What’s on Bedford: 28 September – 8 October


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.

With thanks to the Cellar Bar, Bedford for sponsoring our What’s On Guide.

Thursday 28 September 2023

Live music: NAKED LUNGS + Utopia Development Corporation
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm

Naked Lungs return to Bedford Esquires are part of their ‘’Doomscroll’’ tour.

The enigmatic Irish four-piece noise-punk band has earned plaudits from the likes of NME, BBC Radio 6 Music, and was named as one of NME’s 100 for 2023.

Naked Lung’s debut album stands as a pulverising display of a band that are able to deliver on all of the hype that has been building around them, whilst continuing to defy pigeonholing. Stop scrolling, put down the phone, and pay attention.

Until Saturday 30 September 2023

Theatre: Crime and Punishment
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10

Raskolnikov, a former law student living in extreme poverty in St Petersburg believes he is ‘extraordinary’. After murdering the avaricious old pawnbroker, Alyona Ivanova and her sweet sister Lizaveta, he finds he cannot escape his pervading guilt, which results in the realisation that he is just an ‘ordinary’ man.

Led to Raskolnikov by the discovery, at the pawnbrokers, of items of value belonging to him, we follow the progress of inspector Porfiry’s investigation and patient interrogation of Raskolnikov.

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s tale of poverty, crime, guilt, redemption, punishment, and love is as fresh and relevant today as it was when it appeared in The Russian Messenger during 1866 in 12 monthly instalments. 

Crime and Punishment seeks to explore the moral and psychological dangers of the ideology of radicalism. This adaptation by Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus thoughtfully pares back the story to focus on the actions and emotions of the main characters and the gentle
persistence of Inspector Porfiry’s search for justice.

Friday 29 September 2023

Live music: Julia Shailes
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm/bar opens at 6.00pm
Free entry

Julia Shailes makes her debut performance at The Cellar Bar, playing acoustic covers of pop, rock and Country from the 50s til the present day.

Friday 29 September 2023

Live music: 90s Live
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £27

Get ready as we spice up your life, taking you back for good and hit you one more time with the ultimate 90s party night out!

The music of a generation brought to life with fantastic vocals, genius costumes and of course; all the dance moves you know and love.

From Take That to Oasis, Spice Girls to Supergrass get ready for this non-stop 90s extravaganza as we set you free and pump up the jam with songs by Britney Spears, Ricky Martin, The Vengaboys, Bryan Adams, Boyzone, Shania Twain, Aqua, Lou Bega, Eternal, Bewitched, Wet Wet Wet, Ace of Base, 2 Unlimited, S Club 7, Gina G, Pulp, Blur, Shampoo, and many more.

Saturday 30 September 2023

Family crafts: Bedford È Bella
The Higgins Bedford @ 11.15am to 12.15pm & 1.45pm to 2.45pm
Free entry but booking is essential. Vist the Higgins website here and use promotional code HIGGINS30 to avoid any transaction fee when booking your place

Join local artist Marisa Straccia for an interactive workshop celebrating Bedford’s Italian connections.

Come and reimagine Bedford High Street using architectural elements from the Italian Renaissance.  How would Bedford look remade in grand Italian marble with columns, arches and domes? Using drawing and photo collage to discover more about their famous buildings whilst transforming the High Street into an Italian fairy tale. All materials provided. Suitable for 6 to 12year olds. 

Event organised by Dr Selena Daly (University College London) in conjunction with the Higgins Bedford, supported by High Street Heritage Action Zone, funded by Historic England through Bedford Borough Council. 

Saturday 30 September & Sunday 1 October 2023

Children’s theatre: Splash Test Dummies
The Quarry Theatre @ various times
Tickets: from £13 (20% off all tickets, when you use the Promo Code SPLASHTEST)

Rub-a-dub-dub, The Dummies are here with some splish-splashing circus skills to drown you in tears of laughter. Even better, there’s a special offer of 20% off all tickets, when you use the Promo Code SPLASHTEST when checking out online!

The Splash Test Dummies are off on an exciting adventure of oceanic proportions! With a brilliant array of catch-your-breath stunt work, dazzling acrobatics, dexterous juggling and side-splitting, slapstick comedy, the Dummies are ready to roll out their beach towels and spring into an exciting hour of circus-filled hilarity for the whole family.

Age Guidance: 8+

Saturday 30 September 2023

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Wootton, MK43 9HT @ 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

Beginning and ending in Wootton, this week’s walk is a circular six-miler, described as moderately difficult.

Saturday 30 September 2023

Dance music: Boombastic 90s Bedford!
Bedford Esquires @ 9pm
Tickets: £7

One of the biggest 90s parties in the region, Boombastic 90s night returns to Esquires in Bedford for the first time since 2019 with a night of pop gems, anthems and floor fillers!

Performing to thousands of partygoers across the country over the past 10 years and also guested with the infamous Guilty Pleasures clubnight at KOKO in Camden, these guys know how to start a party!

Bringing you the BIGGEST hits of the nineties from Take That to TLC and Blackstreet to Blur.

Saturday 30 September 2023

Live music & dancing: The Cotton Club presents Minnie & the Moochers
Cotton End Village Hall, MK45 3AN @ 7.30pm – 11.30pm
Tickets: £15

Minnie & The Moochers play an eclectic mix of swing, jazz & jump-blues, great to dance too if you can Jive, Lindy Hop or dance Balboa. This isn’t a band which is playing for itself, this is a band playing for your enjoyment so come along to dance the night away or just have a drink and watch the show – you won’t be disappointed with this star-studded lineup of musicians.

Optional afternoon dance workshop in a swing/jive style dance – check the website for full details and time of the workshop.

Saturday 30 September 2023

Live music: Last Chance Ragtime Band
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm/bar opens at 6.00pm
Free entry

Returning once more to The Cellar Bar, The Last Chance Ragtime Band is a stomping Lindy Hop Jazz Band from Bedford playing the best swing music in town. Come on down and bring your dancing shoes!

Saturday 30 September 2023

Dance music: Disco for Grown Ups
St Paul’s Church @ 7.15pm – 11.30pm
Tickets: £16.81

Discos for Grown Ups’ pop-up disco party heads to the beautiful St Paul’s Church in the heart of Bedford for a night to remember. It’s going to be a fabulous, feel-good and fun night of dancing in an amazing venue to floor-fillers from 70s disco, 80s pop and 90s dance floor classics.

Sunday 1 October 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

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 1 October 2023

Live music: Roadhouse play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

Blues Rock band ‘Roadhouse’ return to Esquires for this week’s Sunday afternoon session.

Sunday 1 October 2023

Folk Music: That’s All Folk – Reg Meuross with Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: £13

Reg Meuross presents his stunning song cycle Stolen From God, with the sparkling playing of concertina wizard Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne (Granny’s Attic).

The live show, which features a narration on the historical background to each song, was previewed during last year’s Black History Month. Featuring vocals from both musicians, alongside incredible instrumentation, it received a tremendous reception at shows in Bristol,
London and Manchester

Reg Meuross’s belief that folk songs provide a rapid and accessible route into history and its current relevance stood him in good stead when it came to tackling the history of the transatlantic slave trade in story and song. He unearthed both incredible tales and uncomfortable truths – now brought fully to life with this enlightening live performance.

Sunday 1 October 2023

Poetry: Swan Poetry Evenings – Autumn Season
The Eagle Bookshop @ 7pm
Tickets: Free but please book via The Place Theatre website

Join the Read Poets Society for their monthly poetry reading of poems reflecting the season. This month will be poetry, song and drama exploring the joys and sorrows of aging.

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

Tuesday 3 October 2023

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

Featuring a recital by Apolline Khou (piano) and Aurelien Pinchon (cello). Free with a retiring collection (suggested minimum donation £5) in aid of church funds.

Tuesday 3 October 2023

Socialising: Singles Night (25-40 years)
The Cellar Bar @ 8.00pm
Tickets: £5 (includes drink on arrival)

The Cellar Bar Singles Night provides a unique venue in which to mingle with like minded individuals.

Whether you are looking for the next Mr or Mrs Right, or simply want to find someone who shares the same interests, our singles night provides a great relaxed environment in which to do so.

This is a very relaxed event, no games, no name badges, just decent music, a nice atmosphere and great drinks!

There will be a charge of £5 per person, which includes a shot or soft drink of your choice on arrival, mainly to enable commitment from individuals and to prevent anyone from just walking in off the street.

This is NOT a matchmaking event, merely opening up The Cellar Bar to enable like minded individuals to meet in a nice, welcoming environment.

Wednesday 4 October 2023

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

The bust of Glenn Miller can be seen on the front of Bedford Corn Exchange

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 4 October 2023

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

Billy Wilder’s classic film noir continues Cinema at St Peter’s LA Season.

Insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) gets roped into a murderous scheme when he falls for the sensual Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck), who is intent on killing her husband (Tom Powers) and living off the fraudulent accidental death claim. Prompted by the late Mr. Dietrichson’s daughter, Lola (Jean Heather), insurance investigator Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) looks into the case and gradually begins to uncover the sinister truth.

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Theatre: Fatherhood
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10

Being a father in the 21st century is complicated. Being the father of a young son of mixed South Indian, Turkish & Austrian heritage, even more so. 

Three very different stories of being and having a dad are brought together with humour and sensitivity, through physical theatre and multilingual text.  Centred around everyday, relatable experiences, this original new work explores fatherhood across generations from the 1960s to the present day.

Fatherhood features a deaf character who uses BSL as well as his own home language, a version of sign language that individual families and communities develop, often where deaf and hearing people need to communicate. The show also features several different spoken languages, Turkish, Malayalam, Tamil and German. Every performance of Fatherhood includes creative, integrated captions. These will
translate spoken and signed languages as well as describe sounds for deaf and hard of hearing audiences. The sound design also reflects the experience of sound by the deaf character.

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Comedy: Simon Says Comedy Night featuring headliner Glenn Moore
The Cellar Bar @ 8pm/doors open at 7pm
Tickets: £10

Hosted by Simon Hall, the Winter Comedy Club season begins at the Cellar Bar this week. Four outstanding comics will grace the stage including Ricky Balshaw, Leslie Gold, Tim Biglow and headliner, Glenn Moore.

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 5 October 2023

Folk Music: That’s All Folk presents Daoirí Farrell
The Place Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £17

The Place Bedford is very excited to welcome Daoiri Farrell back to the venue after his 2017 gig coincided with his BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – Horizon Artist win the previous night.

Since then he has gone from strength to strength and it’s commonly accepted that the Dublin-born singer and bouzouki player is one of most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years. He is returning with more captivating and beautiful music to wow local audiences.

Thursday 5 October 2023

Art: Christopher Wren: The Quest for Knowledge – A Lecture by Simon Carter
The Erskine May Hall, Bedford School @ 7.30pm
Free entry

It is 300 years since the death of Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723) the revolutionary scientist, mathematician and architect who was responsible for building St Paul’s Cathedral. 

This talk explores the life and work of one of Britain’s most accomplished polymaths – and the crises and opportunities which enabled his genius to flourish.

Illustrated with images from the cathedral’s object and archive collections, the talk will illuminate less well-known areas of Wren’s interests as well as his major architectural achievements.

Thursday 5 October 2023

Theatre: Monsters in our Midst – Tales of True Crime with Geoffrey Wansell
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £16

Join Geoffrey Wansell, one of the country’s foremost true crime writers and broadcasters, for an evening in which he explores what makes a murderer. 

As the authorised writer of works on some of the nation’s most well-documented cases, Geoffrey will draw on his unprecedented knowledge of and access to the tapes and evidence that led to the capture of some of the UK’s most notorious serial killers. And through this fascinating and unique insight on the crimes that made the headlines and the people behind them, examine the broader questions about the
psychology of such individuals, how they evaded justice for so long, and indeed those cases where justice gets it wrong. 

With a Q&A session with Geoffrey himself, this is a must-see show for anyone with an interest in true crime.

Friday 6 October 2023

Live Music:  Matt Bedford
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm/bar opens at 6pm for ‘Happy 2 1/2 Hours’
Free Entry. 

Matt Bedford will be performing once again at The Cellar Bar, serving up another great night of 80’s and current music covers. 

Friday 6 and Saturday 7 October 2023

Theatre: Comedy of Errors
The Place Theatre @ Friday 7.30pm, Saturday @ 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Tickets: from £12

Cartoonish capers in Shakespeare’s funniest farce! Two sets of shipwrecked twins – who lost their doubles years ago – unknowingly end up in the same place at the same time.

Chaos ensues; but will the searching siblings find each other in the end? Expect silly slapstick, abundant anachronisms and memorable music nestled amongst Shakespeare’s poignant poetry as the critically acclaimed Pantaloons put their own inimitable spin on this classic comedy.

Saturday 7 October 2023

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Cople, MK44 3TH @ 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 moderately challenging circular walk through meadows, woodlands and the Greensands Ridge with great views to Bedford.

Saturday 7 October 2023

Family fun: Fun Palaces 2023
The Higgins Bedford @ 11am – 4pm and the Panacea Musuem @ 11am – 1pm and 2pm – 3pm
Free entry but some events at the Higgins may need to be booked. Please visit the Higgins website here for more details.

Fun Palaces
Get hands on with art and science…

Fun Palaces first popped up in Bedford in 2015 and, this October, they are are back and ready to join the nationwide celebration of art, culture, science and community.

The Higgins Bedford and the Panacea Musuem are set to explode with free and fun cultural activities for all with an exciting day of skill-sharing, community connections, and the creation of tiny revolutions [Yes! – Ed].

Individuals of all ages and backgrounds are invited to participate in an array of free drop-in events at the Higgins including:

  • Meet and greet the curators of the Cultural Roots Sound System Museum: This fascinating exhibit will be on display at The Higgins Bedford from 7 October to 28 April.
  • Art Workshop with Local Artist Fiona Wilson: Explore your artistic side inspired by the beautiful Sonia Delaunay print in the current We Are Ten exhibition.
  • Willow Weaving with Bob Collins: Learn the art of willow weaving from the brilliant Bob Collins.
  • The Mend Up Crew: Bring along your clothes that need mending and receive expert advice on how to fix and mend them.
  • Plant Stall: Discover great bargains for your home and garden at the plant stall.

At the Panacea Musuem, take part in the Fabulous Foliage printing sessions with artist Anne-Marie Abbate. Have a go at making art on their incredible antique printing press using foliage and dried leaves from the museum’s very own ‘Garden of Eden’.

Fun Palaces event are made possible by the collective efforts of many local people who are eager to share and celebrate their skills with the community.

It’s an opportunity for residents to master new skills, reconnect with old friends, and make new ones while celebrating the passions and enthusiasms of our diverse community.

Saturday 7 October 2023

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!?” The line up for this show will be Bec Hill, Foxdog Studios and Tiernan Douieb.

Saturday 7 October 2023

Music: A Century of Swing
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £22

Join the UK’s hardest swinging band Down for the Count All-Stars for “one hellova celebration of vintage music” (TimeOut London) as they return to The Quarry Theatre for another celebration of A Century of Swing. 

You’ll hear a brand new selection of songs from the likes of Count Basie and Glenn Miller alongside vocal classics from singers such as Louis Armstrong and Peggy Lee, all presented with Down for the Count’s own unmistakable brand of wit and humour.

Saturday 7 October 2023

Live Music: The Tendons with special guests Citizen Keyne and Tri Subversion
The Cellar Bar @ 8.00pm/bar opens at 6.00pm for ‘Happy 2 1/2 Hours’
Free entry

Legendary Bedford punks, The Tendons, return to The Cellar Bar for what promises to be an amazing night of live and unbridled music.

The Bedford legends are joined by Citizen Keyne from Milton Keynes, this time also supported by Tri Subversion making their Cellar Bar debut.

Saturday 7 October 2023

Live music: Vigilantes + Daybreak + Motion
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £8

Vigilantes will be coming to Bedford this month with support from Daybreak and Motion, bringing their brand of moody pop for the introverted heart.

“Vigilantes’ are a soundtrack approved of by the indie giants. Vigilantes are continuing the British tradition of taking American sounds and stuffing it with classic British tone.”

Sunday 8 October 2023

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

Bedford Flea
Pick up a bargain at Bedford Flea

Hello Autumn! The seasonal change is being fully embraced by Bedford Flea and they’ll have everything you need to start cosying up as the days get shorter and the nights draw in.

The Local Produce section will have the best of Bedford and beyond; locally grown flowers, fresh bread, chutneys and jams, hot sauces, cakes and bakes, artisan food and drink, including gin and rum, plus body care, candles and home fragrance.

The Affordable Art section will be filled with 12 different artists, from painters to illustrators with opportunities to commission your own artwork too.

Last but not least, the Flea section will be bursting at the seams with the best antiques, vintage, collectables, clothing, records and all the treasures you never knew you needed.

Wabadub Grub will be serving up their super tasty Mexican street food and new hot food stallholders will be announced very soon.

Adding the soundtrack to the day is the ‘Seeing Eye Music Stage’ offerig up free live music whilst you browse, sponsored by Seeing Eye Rum. Don’t miss your chance to sample and buy some of their delicious spiced blend.

Sunday 8 October 2023

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

Hometown tourist
Castle Mound

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

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.

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 7 January 2024

Exhibition: Quilla Constance – Teasing Out Contingencies
The Higgins Bedford until January 2024
Free entry

Don’t miss your chance to see eight new large-scale paintings and a costume installation by Bedford artist Quilla Constance (also known as QC) at The Higgins Bedford until 7 January 2024.

As British society becomes increasingly polarised, this exhibition seeks to cross social borders, confront stereotyping, and challenge gender, racial and class inequalities.

QC states “Teasing Out Contingencies seeks to create exciting new narratives to explore: what is British society now and where are we going?” – These are timely questions as we emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic, and as we re-examine our relationship with the British monarchy in the wake of the Queen’s passing and the Coronation of King Charles III.

Read more here: Don’t miss the Teasing Out Contingencies exhibition at The Higgins Bedford

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

Keep Local news Alive in Bedfordshire