What’s on Bedford: 27 October – 6 November 2022


Here it is; the biggest and best What’s On guide in Bedford.

Our pick of the art and culture, film and theatre, live music and comedy right here on our doorstep.

Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

Thursday 27 October 2022

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

The Quireboys are returning to their home patch on Thursday 27 October.

The band, now led by Guy Griffin, are coming off the back of a sold out show at The Forum and a very busy summer period, with very special guests The Dirty Strangers in tow.


Thursday 27 October 2022

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

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


Thursday 27 October 2022

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

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

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

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

Friday 28 October 2022

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

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

Friday 28 October 2022

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

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

Friday 28 October 2022

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

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

Friday 28 October 2022

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

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

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

Saturday 29 October 2022

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

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

Each section of the story has an interactive element; audience members have a snowball fight, build a camp-fire and go sea-swimming.

The characters of Moomintroll, Snufkin, Little My and Thingummy and Bob are brought to life with 2D rod puppets and life-size 3D puppets. The show uses beautiful original music and songs, and pre-recorded narration. The iconic Tove Jansson illustrations are recreated in a magical pop-up book.

Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October 2022

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

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

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

Saturday 29 October 2022

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

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

Saturday 29 October 2022

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

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

Saturday 29 October 2022

Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £8

We are delighted to be able to announce that on Saturday 29 October, Esquires will be hosting the first of a series of BBC Music Introducing in Beds, Herts & Bucks in association with Juicebox Live nights across venues in the Three Counties!

Saturday 29 October 2022

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

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

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

Saturday 29 October 2022

Dance music: Halloween Rave
Herd, St Cuthbert’s Street @ 8pm
Tickets: Free entry

House music all night long at Herd this Halloween from DJs George James, Jason Ayres, Dave Christie, Kieron Wolfston and Matt Wolton.

Prize for the most spooktacular fancy dress.

Sunday 30 October 2022

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

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

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

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

Run by CRB checked staff at The Place Bedford.

Sunday 30 October 2022

Live music: The Flamin’ Wet Gurus play the Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

The Flamin’ Wet Gurus return to Esquires to play the Halloween Sunday afternoon session.

Tuesday 1 November 2022

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

This week’s lunchtime concert at St Paul’s church, Bedford features Eri Yamamoto, Piano.

Free with retiring collection (suggested donation: £5)

Tuesday 1 November 2022

Classical music: Cantamus Chamber Choir
Bunyan Meeting, Mill Street @ 7.30 pm
Tickets: £10/£5

Cantamus Chamber Choir perform For The Fallen – music for all saints and all souls and remembrance, conducted by Paul Edwards with organist Ian Runnells.

Wednesday 2 November 2022

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

James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ is an epic, action-packed romance set against the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic; the pride and joy of the White Star Line and, at the time, the largest moving object ever built.

Thursday 3 November 2022

Theatre: Female Gothic
Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14.50/£12.50

From the award-winning creators of Christmas Gothic, Austen’s Women and I, Elizabeth.

In the dark between life and death, a haunted woman tells strange and terrifying tales; eerie stories, dusty and forgotten. Until now.

It’s the Hallowe’en season, so come along and be thrilled by three lost gothic spine-tinglers from the great Victorian female writers.

Winner of the Three Weeks Editors Award. Adapted and performed by Rebecca Vaughan (Christmas GothicI, ElizabethAusten’s Women). Directed by Olivier Award Winner, Guy Masterson (Morecambe and The Shark is Broken).

Thursday 3 November 2022

Live music: Naked Lungs + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £7

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Another very hotly-tipped new band is heading to Esquires’ second stage – you saw them here first!

Naked Lungs are a four-piece DIY Noise/Shoegaze outfit from Ireland, blending harsh, heavy instrumentation with melodic hooks to create a cathartic, emotional release in their tracks.

The band utilizes distorted soundscapes and driving rhythms, all the while maintaining their unique approach to both songwriting structure and lyrics.

Thursday 3 November 2022

Quiz: Esquires’ monthly music quiz
Bedford Esquires @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Esquires’ monthly quiz features music from the 50s to the present day. Teams of up to six people, £2 per person to enter. Cash prize for the winning team.

Thursday 3 – Saturday 5 November 2022

Musical theatre: Youth Academy Group presents: High School Musical
Bedford Corn Exchange Thursday/Friday @ 7.30pm Saturday @ 2pm and 6.30pm
Tickets: £18.50/£16.50

Troy Bolton , the star athlete at a small-town high school, falls for nerdy beauty Gabriella Montez at a holiday karaoke party.

When they return to campus, Troy and Gabriella audition for the upcoming school musical. Meanwhile, the jealous Sharpay Evans conspires to squelch their chances. The two must struggle to make it to auditions while also meeting their existing obligations to the basketball team and the academic decathlon.

Friday 4 November 2022

Live music: Henge
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £14

Attention Humans! This is HENGE.

We are not from this world.
We bring you music from distant planets.

Extra-terrestrial joymongers – HENGE – have been delighting audiences in the UK and Europe since they landed on Planet Earth seven years ago. Their scintillating live performances earned them ‘Best Live Act’ at the Independent Festival Awards and they have since cemented their reputation with two acclaimed albums, numerous tours and regular main-stage festival appearances.

Saturday 5 November 2022

Live music: Special Kinda Madness
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

Special Kinda Madness return to Bedford Esquires to perform a truly authentic set from each band, combining the phenomenally energetic stage presence of The Specials with the wonderful iconic tunes of the Madness ‘Nutty Boys’.

Saturday 5 November 2022

Theatre: Les Dawson: Flying High
Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £22/£20

Jon Culshaw (Dead Ringers, The Impressions Show) stars in this funny, affectionate and poignant celebration of the much-missed comedy legend.

Join Les as he summons forth a wealth of characters and incidents from his eventful life and career, as he travels on Concorde at twice the speed of sound 68,000 feet above the Earth, in this new play from BAFTA and Olivier Award winning writer Tim Whitnall and director Bob Golding.

Saturday 5 November 2022

Live music: Fake Turins + Human Music
Bedford Esquires @
Tickets: £10

North London outfit Fake Turins explore the psychedelic strut of New York City in the 70’s, using their strength in numbers to provide an immersive experience, the 11-piece unit explore noise, disco and funk through an unrelenting groove.
The band were longlisted for Glastonbury Emerging Talent, played their first two festivals abroad in Left Of The Dial and Klomppop and released a string of well-received singles and their debut EP entitled ‘Time Flowers Now’ – a remix EP followed with a stand out mix by Leo Zero of live favourite ‘Down!’.

Saturday 5 November 2022

Film: Right of Way
The Place Theatre @ 1pm
Tickets: Pay what you can from £2


This screening is followed by a Q&A with the venue team & an invited speaker (TBC)

We’re told we all have a right to roam in the countryside – but does that apply to everyone equally?

Right of Way is a new feature-length programme that mixes stunning new artists’ commissions with historical archive films that give a bigger picture of questions of access and inclusion in the UK countryside.

Saturday 5 November 2022

Quiz: The Big Online Movie Quiz
Hosted on Zoom by the Place Theatre @
Tickes: £10/team (maximum six players)

Join the film programming team from The Place Bedford for a quick-fire 10-round movie quiz.

Test your knowledge from across genres, decades and countries in this team quiz competition. Know your Goddard from your God-awful? Your Noir from your Noe? Your Bout de Souffle from your Das Boot?

Music, clips, posters – your movie knowledge will be put to the test!

Saturday 5 November 2022

Film: The Timekeepers of Eternity
The Place Theatre @ 6.30pm
Tickets: Pay what you can from £2

Welcome to your new favourite Stephen King adaptation.A found footage appropriation from filmmaker Aristotelis Maragkos, The Timekeepers of Eternity was meticulously crafted by creating a new edit of King’s TV mini-series The Langoliers, printing each frame to paper, then animating it all into a brand new creature feature. But there’s a method to the madness.

In The Langoliers, Mr. Toomey (played by an unhinged Bronson Pinchot) obsessively tears paper to overcome the traumatic events—and literal monsters—of his childhood. In Timekeepers, the tears and creases of photocopied paper transform into a living collage where the filmmaker and protagonist slowly merge with a common goal: to make sense of the paper nightmare.

Saturday 5 November 2022

Film: Häxan (1922)
The Place Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: Pay what you can from £2

Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen’s legendary film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients.

But the film itself is far from serious– instead, it’s a witches’ brew of the scary, gross, and darkly humorous.

Sunday 6 November 2022

Poetry: Read Poets Society
Eagle Bookshop on St Peter’s Street @
Free tickets (booking appreciated)

This month’s theme is ‘murder most foul’ – from the Gunpowder Plot to Dr Crippen and other malefactors.

Firework displays

Thanks to the team at Explore Bedford, here’s a comprehensive list of the best fireworks displays celebrating Bonfire Night.

Read the full listing at the Explore Bedford blog here.

Until January 2023

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

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

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

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

Until April 2023

Art and culture: Changing Times: A century of modern British art
The Higgins Bedford
Free entry

Some of the most well-loved British artists of the 20th and 21st centuries feature in a new exhibition at the Higgins Bedford on Castle Lane this autumn.

From Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden and Paul Nash to Elisabeth Frink, David Hockney and Lucian Freud, the exhibition brings together some of the biggest names in British art, and explores its history since the 20th century.

Changing Times: A Century of Modern British Art is the first large-scale exhibition since the post-pandemic reopening of The Higgins Bedford.

Read more: David Hockney and Lucian Freud shine in new Higgins autumn exhibition

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker