming session.

The band line up consists of:Paul Taverner – Sax, Geoff Stear – Bass, Jeff Willets – Drums and Martin Tucker – Piano.

Friday 31 March 2023

Live music: The Blow Monkeys
Bedford Esquries @ 7pm
Tickets: £20/£25

With hits like Digging Your Scene and It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way, The Blow Monkeys epitomised the glamour of mid-80s pop at its most graceful and sophisticated.

In the band’s frontman Robert Howard (aka Dr. Robert), they possessed a tall, charismatic singer who was both camera-friendly and clever, who appeared to be just as much at ease on the catwalk that is pop’s conveyer belt as he was penning witty, incisive songs.

While quite clearly Robert’s band, though, the Blow Monkeys are also gifted three immensely talented musicians in bassist Mick Anker, saxophonist Neville Henry and drummer Crispin ‘The Pump’ Taylor.

The Blow Monkeys openly criticised the policies of the 1980’s Conservative government, railing against social injustices and adopting an openly left-of-centre stance on issues of the day. From openly endorsing the gay community Digging Your Scene to an outright attack on Margaret Thatcher Celebrate (The Day After You) – a duet with the late, great Curtis Mayfield, The Blow Monkeys were always the thinking person’s pop group.

Friday 31 March 2023

Live Music: Roxze
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free Entry

Roxze performs an evening of soulful hits at the Cellar Bar on Bedford High Street.

Friday 31 March 2023

Live music: Mista Trick Collective
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £12 – £15

Mista Trick Collective is a high-energy seven-piece swing & bass band at the forefront of the scene across the UK and Europe.

This musical fusion is in a league of its own, taking swing & bass to the next level. Mixing vintage, vaudeville vibes with distinctly down and dirty drum & bass, the resulting sound is like the lovechild of a wartime knees-up in an underground rave!

Saturday 1 April 2023

Exhibition: Linen and Lace
Panacea Museum @ 11am – 5pm (Thursday – Sunday)
Free entry

A temporary exhibition featuring Panacea Society home textiles, needlework and many items never displayed before. This is in collaboration with an exhibition at The Higgins Bedford.

Saturday 1 April 2023

Drag: Extravaganza Bedford featuring Crystal from Ru Paul’s Drag Race
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £14

Bedford’s best drag, burlesque and performance art show is back for another outing at Esquires and their special guest is Crystal, as seen on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.

The night features a full cabaret show starring: Ginger Snaps, Edgar Allen Hoe, Bootsy Bonafontè plus the legendary Extravaganza ‘best dressed’ competition. If you impress the judges you’ll win a prize.
Special meet and greet ‘Crystal’ tickets available (7pm – 8pm) including a posed photograph and a chance to meet and chat to the Drag Race star.
LGBTQ safe space.

Saturday 1 April 2023

Live Music: The Mojo Slide
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free Entry

Formed in late 2011, The Mojo Slide is a group of musicians united in their passion for blues-inspired alternative music.

Hailing from Cambridge and St Neots they write all their own music and play a mixture of classic rock ‘n’ roll, blues/rock and blues-rooted alternative.

Sunday 2 April 2023

Shopping: Bedford Flea, Affordable Art and Local Produce market
St Paul’s Square @ 10am

It’s the first Flea of the year and the team are promising even more unique flea finds, gorgeous affordable art and delicious local produce than ever before. The perfect way to spend your Sunday in Bedford.

Sunday 2 April to Monday 3 April 2023

Children’s Theatre: Wind in the Willows
The Quarry Theatre @ 5pm (2 April) & 2pm ( 3 April)
Tickets: from £10

From the peaceful pleasures of Ratty’s beloved river bank to the fearful frights and wicked weasels of the Wild Wood, join Mole and Ratty on their marvellous adventures, along with gruff old Badger and magnificent Mr.Toad.

A beautiful new adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s much loved classic by award winning theatre company Box Tale Soup, featuring wonderful puppetry, innovative theatre and a charming original score.
Age guidance: 4+

Sunday 2 April 2023

Easter: Holy Week – Palm Sunday
St Paul’s Church, St Paul’s Square

St Pauls Church
St Paul’s Church is in the heart of Bedford town centre

Holy Week begins at St Paul’s Church with the Palm Sunday Procession from St Mary’s Gardens at 9.55am followed by the Eucharist at 10.15am

Passiontide Readings and Music @ 5.30pm.

Sunday 2 April 2023

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

Mat Roberts hosts the Cellar Bar’s regular Sunday Open Mic Night.

Sunday 2 April 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 16 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

From March 2023

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

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

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

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

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

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker


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