What’s on Bedford: 27 July – 6 August 2023

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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.


Until Sunday 30 July 2023

Festival: Bedfringe 2023
The Quarry Theatre @ all day every day
Tickets: From free – prices vary

We’re now halfway through this year’s Bedfringe festival and there are still over 50 events taking place at three venues within the Quarry Theatre on St Peter’s Street.

Until Sunday 30 July, a packed programme of comedy, theatre, live music, film, dance and physical theatre, spoken word and poetry will be performed across three venues, with Bedfringe director, James Pharaoh MBE, hoping there will be something in the programme for everyone.

Read: Bedfringe 2023: Over 140 events in Bedford over 11 days

They’ve already shifted over 4,000 tickets, making this a record-breaking year, so take a chance on a show, catch some free live music in the gardens and binge on the fringe…


Until Sunday 30 July 2023

Art: Surfaces – an exhibition of work by Tanya Chayka and Lauren Saunders Love
POP Bedford, 5 Midland Road @ 10am – 5pm
Free entry

A new exhibition of work by two up-and-coming female artists, Tanya Chayka and Lauren Saunders-Love, exploring concepts of touch as it relates to the female experience.


Friday 28 July 2023

Ceramics: ‘Mini Streets’ with artist in residence, Amanda Silk
POP Bedford @ 10am – midday
Free to attend but booking is essential

Join POP Bedford’s Artist in Residence, Amanda Silk to clay create your own house or building as part of the ‘Bedford Mini Streets’ sculpture. Bring along a sketch or photo of your home and be guided by Amanda and the POP Bedford volunteers to make and decorate your piece.

Once finished, you to donate your work to form part of the grand finale exhibition ‘This Is Bedford’ on 16-20 August at POP Bedford alongside all of the other amazing creative projects held at the pop-up.

If you prefer, you are able to take your pieces away with you on the day.

Ages 5yrs and up (Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. 16-17yr olds can be dropped off and picked up but contact details must be left)


Friday 28 July 2023

Choral music: Continuum present: A Heritage of British Choral Music
St Paul’s Church @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £18 (either via Eventbrite or on the door)

Continuum’s summer tour comes to St Paul’s Church with music by Tallis, Byrd, Howells, Stanford (and many more), culminating with Hubert Parry’s six Songs of Farewell. 

Continuum choir was founded in 2018 by Bedford conductor, Harry Guthrie, and represents the very best traditions of British choral singing.

Singers come from the UK’s leading choral institutions with several having met as members of Trinity and St John’s College Choirs in Cambridge. Many of the singers perform with leading professional ensembles including Polyphony, Tenebrae, The Sixteen and The Monteverdi Choir.

Watch a taster of Continuum here.


Saturday 29 July 2023

Family fun: Holy Cross Catholic Church Family Fun day
Holy Cross Catholic Church on Goldington Road @ 10am – 3pm
Free entry

A family fun day is set to take place at Holy Cross church on Goldington Road with over 20 stalls selling goodies from hand-crafted gifts and sweets to holy items from the church shop.

There will also be a range of children’s activities including face painting and bouncy castles.

All of the collections gathered will be used to help pay towards the costs of the summer camp programme run every year for young children and an organised trip in October to Cardiff for its alter servers.

The church also welcomes new families and members to join the church community.


Saturday 29 July 2023

Art: Live sculpting with artist in residence Amanda Silk
POP Bedford @ 1pm – 4pm
Free entry

In the heart of the town centre, watch POP Bedford’s artist in residence Amanda Silk live sculpting a bust/portrait.

Free to attend – booking required.


Saturday 29 July 2023

Music: Fynnius Fogg
The Sharnbrook Mill Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £13

Back by popular demand, the legendary local band Fynnius Fogg will return to The Sharnbrook Mill stage for a special fundraising gig. 

Join the amazing trio as they take you on a musical journey from 1958 to 1970, with happy pop music that will evoke memories and that you’ll know the words to. So if you like The Beatles, The Eagles, The Hollies, Billy Ocean, and The Kinks, you’ll love this.


Saturday 29 July 2023

Live Music: Mel Quinn/Crossroader
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / bar opens at  6.00pm.
Free Entry

Mel Quinn is a Cellar Bar regular, ready to entertain with a night full of upbeat covers and quirky, sarcastic, somewhat unhinged originals. With vibes of Lily Allen, Kate Nash and Lucy Spraggon she will be sure to catch your attention

After two years, nin studio releases and countless live performances, Crossroader are back and better than ever working on their upcoming projects.  Serving up some fantastic new material as well as some familiar crowd pleasers you will not be disappointed.


Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 July 2023

Live music: blender Weekender at Bedfringe
Quarry Theatre @ 4pm – 10pm
Pay what you can from £2

The blender Weekender returns to Bedfringe at The Quarry Theatre this weekend with eight acts across the final weekend of the festival.

All the blender events are Pay What You Can, allowing concertgoers the chance to select what level they wish to pay, from £2 to £20, with at least 75% of the fee going direct to the artist.

The theatre, on St Peters Street Bedford, has a state of the art main performance room but it’s in the glorious garden which sees blender set up shop for a weekend of high-quality live music, this year featuring local acts alongside artists from Northamptonshire and London.

This year’s guest promoter is Simon Gutteridge, lead singer and songwriter with the Americana outfit Sunsinger and The High Seas who has programmed BedFolk on Sunday, an evening of Modern Folk, Americana and Alt County.

On Saturday, an electronic vibe will take centre stage with headliner Eddz. Eddz is the poetic alt-pop solo project of Northampton-based songwriter/musician Liam Taylor. His debut EP was released in 2022 with the current single Low garnering much acclaim. Armed with his boom box, microphone and words, Eddz has been busy on tour across the UK this year.


Sunday 30 July 2023

Walking: “I Never Knew That” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £3/£1.50

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 our walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £3.00 per adult or £1.50 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.


Sunday 30 July 2023

Self-care: Tarot for Self-Care Workshop
POP Bedford, 5 Midland Road @ 10.30am – midday
Tickets: £7

Tarot for Self Care is a workshop led by Emma Dellow of Enlighten Therapies.

Visitors will spend some time exploring the Pentacles, the Wands, the Swords & the Cups, the Court cards as well as the Major Arcana … thinking about how you relate to them.

“There are so many ways we can use the magic of tarot everyday, and they are all really personal, inexpensive and thoughtful ways to bring some conscious space into a hectic, modern lifestyle.

“I love working with the cards and seeing where they take me and I can’t wait to share the tarot love and curiosity with you.”


Sunday 30th July 2023

Live Music: Soul On Sunday
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm – 7pm
Free Entry

An afternoon of Soul and Motown classics with DJ Shazza at the helm.  Playing only vinyl records this is as authentic as it gets.  What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

The wheels of steel will be spinning from 3pm until 7pm, free entry.


Tuesday 1 August 2023

Family fun: Wildlife Journeys
The Higgins Bedford @ 11.15am, 12.45pm and 2.45pm
£5/child (Use promotional code HIGGINS30 to avoid any transaction fee)

Come on a journey across Bedfordshire, meet new wildlife friends and discover together how wildlife needs to move and connect to survive. 

This interactive workshop includes puppet storytelling, crafting and a ramble in the gardens with The Wildlife Trust BCN.


Tuesday 1 August 2023

On the water: EyeSpy Cruise
John Bunyan Boat, Sovereigns Quay @ 12pm, 1.45pm & 3pm
Tickets: £7 adult/£4.50 child (plus booking fee)

Gran and granddaughter enjoying the Eye Spy Cruise on the John Bunyan Community Boat.

Keep the kids busy this summer holiday with the John Bunyan Family EyeSpy cruises. While you relax, the boat will cruise by Bedford’s landmarks along the Embankment amid the river wildlife. ncluded in the child cruise ticket is the John Bunyan community boat I-SPY card so you can tick off the landmarks that you spot.


Tuesday 1 August 2023

Live music: We Are Scientists
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

New York-based rock band, We Are Scientists, play Esquires.


Wednesday 2 & Saturday 5 August 2023

Family fun: Mini Artists’ with Little Dinosaur Studio
POP Bedford, 5 Midland Road @ 10am – 11am
£6 per child, £4 per sibling. Under 12 months free

Space for your children to be creative in our town centre pop-up POP Bedford

A calm and creative space for you and your children to tinker with different art materials. Explore painting, collaging, colouring and play dough.

Have a cup of tea and chat with other families and let someone else worry about cleaning the paint pallets! Booking essential.


Wednesday 2 August 2023

Children: Jackastory
The Place Theatre @ 10.30am
Tickets: from £3 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 2 August 2023

Family fun: Bubble show with Art Studio Tsymbal
The Higgins Bedford @ 11.15am and 1.15pm
Free entry but booking essential either online or by calling the Box Office 01234 718044. (Use promotional code HIGGINS30 to avoid any transaction fee)

Join Art Studio Tsymbal for lots of bubble fun at The Higgins.

Suitable for 3 to 5 year olds. Children must be accompanied by an adult, adults do not need to book a place.

Places are free, but there are limited spaces. Booking is essential.


Wednesday 2 August 2023

Walking: “The Silent Faces of Bedford” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £3/£1.50

John Bunyan’s statue in the heart of Bedford town centre

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 our walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £3.00 per adult or £1.50 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.


Wednesday 2nd August

Drag: Fanny’oke and Boozy Bingo
The Cellar Bar @ 8.00pm / bar opens 6pm.
Free entry

Fanny’Oke is back at The Cellar Bar with Fanny Burns at the helm. She will be hosting a night of Karaoke with a twist and of course Prize Bingo.

This show contains adult humour and swearing and is strictly an over 18’s event.


Thursday 3 August 2023

Family fun: Flower crowns and sensory play with flowers and herbs
POP Bedford, 5 Midland Road @ 10am – noon
Pay what you can

Explore and create with The Good Life Garden at POP Bedford.

At this family-friendly event, you can make a flower crown or explore herbs and flowers through sensory play. All ages welcome (baby toys also provided).

Run by qualified teacher, Meg, whose enthusiasm for gardening and the great outdoors is combined with a love of arts and crafts. The Good Life Garden’s ‘create and explore’ sessions give families the chance to spend time together and get to know one another, whilst getting creative using mother nature’s resources.

Pay what you can if you can. Everybody is welcome


Thursday 3 August 2023

Documentary: Modern Girl
POP Bedford, 5 Midland Road @ 6.30pm
Tickets: £3

Modern Girl is a short documentary about female emancipation within a family and its surrounding community. Running time 28 mins.

Grace Hall presents her short documentary, Modern Girl, as part of Pride of Place Bedford’s six-week programme of events produced by local artists, creatives and community groups.

Grace was born in the Midlands and lived in London for 10 years before moving to Bedford last year; she hopes this is the first of many events in which she can creatively engage with her community and share her work.

The evening will be an informal viewing of the film, with an opportunity to ask Grace any questions about the film afterwards. Doors will open at 6.30pm; please feel free to BYOB – there will be nibbles available, as well as bottle openers and glasses.

Please note, the venue is wheelchair accessible, however the only toilet in the space is upstairs on the second floor which is accessed via stairs. POP Bedford is making partner arrangements with other local businesses for those that need an accessible toilet, but please be aware that there is not one directly on the premises.


Friday 4 August 2023

Theatre: Retake, Remake
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10

Retake, Remake is The Lawnmowers learning-disabled led Theatre Ensemble’s empowering new show.

Retake Remake sashays through a soundscape of songs, recorded voices and snippets of films such as Forrest Gump and I Am Sam. The show supports the Ensemble to explore blockbuster films which portray people with learning disabilities using actors without learning disabilities.

Sometimes fun and sometimes profoundly moving, the actors question Hollywood’s star-defining practice.


Friday 4 August 2023

Live Music: Tiptoe Apollo
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / bar opens at 6pm
Free Entry

Always keen to support new young acts, The Cellar Bar is delighted to welcome Tiptoe Apollo for their Bedford debut.  They will be playing classic covers from Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, The Strokes, The Cure, Foo Fighters and much much more.

They played at The Dublin Castle as a support act in September 2022 and were asked to go back and headline in November. They are officially the youngest band to ever perform or headlined there.  Not to be missed!


Friday 4 August 2023

Live music: The Fillers – The official Killers tribute band
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14

The Fillers are the world’s first and best tribute to The Killers. They formed in late 2006 in the small town of Fabulous Bury St. Edmunds, much like the Killers’ hometown of slightly-more-fabulous-Las Vegas.

Having interacted with the Killers themselves at close quarters the Fillers capture an unrivalled sound, look and feel of the Vegas quartet, performing tracks from Hot Fuss, Sam’s Town, Sawdust, Day & Age, Battleborn, Wonderful Wonderful, Imploding The Mirage and Pressure Machine.

Having been lauded by The Killers themselves, The Fillers have an unrivalled attention to detail. From ALL of the various fully functioning keyboard stands used by Brandon Flowers to the same instruments including vintage Fender Starcasters, custom built Hiwatt amps, Craviotto Drums and Nord Keyboards, the band has THE authentic Killers look and sound.


Saturday 5 August 2023

Live Music: Samantha Hughes
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / bar opens at 6pm
Free Entry

Samantha Hughes is a British champion mandolin and banjo player and has previously performed at both Twinwood Festival and the Festival of Vintage.

Samantha’s set will be part acoustic so you are in for a treat as she plays a selection of rock n roll, country, 50s/60s and blues, sharing some good old-fashioned music from years gone by.


Sunday 6 August 2023

Environment: Climate & Green Coffee Morning
POP Bedford, 5 Midland Road @ 10am
Free entry

Join Friends of the Earth Bedford for a Climate Coffee Morning on Sunday 6 August from 10am-12pm at Pride Of Place Bedford (based in the old Virgin Media unit next to B&M in town).

Do come and join in the conversation, even if you just want to listen to what others are saying.

There is no set discussion and anyone can contribute. You are free to pop in/out as you wish throughout the morning.


Sunday 6 August 2023

Walking: “The Life and Times of John Bunyan” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £3/£1.50

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 our walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £3.00 per adult or £1.50 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.


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

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.


Until 2024

Exhibition: We Are Ten
The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane
Free entry

The Higgins begins its 10th birthday celebrations with an exhibition featuring old favourites and rarely seen works from the collection, all chosen by organisations, groups and individuals who have worked with the museum and gallery over the last decade.

The exhibition runs for the next year, with special events planned next month to mark the exact date the museum reopened in 2013. Watch this space for more information.


Until 2024

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