What’s on Bedford: 23 May – 2 June 2024

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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.


Thursday 23 May 2024

Dancing: Planet Swing featuring featuring The Mark Keeley Rock & Roll Show
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.


Friday 24 May 2024

Heritage and culture: Walking tour of the museum
The Panacea Museum @ 1.30pm – 3pm
Free to attend / no need to book

Hosted by Adrian Bean, a longstanding volunteer at the Panacea Museum and a Trustee/Guide for Foster Hill Road Cemetery, this talk will cover the history and members of the Panacea Society.

In this talk he shares his deep knowledge of the Society, drawing on his many years of research. Please meet at Museum reception, at Number 11 Newnham Road.


Friday 24 May 2024

Comedy: Dalisa Chapondo: Feed this Black Man Again
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £16

Daliso did his first show Feed This Black Man 20 years ago. The jokes were mediocre, there was a rap about poverty in the middle (which was as offensive as you might imagine) and the big finale involved a sandwich on stage.

20 years later, Daliso has done the Royal Variety Performance, written and performed four series of Citizen of Nowhere on BBC Radio 4, been a Britain’s Got Talent finalist, toured nationwide and abroad… all sorts of things the 22-year-old Chaponda would never have imagined possible. 

So, Feed This Black Man Again is a do-over, as the now widely-loved comic revisits the themes of that ancient debut show with the considerably enhanced comic talents that two decades experience brings you. Along the way he’ll examine the huge differences between the way you think life will be at twenty, and the reality. Probably no sandwich at the end this time.


Friday 24 May 2024

Dance music: Discos for Grown Ups
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 8pm
Tickets: £21.95/£26.95

Get glittered up for a fun and fab night of dancing to the best music ever – 70s disco, 80s pop and 90s dance classics.

Boogie the night away to the dance-floor classics you love from Donna Summer, Earth Wind and Fire, Chic, Sister Sledge, Odyssey, Chaka Khan, Abba, Madonna, Robin S, Erasure, Bee Gees, Candi Staton, Faithless and many more.

Free glow sticks and retro sweets for everyone!


Friday 24 May 2024

Live music: Verra Cruz
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £13

Verra Cruz return to Esquires for their annual homecoming headline show.


Friday 24 May 2024

Live Music: The Tendons
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry 

Legendary punk rockers The Tendons make their debut at The Cellar Bar. 

Arrive early as the Cellar Bar is expecting a full house ahead of a full-on bank holiday weekend of live music.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walks
John Bunyan Trail pt 6 Meet Park Rd Stevington, MK43 7QD @ 9.30am
Great Denham Park and Ride, MK40 4FA @ 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

The Saturday morning North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ walk takes in an 11.3 mile stretch of the John Bunyan trail from Cranfield to Stevington. Walkers will meet at Stevington and then share cars to Cranfield.

In the afternoon, enjoy a circular six-miler along the River Great Ouse, starting from Great Denham. The walk will take you south to the river, walking along to QE Bridge then over the river and back to Kempston Mill alongside river. Really level ground, no stiles or gates.

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


Saturday 25 May 2024

Culture: Centenary celebrations at the Panacea Museum
Printing session @ 11am – 1.30pm
Talk by museum director Zara Matthews @ 2.30pm

On Saturday 25 May the Panacea Museum is celebrating the centenary of two important events for the Panacea Society, the arrival of Joanna Southcott’s Cradle and the sending of a petition of 10,000 names to the Archbishop of Canterbury demanding the opening of Joanna Southcott’s Box of Prophecies.

On Saturday 25 May, there will be a printing session on the Society’s Victorian press from 11am to 1.30pm.

At 2.30pm, the Museum Director, Zara Matthews, will give a talk about Joanna Southcott, the importance of the cradle and the Box of Sealed Prophecies.

Visitors to the Museum are encouraged to enjoy the gardens and bring a picnic.  The Tea Room will be open for drinks and snacks.

Entry to the events is free, with no need to book.

The Panacea Museum entrance is located close to Bedford town centre on the corner of Newnham Road and Castle Road, and is open Thursday to Sunday 11am to 5pm, last admission 4.30pm.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Walk: Mental Health Mates Bedford – Walk & Talk Meet Up
The Pavilion, Bedford Park @11am
Free to attend

Mental Health Mates (MHM) is a peer support group set up by journalist, author and mental health advocate Bryony Gordon in 2016. There are now over 100 MHM groups across the UK, including here in Bedford

The MHM walks in Bedford take place on the final Saturday of each month, meeting at The Pavilion At The Park and finishing back there afterwards for an optional drink and chat.

The walks are free to attend and just turn up to, you can talk as much or as little as you wish about anything, and everyone is welcome regardless of diagnosis or not.


Saturday 25 May 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.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Food & drink: FoodDrunk
Bedford Esquires @ noon til late
Free entry

Once again, Esquires kicks off their summer season with FoodDrunk returning for the ninth time and bringing with it all-day street food, music and gin.

The car park will be transformed into a mini food market, Gareth will be whacking up the bunting and he’s even getting out a few hay bales for good measure. With sounds as good as the tastes throughout the day, there are two indoor rooms of live music, with the Roll Your Own Records crew taking over the outdoor area.

The food line-up includes Taco Diablo, Fold Me Close Pizza and Crown & Heel Smash Burgers. Musical accompaniments come in the form of The Tarrows, Izzy & Max, Frenzy, Uprising, Black Ridge, Geb, Amy Leeder, Moondog, Liam Burke, Timmy Turnups (OVSC) and more…

There will be 15 specialist gins, gin cocktails and mixers limited to FoodDrunk and not on the Esquires menu, as well as the usual bar offerings.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Dance music: Family Silent Disco
Bedford Esquires @ 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Tickets: £8 adv / £10 on the door

Esquires’ kids and adults party is back with a bank holiday Silent Disco.

This year it coincides with the FoodDrunk Street Food and music festival, so there will be plenty going on at the venue throughout the day.

3 Channels of music transmitted to your LED Headphones!
*Adult Party Anthems Channel (kid-friendly)
*Kids Pop Channel (adult-friendly)
*Disney Hits Channel

Recommended for kids 12 years and below.

On the day, all children must be accompanied by a participating adult. Likewise, Adults are not permitted unless accompanied by a child.

Babies in arms admitted for free but will not receive headphones.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Choral music: Continuum Choir present Miserere
St Paul’s Church @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20/£10

The brilliant Continuum Choir is back at St Paul’s Church in Bedford on Bank Holiday weekend.

If you enjoy Allegri’s Miserere and other gorgeous choral music, you will love this concert. Directed by Bedford’s Harry Guthrie, they will perform a programme full of exquisite singing from some of the UK’s finest new generation of professional choral singers – all ex Cambridge choral scholars.

If you’ve been to one of their concerts before, please come again and bring your friends. If you’re a Continuum first timer, you will be blown away by the effortless beauty of their music.

Harry says: “Coming back to my home town of Bedford is always a huge privilege. Our audience keeps on growing and, with your support, once again, we can fill every pew in St Paul’s church and enable everyone to enjoy the pleasure of exquisite singing.”


Saturday 25 May 2024

Music: The Syd Lawrence Orchestra: The Magic of Glenn Miller
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £25

Directed by Chris Dean, The Syd Lawrence Orchestra recreates the sound that brightened those dark days of the 1940s.

Celebrating the music of Major Glenn Miller, bringing memories of the war years back to life with precision and a youthful exuberance. A dynamite blend of great soloists and vocalists, faultless section work and a hard swinging rhythm section will transport you back in time to a musical era that boasted such hits as Moonlight Serenade, In The Mood, String of Pearls, and many more of your Big Band favourites!


Saturday 25 May 2024

Live music: The world-famous Elvis show ft Chris Connor
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets:£33

Starring and produced by world-renowned Elvis performer Chris Connor, this magnificent theatre production recreates two of the most popular Elvis Presley concerts.

With a 12-piece band and backing vocals by The Sweet Harmonies, the show respectfully and authentically transports audiences back in time and if you were not lucky enough to see Elvis live, you will walk away from this concert feeling that you have! many Elvis  fans are left emotionally moved when they leave the show.

There is only ONE Elvis Presley, however fans all around the world are talking about CHRIS CONNOR who is remarkably so very close to Elvis in both looks and voice and mannerisms.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Live Music:  Double Header – World On Fire & Hugo St Leger
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Like rock music? Then the Cellar Bar is the place for you! Rock out with the amazing band World On Fire followed by Hugo St Leger making his return to the venue.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Live music: Moretallica
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £13

Following a fully sold out show in 2023 Esquires is pleased to announce the return of Moretallica to the club this bank holiday weekend.

2024 is Moretallica’s 11th year of touring and to celebrate this, they will be playing songs from all 11 of Metallica’s original studio albums. At this show, there will be at least one song from every album in the set.

A Moretallica show is the most hard-hitting spectacle and display of high-quality musicianship, as you’d expect from a band with 60+ years of combined gigging experience across the UK and Europe.


Saturday 25 May 2024

Dance music: Silent Disco decades edition: 80s vs 90s vs 00s
Bedford Esquires @ 9.30pm
Tickets: £8 adv / £10 on the door (booking highly recommended)

80s Classics vs 90s Hits vs 00s Anthems. Never been to a silent disco?
Grab a pair of 3-channel, bass-heavy headphones on the way in – three DJs will be spinning big tunes, just choose which one you want to listen to. Dance, sing, shout the night away and leave with a big smile on your face!


Sunday 26 May 2024

Walking: “The Rise and Fall of Bedford Castle” 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)

Hometown tourist
Castle Mound

The Norman Conquest of Britain witnessed the introduction of castles to the landscape and in Bedford,  a major castle was built in the 12th century.  Walk through the old castle grounds, see the mound on which it once stood and hear the story of the castle and its demise in the siege of 1224. This year witnesses the 800th anniversary of the Great Siege of Bedford Castle in 1224.

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 26 May 2024

Shop local: St Cuthbert’s Street Festival
St Cuthbert’s Street @ midday – 6pm
Free to attend

If you’re looking for something to do on the late May bank holiday weekend, then look no further than St Cuthbert’s Street, which is hosting a fabulous street festival.

For the first time, the road will be closed to traffic and the street’s independent businesses will be throwing open their doors and bringing the party atmosphere with good food, drinks DJs and live music.

The event is a collaboration between the thriving indies on St Cuthbert’s Street including Roosters, Beerfly, Herd, Vanilla Tree, The Store, Italian Touch by Ivano, Rice Thai and The Flying Cork. It follows the success of their inaugural street party last year, but with the added benefit no cars or buses to ruin the vibe.

Each business will be spilling out onto the road, so grab some food and drink, pull up a chair and enjoy the atmosphere. Expect wine tastings, beers, a la carte menus, coffees, live music, ice-creams, pizzas, shopping and walk-in tattoos available. There will be something for everyone and fingers crossed for some good weather to enjoy it.

The nearest car parks are at Lurke Street (multi-storey) and St Peter’s Street and both are free all day on Sundays. There is also ample cycle parking.


Sunday 26 May 2024

Children’s Theatre: Claytime
The Quarry Theatre @ 11am & 2pm
Tickets: from £13 (Family tickets available)

The award-winning Indefinite Articles present their work for the very young: Claytime, a play with clay, where the audience are invited to participate.

Come to a place where the earth’s natural material meets with children’s imaginations: a world of fabulous forms, amazing animals and morphing monsters. Each Claytime is totally unique – creating its own world, its own characters and its own stories drawn directly from its young audience. Truly, interactive theatre at its most engaging.

This show is made with and for 3 to 6-year-olds.


Sunday 26th May 2024

Live music: Soul On Sunday
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm until 7pm
Free Entry

DJ Stevo plays the best of 60’s/70’s Soul & Motown.


Sunday 26 May 2024

DJ set: The Beatles Dub Club
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £10

A special DJ set showcasing The Fab Four like you’ve never heard them before…

DJ Chris Arnold takes you on a magical mystery tour of his collection of covers, remixes and tracks that sampled arguably the greatest band ever – The Beatles.

Expect to hear plenty of reggae, ska, Latin, hip hop, dub, funk, house and even drum & bass takes on the wonderful music created by John, Paul, George and Ringo.

The Beatles Dub Club drew in huge crowds during the 2022 festival season with thousands of punters showing up to watch the show at Boomtown Fair, Glastonbury, Shambala, Green Man & Bluedot amongst others. The year finished off with a personal invitation by Fatboy Slim to perform at his ‘All Back To Minehead’ Weekender at Butlins.


Bank holiday Monday 27 May 2024

On the Ouse: Bank holiday cruises
The John Bunyan Community Boat @ 1.30pm and 3pm
Tickets: adult £10 / child (5 – 15) £7 / under 5s free

Leaving from the Suspension Bridge on Bedford Embankment, the bank holiday cruise is a one-hour round-trip on the tranquil River Great Ouse.

Booking in advance will guarantee you a place, otherwise you can pay onboard, first come first served.


Monday 27 May 2024

Family fun: Bromham Duck race
Bromham (event held in field opposite Bromham Mill) @ midday – 4pm

The annual Bromham Duck Race takes place today, with races starting at 1pm. Last race is at 3pm. £1 to enter and cash prize for the winning duck. All ducks are collected and used the following year!


Tuesday 28 May 2024

North Bedfordshire Art Scocity lecture: James Renshaw – Two Hellenistic cities:  Alexandria and Pergamon
Tuesday 28 May @ 10.45am/11am start
The Addison Centre, Kempston
Tickets: NBAS members – free / guests £10

Come and find out how in the time of Alexander the Great, in what we now call the Hellenistic Age, two rival cities emerged as centres of extraordinary culture and learning, Alexandria in Egypt and Pergamon in north-west Asia Minor. Classics teacher and writer James Renshaw, explains how Alexandria and Pergamon changed the intellectual and artistic landscape and examines their legacy.


Tuesday 28 May 2024

Family fun: Fireman Sam – The Great Camping Adventure
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 12pm and 3.30pm
Tickets: £19.25 / £18.15 / £70.40 (family ticket)

Norman wants to go on an adventure to impress his friends, so when two famous animal explorers arrive in Pontypandy, he decides to follow them into the mountains.

But when Norman discovers a rare red squirrel, one of the explorers decides to take the glory for themselves, leaving Norman stranded in a cave. Now it’s up to Fireman Sam to save the day and ensure everyone is safe on their camping adventure!


Tuesday 28 May 2024

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

A piano recital by Yuanwei Ping.


Tuesday 28 May 2024

Friends of the Higgins talk: Barbara Villiers: Pepys’ Pin Up – an llustrated talk by Charlotte White
St Andrew’s Church Hall, Kimbolton Road, Bedford, MK40 2PF @ 7.30pm
Free entry but donation to Friends of the Higgins appreciated


Barbara Villiers Countess of Castlemaine was Charles II’s most notorious mistress and a source of endless fascination to Samuel Pepys, but who was the woman behind the bad reputation?

Following a sell-out talk at the Samuel Pepys Club in London, local author and presenter Charlotte White has spent far too much time with this question and has strong opinions to share. Expect risqué tales of sex and politics at the court of the Merry Monarch. Event generously sponsored by Lady Whitbread.


Tuesday 28 May 2024

Live Music: Songwriting Showcase
The Cellar Bar @ 8pm
Free entry

Head to the Cellar Bar for a night of original music performed by local Bedfordshire acts, Robert Carey, Nathan Lisgo, Charles Abron and Margarita Alexandrou for a celebration of unique songwriting talent.

The night is hosted by Mat Roberts who will be joined by three up-and-coming acts from around Bedfordshire, playing a half-hour slot each, followed by a Q&A opportunity.

Plus, there will be an opportunity for other musicians to showcase their original material.


Tuesday 28 May 2024

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

This month the Circus of Illustration will be getting their heads screwed on and hammering out some still-life pictures on tools. We’ll bring a selection of interesting and unusual shapes for you to brush up your sketching on.

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

Drink and Draw is for all grown ups!
– Chat with new people who like creative stuff
– Do some no-pressure doodling and get inspiration from others.
– Equipment provided
– All abilities welcome
– No membership, no signing up, it’s free to just turn up and join in.
– £2 donation welcome!


Tuesday 28 May 2024

Live music: Pip Blom
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

Pip Blom were last seen at Esquires headlining last year’s Ceremony Festival, but this is the first time the band will have played in their own right.

Their latest album ‘Bobbie’ is an indie-disco classic in the making! Make sure you catch them when they roll into town in May.

FFO: Lime Garden, The Bug Club, Sports Team, Personal Trainer


Wednesday 29 May 2024

Walking: “Bedford in WWII” 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 bust of Glenn Miller can be seen on the front of Bedford Corn Exchange

A walk that reveals the way of life in Bedford and some of the little-known facts about the role it played during World War II. Learn how Bedford became the main hub of the BBC during the war and how it also became a centre of wartime entertainment. Discover a ‘secret’ Bedford and the connections of the town to the code breakers at Bletchley park. 

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 29 May 2024

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

Demi Moore: peak 80s

This coming-of-age film directed by Joel Schumacher features an ensemble cast of 80s Brat Packers including Rob Lowe, Demi Moore and Emilio Estevez. It captures the essence of post-college angst and the pursuit of dreams and its portrayal of friendship and the transition into adult life highlights the challenges and triumphs of the ’80s generation.


Wednesday 29 May 2024

Comedy: Cellar Bar Comedy Night with headliner Darren Harriott
The Cellar Bar @ 8pm  Doors open at 7pm
Tickets: £10 on the door for four fabulous acts / £8 in advance.

Hosted by Mr Sparkly Boots himself Simon Hall, this month’s comedy night is headlined by Darren Harriott with slots from David Ward, Nick Everitt and Monica Hsueh.

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.


Thursday 30 May 2024

Film: The Royal Ballet presents: Message in a Bottle
Stevington Cinema Club, Stevington Village Hall, MK443 7QT @ 6.45pm
Tickets: £6

The peaceful village of Bebko is alive with joyous celebrations. Suddenly, under attack, everything changes forever. Three siblings, Leto, Mati and Tana, must embark on perilous journeys in order to survive.

Message In A Bottle is a spectacular new dance-theatre show from five-time Olivier Award nominee, Kate Prince, inspired by and set to the iconic hits of 17-time Grammy Award-winning artist Sting, including Every Breath You Take, Roxanne, Walking On The Moon and more. With a mix of exhilarating dance styles, high-energy footwork and breath-taking athleticism, Message In A Bottle tells a unifying and uplifting story of humanity and hope. The iconic songs of Sting. The electrifying choreography of Kate Prince. This is a tale of hope.


Thursday 30 May 2024

Theatre: The Handlebards present The Comedy of Errors
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: from £3.50

The Comedy of Errors Pedalling from venue to venue with all of their set, props and costumes on the back of their bikes, the HandleBards are a four-strong troupe of actors who are spending the summer bringing environmentally sustainable Shakespeare to venues across the UK. 

Join the troupe at The Quarry Theatre for a bicycle-powered production of Shakespeare’s ‘The Comedy of Errors’ like you’ve never seen before.  When two sets of estranged twins are brought together on the same island, this classic comedy takes hold, with mistaken identity, music and manic costume changes a plenty.


Friday 31 May 2024

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

This month’s comedy night at the Burrow features Roger Monkhouse, one of the most original and distinctive acts on the circuit.  A highly original and quirky performer, Roger’s trademark stage-prowling style and curious, inimitable manner have established him as one of the hottest names on the comedy circuit. “His laconic delivery shields an engaging persona and an enquiring mind” The Guardian.

Standard bar and food menus will be available; laughs and entertainment guaranteed at the home of Bedford Blues.


Friday 31 May 2024

Live Music: The MKGs
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

The MKGs make their debut at The Cellar Bar, taking you back to the era of Mod mayhem.

The set list covers music The Small Faces, The Who, The Spencer Davis Group, Eddie Floyd, Booker T and the MGs, The Kinks, Otis Redding, Smokey Robinson, The Specials and many more.


Friday 31 May 2024

Poetry and Spoken Word: Greg Byron: Stand-Up Poet
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

Writer/Performer of original Spoken Word and host of the #StandUpPoet podcast on iTunes, Spotify etc…

Funny, witty, outraged, plain silly, sometimes just poignant or cathartic, but always “keeps you constantly engaged” (Kansas City Star, USA) delivering verses on life, the universe and everything (ish)… Verses inspired by modern day and social comment, performed with a twinkle, a laugh, and a wry pointy finger! Plus sporadic anecdotes, wit, and his unique 55-word stories.

Greg has performed in theatres, bookshops, on beaches, under the stars, in tents, village halls, restaurants and bars in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan…


Friday 31 May 2024

Live music: A Foreigners Journey – a tribute to Journey and Foreigner
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14

Legendary bands Foreigner and Journey are giants of the AOR (Adult Orientated Rock), Yacht Rock and Classic Rock genres, attracting huge audiences as live acts since forming in the 1970s. The two bands have achieved massive commercial and critical success, and both sold in excess of 80 million albums, with their earliest hits are still played on radio shows worldwide every day.

Sadly, for those in the UK, their shows over here have been few and far between, and most fans of their music have not experienced the thrill of hearing it played live. Thankfully, however, the next best thing is here in the shape of the award-winning band A FOREIGNERS JOURNEY.

The carefully balanced set-list, including bonafide rock classics such as the massive anthem Don’t Stop Believin’, Cold As Ice, Separate Ways, Juke Box Hero, Feels Like The First Time, to gentler power ballads like the hits I Want To Know What Love Is, Faithfully, Waiting For A Girl Like You, Open Arms and many more, A Foreigners Journey take things far beyond a mere ‘tribute act’ and turn their show into a living, breathing and powerful experience.


Friday 31 May 2024

Live music: Porij + Sam Girling
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £16.50

One of the hottest new artists around, Porij, are coming to Esquires for an exclusive, one-off show to warm up for Ceremony Festival the next day.

Porij have been causing serious waves since releasing their debut album and come to us fresh from selling out their UK headline run, including a show at London’s Electric Ballroom. Joining the band on that tour was Bedford’s very own, Sam Girling, who also joins them for this hometown show.


Saturday 1 June 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Wilstead, Whitworth Way MK45 3DY. Park off Whitworth Way @ 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

Lovely six-mile walk in the local area. Be warned, it is hilly, muddy and can be slippery when wet.

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


Saturday 1 June 2024

Comedy: Comedy Club for Kids
The Quarry Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: from £8

Since 2005, the Comedy Club 4 Kids has been getting the best stand-ups and sketch acts from the international circuit to do their thing for an audience of children and their families… but without the rude bits! It’s just like a normal comedy club, but it’s on in the day, kids are allowed in, and thus there is a higher than usual chance of heckles like “why is that your face!?”


Saturday 1 June 2024

Live Music: Double Header – Cameo & Five Five Six
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

They are back!

If you’ve not seen Five Five Six at The Cellar Bar before, you are in for a treat, get ready for a great night of legendary rock tunes.  The Cellar Bar literally rocks when these guys play!

If that’s not enough they will be supported by the incredible Cameo.  This is a late late event.


Saturday 1 June 2024

Live music: CEREMONY 4 ft. HotWax – Picture Parlour – Benefits + many more
Bedford Esquires @ 1pm – 11pm

On Saturday, Esquires hosts its fourth all-day music festival, Ceremony.

Hot Wax, dubbed ‘Britain’s next great guitar band’ are headliners alongside Benefits and Picture Parlour, who recently supported Bruce Springsteen at Hyde Park and performed on the main stage at Latitude. 

Amongst the 15 acts appearing across the day will also be the skittering pop perfection of Kaeto, euphoric shoegazers Deary, Dave Grohl-endorsed punksters Loose Articles, mysterious art rockers The Itch and electro-punk renegades, Clt Drp.

This gender-balanced, multi-room, new music festival is fast becoming a staple of Bedford’s cultural calendar. 


Saturday 1 June & Sunday 2 June 2024

National Theatre Live: The Motive and the Cue
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm on Saturday & 2pm on Sunday
Tickets: £15

Sam Mendes (The Lehman Trilogy) directs Mark Gatiss as John Gielgud and Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton in this fierce and funny new play. 

1964: Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new Broadway production of Hamlet under John Gielgud’s exacting direction. But as rehearsals progress, two ages of theatre collide and the collaboration between actor and director soon threatens to unravel. 


Saturday 1 June 2024

Live music: Rada Manojlović
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £35

Rada Manojlović is a famous Serbian Balcan star, followed by over 1m followers on social media.

In 2003, she released her first album, Ćao bezobrazni and in 2007 she rose to public attention as a contestant on the third season of the singing competition Zvezde Granda, where she finished in second place. She then released her album Deset ispod nule under Grand Production in 2009, which sold 180,000 copies.

In 2011, Rada won the Female Folk Singer of the Year Award at the Oskar Popularnosti and she released Marakana. At the beginning of 2016, Manojlović was announced as a judge on the second season of the children’s version of Zvezde Granda, called Neki novi klinci. She is a renowned International multitalented pop star, appearing on the world stage in numerous countries.


Sunday 2 June 2024

Walking: “Bedford’s Movers and Shakers” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am N.B. Please note that this walk starts from St Loyes, opposite Bedford Prison
Tickets: £4/£2 (Please use the code HIGGINS30 to remove the transaction fee)

Bedford Town Centre from above
Bedford Town Centre Image: Bedford Borough Council

You will know of the ‘mugshot’, but did you know it was first introduced into the criminal justice system by Robert Evan Roberts, a reforming governor of Bedford Prison in Victorian times?  Join us on this walk and meet Roberts and others who made a difference in Bedford and in the world; an astronomer, a polar explorer, the first woman county councillor and discover how some of the most attractive private dwellings in Bedford came to grace this area of town.  N.B. Please note that this walk starts from St Loyes, opposite Bedford Prison

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 2 June 2024

Family fun: Filtton Potato Race
Flitton & Greenfield Village Hall, MK45 5DR @ midday
Entry fee from £10. Entries must be recieved by midnight on 30 May

Run, walk or stagger a mile carrying a sack of spuds to raise money for charities, local projects and good causes!

The Flitton Potato Race is an annual event in June run through the villages of Flitton and Greenfield. Historically it was an opportunity for the farmhands to earn some extra cash at the end of the potato season by carrying the spuds through the villages. The route is still along the main road and there is still cash to be won, but the race has been expanded to accommodate all ages and even relay teams; there are no restrictions on entry apart from health and motivation.

Competitors from 10 upwards run a mile carrying a sack of potatoes either as an individual or in a relay team of 4. Runners will cary either 20kg, 10kg, 5kg or 2kg depending on their age 

The course record for 20kg is 5 minutes 26 seconds from 2018, although there was a very valiant effort last year at 5m 44s in 29 degrees of heat. There is every chance this year that the five minute barrier might be broken! There are also spud and spoon races for those aged nine and under.

Refreshments and music will be available at all 3 pubs (The White Hart, The Compasses, The Jolly Coopers), the village hall and church hall.


Sunday 2 June 2024

Family Theatre: The Lost Forest
The Place Theatre @ 11.30am & 2pm
Tickets: from £8

There’s magic and mayhem in the rainforest! Animals’ homes are at risk as bulldozers and diggers crash through the trees. Who will come to the rescue and fight the evil Endorro? Can we save the rainforest? 

Join Indigo Moon Theatre as they present The Lost Forest, a mesmerising performance of puppetry and digital projection for young children and families. Discover a tale of climate change and deforestation as small creatures flee the destruction of their natural habitats.

This popular, long-running show is timelessly relevant, taking environmental concerns and weaving a fun and dynamic show around them. 

Integrating the age-old tradition of Wayang Golek (colourful rod puppets from West Java, Indonesia), stunning rainforest projections, shadow puppet theatre and original musical score, the show embraces innovative and interactive approaches to storytelling. Aimed at younger audiences with lessons for us all to think about nature and the world in which we live.


Sunday 2 June 2024

Live music: Sunday Chillout Session – The Black & Gold
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm until 7pm
Free entry

The Black & Gold played their first full gig at the Cellar Bar on St Patrick’s Day and are back to provide the entertainment at the first Sunday Chillout Session.  

Fronted by Rich Taylor on guitar and vocals with Samantha Hughes (banjo/vocals), Mary Wilcockson (fiddle), James Lewin (drums), Dan McGrath (harmonica), The Black & Gold play songs by The Pogues, The Dubliners, American-Irish and upbeat trad tunes.


Sunday 2 June 2024

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

Join the Swan Poetry Society for their monthly reading of poems reflecting the season. This month’s theme is – Time and Time Again ‘We have no time to stand and stare’, ‘The first time …’, ‘Time of my Life…’ – an exploration of time in literature and music. 

This monthly event takes place at The Eagle Bookshop in St Peter’s Street.


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
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.


Exhibition: On The Wings of a Wire Bird
Higgins Bedford
Free entry

Artist Sophie Gresswell with one of the pieces from her new exhibition at the Higgins Bedford. Image: Bedford Borough Council
Artist Sophie Gresswell with one of the pieces from her new exhibition at the Higgins Bedford. Image: Bedford Borough Council

A new exhibition in the Higgins’ Sir William Harpur Gallery is the result of a year-long journey that has taken artist, Sophie Gresswell, from Luton to the island of St Helena and finally to Bedford.

On the Wings of a Wire Bird opened on Saturday, 3 February and weaves together the threads of empire, destruction, survival, and the enduring impact of Commonwealth heritage on the British identity.

Read: Local artist explores “rich thread of mixed heritage” in new exhibition at The Higgins Bedford


At the Panacea Museum

Exhibition: ‘Panacea: A Cure for All Ills’
Thursday – Sunday @ 10am – 4pm
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