What’s on Bedford: 28 March – 7 April 2024


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 28 March 2024

Comedy: Hello, Hi – A Sketch Show
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £12

Award-winning sketch duo Grubby Little Mitts are here with their latest show: Hello, Hi! 

Traverse the perils of employment, friendship, and love; be dazzled with ear-splitting music; try not to be sick if you see too much flesh. At once slapstick, sitcom and surreal, the normal rules of engagement do not apply in this biting hour of sketch at breakneck speed.

Previous accolades: Winners of the Amused Moose Comedy Award 2022 for Top Debut Sketch Show. 

Thursday 28 March 2024

Shopping: The Arc X Clemency Jude Disco Swish
The Arc, Howard Street @ 7pm
Tickets: £14.25

Clemency Jude is back with another sensational clothes swish, this time with added D*I*S*C*O!

Order your ticket from eventbrite, drop your old clothes off at the Arc before the event and take home a bag full of new clothes on the night. Two local female DJs will be playing on the night and there will be delicious food from Crown and Heel Burgers.

Emma, owner of Clemency Jude, set up clothes swap events in Bedford to encourage sustainable shopping and any clothes left over provide inspiration for her recycled and repurposed handmade designs. Win-win!

Good Friday 29 March 2024

Family fun: LEGO: The Brick People
The Quarry Theatre, St Peter’s Street @ 10am / 11.30am / 1pm / 2.30pm / 4pm
Tickets: £5

If you or any members of your family are LEGO fanatics, then the Quarry Theatre is the place for you this month. The event, hosted by The Brick People, features various LEGO activity tables, self-building activities plus timed speed or tower builds with the best builders making it onto the leaderboard. The Brick People will also be bringing some of the creations by themselves and their network of LEGO enthusiasts from all over the country. Sessions take place throughout the day and you can book your place at the quarrytheatre.org.uk

Good Friday 29 March 2024

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

Comedy nights are back the Burrow as Bedford Blues continue to showcase more than just rugby at Goldington Road.

Every last Friday of the month, the Burrow will be home to some fantastic local talent. Standard bar and food menus will be available and laughs and entertainment are guaranteed.

Ben Van der Velde is a stand-up comedian, actor, improviser and presenter. Over the past decade, he has spread joy and nonsense to all four corners of the British Isles, as well as Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Norway.

Good Friday 29 March 2024

Live music: The Chicago Blues Brothers
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £30.80

The Chicago Blues Brothers have put the band back together and are ‘Cruisin for a Bluesin’ taking you to the music capitals of the USA for one night of spectacular live music. This award-winning show is bringing you the very best in Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Country and Motown with a few surprises and lots of lunacy thrown in.

Join Jake and Elwood, and the award-winning CBB Band for a hand-clapping, foot-stomping musical spectacular, performed in the hard-hitting style that has made the Chicago Blues Brothers the biggest and most loved Blues Brothers shows in The World.

Good Friday 29 March 2024

Live music: The Buzzcocks – Singles Going Steady Tour 2024 + guests
Bedford Esquires @
Tickets: £30

Few have had the longevity and sustained creative energy to produce the seemingly endless stream of truly original and fantastic pop songs that Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle have delivered as The Buzzcocks over the last four decades.

Original and best. With the untimely passing of Pete Shelley in December 2018, Buzzcocks have continued to play live shows with founding member, Steve Diggle, taking over vocal duties to front the band. Steve has sung with the band from the very beginning, writing 50 songs, including hits “Promises”, “Fast Cards” & “Harmony in my Head”. He will be joined by the long-term current line-up of Danny Farrant (Drums) & Chris Remington (Bass) performing all the classic ‘SINGLES GOING STEADY’ and much more.

“I am going to raise the mast & set the sails for the next voyage of the good ship, Buzzcocks” – Steve Diggle

Good Friday 29 March 2024

Live Music: 8 Foot Under
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

A feast of 70s classic rock, punk, glam and even a bit of prog. Dig out your first-time-round flares and cheesecloth shirts for a Good Friday to remember!

Good Friday 29 March 2024

Live music: Cam Cole (MVT fundraiser / all ticket money going to Music Venue Trust)
Bedford Esquires @ 7:30pm
Tickets: Pay what you can

Guitar-wielding, busking maestro, Cam Cole is back at Esquires, raising money to help support The Music Venue Trust. After appearing as himself in the Golden Globe-nominated TV series “Ted Lasso”, Cam found that during the pandemic his audience had more than doubled in size.

Saturday 30 March 2024

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

Mental Health Mates is a peer support group set up by journalist, author and mental health advocate, Bryony Gordon, back in 2016. There are 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 30 September 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Great Denham 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

This 6-mile circular walk from Great Denham begins by heading south to the River Great Ouse, walking along to QE Bridge then over the river and back to Kempston Mill alongside the river, then following the river back to the car park. Really level ground, no stiles or gates.

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

Saturday 30 March 2024

National Theatre Live: Vanya
The Quarry Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: £15

Andrew Scott (Fleabag) brings multiple characters to life in Simon Stephens’ radical new version of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.  Hopes, dreams, and regrets are thrust into sharp focus in this one-man adaptation which explores the complexities of human emotions.

Filmed live during its sold-out run in London’s West End.

Saturday 30 March 2024

Live music: THANK + The Panama Papers + Cold Caller
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

From Leeds, Thank make loud noise that is uncompromising, brutal, dexterous and gets right up in everyone’s faces. Anger is an energy indeed and Steve Lamacq has described them as “mischievous agit-rock philosophers.”

The band embodies a sound that is like nothing else, merging noisy instrumentation and witty lyricism, with lead vocalist Freddy Vinehill-Cliffe moving between singing, shouting, speaking and screaming. There’s much fun to be found in Thank’s music, particularly when you catch Vinehill-Cliffe comically singing lines like, “Oh sweetheart, can we dismantle capitalism another day? I’m tired, and dinner’s getting cold”.

Yet, their dedication to creating interesting sounds, whether that be abrasive, nightmare-inducing instrumental breakdowns or bizarre synth outbursts, assert Thank as one of the most fascinating and unique guitar bands of recent years.

Saturday 30 March 2024

Live Music: Vintage Stuff + Samantha Hughes
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm  
Free entry

Vintage Stuff make their Cellar Bar debut this Easter weekend, sharing their passion for live music with new audiences.

Joining Vintage Stuff on the bill is Cellar Bar regular, Samantha Hughes who will be playing a selection of Rock n Roll, Country, 50s/60s and Blues, spreading some good old-fashioned music from years gone by.

Saturday 30 March 2024

Dance music: Lush Liquid Drum & Bass Presents: Lenzman + LSB + MC Fox
Bedford Esquires @ 9pm
Tickets: £10/£20

Lush Liquid are bringing their heavyweight Drum & Bass line ups to Esquires this month. Their first event features rising star, Lenzman, LSB and special guest MC, Fox.

Sunday 31 March 2024

Live music: The Workshop Boys Play The Easter Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

The Workshop Boys are looking forward to returning to Danny’s Bar for an Easter Sunday Session at Esquires. Formed by former members of Los Marbles and Cuttin’ Out, The Workshop Boys have become one of Bedford’s best-loved bar bands.

Sunday 31 March 2024

Live music: The Pride
Bedford Esquires @
Tickets: £7

The Pride are back at Esquires for a very special headline show on Bank Holiday Sunday.

No strangers to the venue, The Pride are following last year’s sold-out headline and Patio Party performances with another night of the finest in Reggae and Ska, with the band tearing through some of the greatest music ever made.

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Film: Bedford Film Society presents – Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
The University of Bedford, Polhill Avenue @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £69/annual membership, £5/day guest

Marcel, a one-inch-tall shell, lives with his grandmother, Connie, the only residents of their town after their neighbours’ sudden, mysterious disappearance.

When discovered by a guest amongst the clutter of his Airbnb, the short film he posts online brings Marcel millions of passionate fans and a new hope of reuniting with his long-lost family.

Tuesday 2 and Tuesday 9 April 2024

Cracking Crafts: Easter craft workshops (primary school-aged children)
John Bunyan Museum @ 11am – 2pm
£2/child – no booking required


Take part in the John Bunyan Museum quiz, make a colourful cross and be inspired by the John Bunyan Meeting stained glass windows. Free lunch for anyone that takes part in all three crafts.

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Children: Jackastory
The Place Theatre @ 9.30am
Tickets: Pay What You Can

Join the Place Team for Jackastory and listen to members of The Place team read their chosen children’s stories and discover some new favourites of your own. 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 in an intimate and friendly atmosphere, on a mound of comfortable cushions! Please note the new start time of 9.30am.
(Aimed at 0-6-year olds, but all ages welcome)

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Film: Cinema @ 3 St Peter’s presents -Lootera (Hindi with English subtitles)
3 St Peter’s Street @ 7pm
Tickets: £12/£10.50/£9/£6

‘Lootera,” released in 2013, is an Indian period romance film directed by Vikramaditya Motwane.

Set in the 1950s, it stars Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha in lead roles, weaving a poignant tale of love and betrayal but their idyllic romance is threatened by dark secrets.

Inspired by O. Henry’s short story The Last Leaf, Lootera is celebrated for its lyrical storytelling, breathtaking cinematography, and haunting score, making it a critically acclaimed masterpiece in Indian cinema.

From Thursday 4 April 2024

Easter fun: Easter egg hunt
John Bunyan Museum @ 11am – 4pm
Free entry

From Tuesday – Saturday throughout the Easter school holidays, join in the free Eastser egg hunt at the John Bunyan Musuem. Seach for the eggs throughout the displays and win a prize.

Thursday 4 April 2024

Live Music: FUSION – A combination of Bandeoke, Karaoke and Open Mic
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm / doors open @ 6pm / Happy Hour 6pm – 9pm
Free entry

The Cellar Bar’s FUSION night has something for everyone: a full karaoke setup with over 50,000 songs, sing with your friends or go solo, or why not sing with their house band, no backing tracks but the reassurance of having the words in front of you.

Finally, Bedford’s local musicians are welcome to come along for a jam session. This really is a night for all, a FUSION of musical style and experience.

Thursday 4 April 2024

Quiz: Esquires Monthly Music Quiz
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
£2 per person / max six people per team

Brain cells at the ready, it’s Esquires music quiz and everyone’s welcome. Featuring music from the 50’s to the present, it’s £2 per person to enter with teams of up to a maximum of six people.

Cash prize for the winning team.

Thursday 4 April 2024

Theatre: Rise of the Empress
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: from £13

Step into a world of thought-provoking discussion and captivating storytelling with this groundbreaking play by Nairobi Thompson and Bedford’s very own Sharon DeLeonardis

Immerse yourself in an engaging narrative of discovery that digs deep into the lives, experiences, and perspectives of two Black women navigating the world as they know it and the world they would like to see.

Through the eyes and voices of these characters, “Rise of the Empress” provides a safe space to discuss important themes such as belonging, heritage, self-discovery, and resilience. The play invites you to question preconceived notions, challenge stereotypes, and broaden your understanding of the diverse narratives that make up the vibrant tapestry of Black British life.

Friday 5 April 2024

Live music: Wasted Youth + Venus Fly Trap
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

Louder Than War describe Wasted Youth as “arguably the greatest ‘lost’ London band of the post-punk years. Rarely mentioned, if at all, in the era’s music history books, they were heavily influenced by the dark narcotic glamour of the Velvets, the Doors and Transformer-era Lou Reed.

“They were hugely popular as the Eighties dawned with punks looking for something more sexy and sophisticated and looked set to become much more than the cult band they became. They pre-dated Positive Punk and Goth and are still remembered as quietly-influential and a superb live band by fans”.

An English post-punk band from London, Wasted Youth were active between 1979 and 1982, and blended post-punk/proto-Goth with dark acoustic strains of the sort associated with Nick Drake and Syd Barrett. The line-up of the band was Ken Scott (vocals and guitar), Rocco Barker (guitar), Nick Nicole (synth), Darren Murphy (bass) and Andy Scott (drums).

In October 2021, Ken Scott and Rocco Barker announced that they were reviving Wasted Youth, with new members Ray ‘Sonic’ Hanson (from Thee Hypnotics) on guitar, Alan Temple (from The Low Gods) on drums, Teresa Casella (Miranda Sex Garden) on bass and Josef Rosam on (from Dorothy Vallens) second bass, synth and percussion, who joined in March 2022.

Friday 5 April 2024

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

Introducing Diversion – an exciting new band, making their debut at The Cellar Bar. They’ll be performing classic rock songs from the 50s, 60s blues, 90s grunge and 00s indie, they do it all!

Friday 5 April 2024

Live music: Goldie Lookin’ Chain + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

Straight outta Newport and best known for classics “Guns Don’t Kill People Rappers Do” and “Your Mother’s Got A Pen*s”, GLC are officially Britain’s biggest rap group.

Maggot, Eggsy, Dwain Xain Zedong, Mike Balls, Adrian Fandango, 2hats, The Wibbler, Mystkal and Grayham The Bear are back in Bedford for the first time as a full band and are keeping it real.

To date GLC have released 18 albums… and amazingly none of them have died yet. Get your tickets early to avoid disappointment. This will sell out.

FFO: Pete & Bas, The Streets, The Lonely Island

Saturday 6 April 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Lower Staughton – meet at Crown Pub MK44 2TA @ 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

A 6-mile circular walk towards Keysoe. The walk includes a muddy by-way, crosses two fields and incorporates a stile.

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

Saturday 6 April 2024

Live music: COLLISION 2024 – alternative music all-day festival
Bedford Esquires
Tickets: £15 adv/£20 on the door

COLLISION 2024 is bringing you the best in breakthrough and local talent in a collision of alternative music genres.

On the Marshall Amplification Stage are headliners Calva Louise with support from Unpeople, Forlorn, FEELSHAMER, Shoot to Kill, SWARMED, BIND, Away with the Seas and Depolarize

On the Natal Drums Stage is headliner Cody Frost with support from Tropic Gold, DeadWax, Forecast, Dead Slow, Whilst We Explode, NULL and Kodama

Food (vegan friendly) thanks to Monstera Canteen.

Saturday 6 April 2024

Children’s Theatre: Les Enfants Terribles – A Gameshow for Awful Children
The Quarry Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: from £10.50

The UK’s favourite Frenchman channels his acerbic humour and quickfire wit into a family gameshow, pitting children against adults and each other to try and find the most awful child. 

Come and experience what happens when international insouciance meets infantile exuberance, as children get to experience being politicians, pests and petomanes to win this badge of dishonour.

Saturday 6 April 2024

Talks: Bob Harris & Colin Hall: The Songs The Beatles Gave Away
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

BBC’s Bob Harris and author/music journalist Colin Hall set out on an intimate speaking tour based around their mutual love and appreciation of The Beatles, including rare interviews with Lennon & McCartney from Bob Harris’ collection.

By 1963 the pair had written so many songs they simply couldn’t all be accommodated on just their own Beatles releases, so it made artistic and economic sense to be offered to other artists for recording. The Merseybeat boom of 1963 & 1964 gave them a tailor-made outlet in artists such as Cilla Black, Billy J. Kramer and Tommy Quickly. This is the story behind those songs, the hits, the misses and the demos that the group never released: ‘The Songs The Beatles Gave Away’

‘Whispering’ Bob Harris, OBE has been at the very heart of the UK music scene for the best part of fifty years. He has established a worldwide reputation as one of the most trusted and influential broadcasters of his generation – described by Radio Times as “…one of the greats of British contemporary music broadcasting” and by The Mail On Sunday as “a national treasure”. 

Saturday 6 April 2024

Live Music: Double Header – Tiptoe Apollo & Five Five Six
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free Entry. 

Tiptoe Apollo make a welcome return to The Cellar Bar, playing classic covers from Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, The Strokes, The Cure, Foo Fighters and much much more.

Five Five Six completes the double header, so get ready for a great night of legendary rock tunes!

Sunday 7 April 2024

Live music: The Workshop Boys
The Cellar Bar @ 5pm
Free entry

Formed by former members of Los Marbles and Cutting Out, The Workshop Boys have fast become one of Bedford’s most loved bar bands.

Sunday 7 April 2024

Read Poets Society: Found in Translation
The Eagle Bookshop, St Peter’s Street, MK40 2NN
Free entry

The theme this month is Found in Translation, sharing poetic gems from distant lands; from Ancient Greece to the 21st century.

At the Higgins Bedford

Exhibition: Edward Bawden & Me
The Higgins Bedford until
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

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

Guitar, open mic night

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.

The April issue of the Bedford Clanger is out now and available to pick up at many of Bedford’s independent shops, cafes, restaurants, theatres, live music venues and more.

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker

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