What’s on Bedford: 29 September – 9 October 2022


Need some cultural inspiration for the next 10 days? Then look no further. We’ve got everything you need to make the most of what’s on our doorstep.

From Fun Palaces to Bedford Flea, theatre to film screenings, live music to art exhibitions, there is something for everyone to discover in Bedford this month.


Friday 30 September 2022

Comedy: Hal Cruttenden: It’s Best You Hear It from Me
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £19

After 21 years and 224 days Hal’s back being single. But it’s all going to be fine. Instead of getting the therapy he clearly needs, he’s made a cracking show about it. He’s lost enough weight to almost get his wedding ring off and, while he may be flying solo, he’s far from alone; he’s got his grown-up daughters, his dogs and his divorce lawyer.

The fickle finger of fate has turned Hal’s life upside down but he’s sticking a finger right back at it.

Saturday 1 October 2022:

Great Big Green Week: Fun Palaces
The Higgins Bedford @ 11am – 4pm
Free entry

Great Big Green Fun Palaces brings together two brilliant national events – the Great Big Green Week and Fun Palaces.

Between 11am and 4pm enjoy family-friendly hands-on activities including:

  • animal encounters
  • find out more about our local wildlife
  • how to support biodiversity
  • what geology can tell us about climate

Find some homegrown bargains for your garden at the plants stall and meet local horticulturist Becky Almond, who will be able to help with your gardening questions.

Places are limited for the close-up animal encounters. Sessions will be at 11.30am and 1.30pm. To book a place or for more information email gemma.hutton@bedford.gov.uk

Saturday 1 October 2022

Comedy: Comedy Club for Kids
The Quarry Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: from £5

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 October 2022

Live music: The Fiver Showcase: 001
Bedford Esquires @ 6.30pm
Tickets: A fiver – duh!

Esquires reintroduces its regular showcase night for local artists at the venue.

Running over two rooms, the night will feature eight bands for just a fiver.

Saturday 1 October 2022

Live music: The Rocket Man – a tribute to Sir Elton John
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £25

Head to the Corn Exchange to join Jimmy Love (The Rocket Man) and his amazing live band as they take you down the Yellow Brick Road with two hours of glorious Elton hits, including, Saturday Nights Alright, Crocodile Rock, I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues, Daniel, I’m Still Standing, Philadelphia Freedom, Your Song and many many more.

With dazzling costumes, stunning vocals and sensational piano solos, you’ll be taken on a journey through Elton’s life and career, the highs and the lows with many a laugh brought to life, live on stage. This show has it all!

Sunday 2 October 2022

National Theatre Live: Prime Facie
The Quarry Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: from £12.50

Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) makes her West End debut in the UK premiere of Suzie Miller’s award-winning play.

Tessa is a young, brilliant barrister. She has worked her way up from working-class origins to be at the top of her game; defending; cross-examining and winning.

An unexpected event forces her to confront the lines where the patriarchal power of the law, burden of proof and morals diverge. Prima Facie takes us to the heart of where emotion and experience collide with the rules of the game.

Justin Martin directs this solo tour de force, captured live from the intimate Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End.

Sunday 2 October 2022

Great Big Green Week: Community litter pick
Meet at the Longholme Cafe @ 9.30am – 11.30am
Free to attend

Florence's litter pick

Booking not required! Just Turn Up! Meet at The Longholme Cafe

Sunday 2 October / Неділя 2 жовтня 2022

Church service: Ukrainian Service led by Fr Mykola Matwijiwskyj
Church of the Transfiguration / Церква Трансфігурації, Bedford Road, Kempston @ 6pm
Free to attend

With over 200 Ukrainians in the local area, Fr Mykola will be holding regular Ukrainian-language services at the Church of the Transfiguration in Kempston. The service will be in Ukranian but everyone is welcome. Refreshments are provided.
О 6й вечора- служба українською мовою від отця Миколи Матвієвського.

Доступні частування, напої

Sunday 2 October 2022

Poetry: Read Poets Society 
The Eagle Book Shop @ 7pm
Tickets: Free

Join the Read Poets Society for an evening of avant-garde subversion with readings from Red Poets at The Eagle Book Shop in St Peters Street, MK40 2NN.

Sunday 2 October 2022

Live music: Regressive Left + Phantom Isle
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £8

Esquires is super stoked to announce that one of their favourite new bands, Regressive Left is heading to Bedford as part of their headline UK tour in October!

Last seen here blowing everyone away at the ‘Ceremony’ all-dayer in August 2021, we’ve been waiting a wee while for them to return.

Monday 3 October 2022Monday 26 September 2022

Film: Bedford Film Society presents: After Love
Main Theatre, University of Bedfordshire, Polhilll Avenue @ 7.30pm
Tickets: Season membership £69/day membership £5/free parking

Set in the port town of Dover, Mary Hussain suddenly finds herself a widow following the unexpected death of her husband. A day after the burial, she discovers he has a secret just twenty-one miles across the English Channel in Calais.

Tuesday 4 October 2022

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

St Pauls Church
St Paul’s Church is in the heart of Bedford town centre

This week’s lunchtime concert at St Paul’s church, Bedford features Paul Edwards and friends, Piano & Organ. Free with retiring collection.

Wednesday 5 October 2022

Storytelling: Jackastory
The Place Theatre @ 10.30am
Tickets: 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 5 October 2022

Theatre: Destiny
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £11

Fresh from an acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Destiny by Florence
Espeut-Nickless (The Odyssey, National Theatre Public Arts programme) visits The
Place Bedford in October.

Destiny dreams big. She dreams of glamour. She’s gonna be an MTV Base backing
dancer, you watch. If J-Lo can make it outta the Bronx then Destiny can make it off the
Hill Rise estate in Chippenham. She’s fearless, ferocious and up for the fight (she’s had
to be). Born below the breadline, she’s desperate to see beyond the neighbourhood and
find hope in hopelessness.

This monologue follows the story of a teenage girl growing up on a rural Wiltshire
council estate. After a big night out takes a turn for the worst, Destiny’s life spirals out of
control as she desperately tries to learn how to love and be loved.


Wednesday 5 October 2022

Film: Psycho
Cinema @ 3 St Peters @ 7pm
Tickets: £12/£10.50/£9

Phoenix secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), on the lam after stealing $40,000 from her employer in order to run away with her boyfriend, Sam Loomis (John Gavin), is overcome by exhaustion during a heavy rainstorm.

Travelling on the back roads to avoid the police, she stops for the night at the ramshackle Bates Motel and meets the polite but highly strung proprietor Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a young man with an interest in taxidermy and a difficult relationship with his mother.

Wednesday 5 October 2022

Theatre: Ashes to Ashes
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £12.50

Ashes to Ashes is an exploration of the human spirit.

Two men arrive at Birkenau from different parts of Europe. They are separated from their families upon arrival. Thrown together by a barbaric selection process, they are welcomed into the camp by a smiling guard who proceeds to strip, beat, shave and finally tattoo them. After they have been given inmate uniforms and assigned to a barrack we discover that one of them, Moshe, is Jewish and from Crete. The other, Hirsch, is also Jewish and from Berlin.

Moshe explains to Hirsch that the journey from Crete has taken fourteen days. He describes how he has watched his mother and baby niece die during the tortuous trip. From this moment on we follow them through beatings, work, starvation and humiliation. We watch as they form a friendship that cannot be broken, firstly by the brutality of the guards and ultimately by entrance to the gas chamber.

Wednesday 5 October to Friday 7 October 2022

Theatre: The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband
Sharnbrook Mill Theatre, @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

Find out what’s on the menu when Hilary discovers that her husband of 20 years, Kenneth, has been having his cake and eating it, and has been seeing Laura, a younger, more attractive woman behind her back.

The only issue with his new and exciting life is: Laura can’t cook! When Hilary invites Ken and Laura over for dinner, he readily accepts, unaware of what delicacies Hilary plans to serve!

Could revenge be for starters?

Will Ken get his just desserts?

Thursday 6 October 2022

Theatre: NoMad
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: Pay What You Can

Using her signature blend of whimsy and intensity, Nell Hardy’s solo show NoMad based on her own lived experiences is a poetic, dizzying journey through the dissociated mind of one woman who has fallen through society’s cracks too many times.
With devastating authenticity, disarming humour and, ultimately, hope, the show demands the question: who gets to decide what madness is in a society that treats people like this?

Thursday 6 October 2022

Food & drink: European wine tasting
3 St Peter’s @ 7pm
Tickets: £30/member and £25/non-member
An evening of six European wines, welcome bubbly with cheese pairings featuring Mark, from Cambridge Wine Merchants in Ampthill. Mark will be exploring some of the major European wine styles, what characterises them and why. In addition, he will give some practical advice for food and wine matching.


Thursday 6 October 2022

Film: National Theatre Live: Jack Absolute Flies Again
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: from £12.50

A rollicking new comedy by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors) and Oliver Chris (Twelfth Night).

After an aerial dog fight, Pilot Officer Jack Absolute flies home to win the heart of his old flame, Lydia Languish. Back on British soil, Jack’s advances soon turn to anarchy when the young heiress demands to be loved on her own, very particular, terms.

Emily Burns directs this spectacularly entertaining new version of Sheridan’s The Rivals. Featuring a cast including Caroline Quentin, Laurie Davidson, Natalie Simpson and Kelvin Fletcher.

From Friday 7 October 2022

Art exhibition: Abundance
The Arc, Howard Street
Free entry

The Eden Collective artists – Sara Sayer, ceramicist Amanda Silk, Fiona Wilson and Natalie Wells – are reunited in a new exhibition at The Arc.

Friday 7 October 2022

Comedy: Flanders and Swann
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £16

Having delighted audiences across the globe for the past decade, the Rolls Royce of Flanders and Swann shows returns!

Join multi award-winning comedian Tim FitzHigham and BBC Radio 4 musical maestro Duncan Walsh Atkins* as they starch their beards and trim their dinner jackets, ready to bring you the wit and wordplay of those ingenious comedy songsmiths, Michael Flanders and Donald Swann.

Lifelong fans and the uninitiated alike will delight to see the boys breathe new life into the much-loved words and music of F&S, including all the classics, The Hippopotamus (Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud), The Gnu, The Gas Man Cometh and many more – plus a few hidden gems along the way!

Friday 7 October 2022

Live music: Tyber & Pete from The Dualers
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £22

An acoustic set from Tyber & Pete from The Dualers.

Friday 7 October 2022

Live music: Brass Funkeys
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £10

Trailblazers in the new generation of UK brass bands, Brass Funkies hit Bedford Esquires this Autumn as part of their UK Tour.
Formed in 2011, this nine-piece collective has a unique sound forged from their strong personalities and eclectic individual tastes, whilst still paying homage to their New Orleans brass band roots.
The Brass Funkeys frequently appear on festival main stages (Glastonbury, Boomtown, Wilderness, Lost Village, Love Supreme, North Sea Jazz Festival) as well as performing at world-renowned venues including Ronnie Scott’s, Koko and now, Bedford Esquires…


Saturday 8 October 2022

Creativity: Beds Urban Sketchers: Pubs of Newnham Street and St Cuthbert’s Street
Meet at the Ship, St Cuthbert’s Street @ 10.30am
Free to attend

We are the Bedford chapter of a global group of Urban Sketchers who meet up once a month to sketch on location in and around Bedford.  Each meet up, we explore a different place, with the mission to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of on-location drawing.

Plenty of beautiful architecture to choose from, and lots of features to pick out that you may not have noticed previously. You will need to bring something to perch on if you don’t want to sit on a wall.

You can get take out coffee and snacks from SAY on the corner of St. Cuthberts opposite the butchers and the post-sketch throwdown will be in The Ship at 12.30pm.

Saturday 8 October 2022

Live music: Saturday organ recital
St Paul’s Church Bedford @ 12 noon
Free entry with a retiring collection

The series of Saturday lunchtime organ recitals will be held at St Paul’s throughout the year. Why not come along and combine your visit with a light lunch or coffee and cake from our Saturday cafe? Admission is free with a retiring collection.

This week’s recital features Simon Headley from All Saints Church in Loughborough.

Saturday 8 October 2022

Children’s Theatre: Christopher Nibble
The Place Theatre @ 1pm and 3.30pm
Tickets: from £8

The guinea pigs of Dandeville love munching dandelion leaves so much that slowly but surely dandelions are disappearing from all over town. Christopher Nibble knows that crunch time has come when there is just one dandelion left – but will this plucky little guinea pig have the flower power to save the day?
Written especially for children aged two – seven (and their big people too) and told with Topsy Turvy Theatre’s own blend of energetic storytelling, handmade puppets, original music and stunning scenery, Christopher Nibble is an uplifting story of one guinea pig’s selfless undertaking to help halt the disappearance of the delicious dandelion forever!

Saturday 8 October 2022

Live music: Nirvana UK and Pearl Scam
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £15

Nirvana UK are returning to Bedford Esquires as part of the ultimate double bill featuring a tribute to Pearl Jam ‘Pearl Scam’ – the ultimate 90s grunge package on one stage on one night.

Saturday 8 October 2022

Music: The Rolling Stones Now
The Quarry Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £15

The band, in their 24th year, return to the Quarry Theatre, for a night of strutting, pouting & romping rock’n’roll!

The Rolling Stones Now were established in 1998 and since then have travelled the country playing thousands of gigs and events. They have appeared with The New Yardbirds, Geno Washington, Art Wood and on France TV with Jimmy Cliff.

Sunday 9 October 2022

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

Bedford Flea

Bedford Flea’s independently run market continues to grow both in size and in popularity, and this month is no different. Arrive early to grab the best bargains and before any of the traders sell out!

Sunday 9 October 2022

Live music: The Skids + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £25

The Saints Are Coming (again)! Yes, The Skids are back in Bedford following their packed 2018 show at the Corn Exchange, this time in the more intimate surroundings of Bedford Esquires.

The Skids were formed in 1977 and after releasing an independent single the band were played by John Peel, supported The Clash in concert and then were signed to Virgin Records in 1978. Their first singles were “Sweet Surburbia”, “The Saints are Coming” and “Into the Valley” – the latter reaching the UK Top Ten in early 1979.

Coming soon…

From 15 October 2022

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

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 October 2022

Exhibition: Body & Soul
The Higgins Bedford
Free entry

Edvard Munch (1863–1944), Woman with a Brooch (Madonna), 1903 © The Trustees of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery

A new exhibition exploring how women have been represented in art over the past two centuries, opens at The Higgins Bedford on 2 April.

Read: Body & Soul: Higgins’ new exhibition explores the representation of women in art

Highlights in the Body & Soul exhibition – all drawn from the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery Collection – include artworks by Edgar Degas, Edvard Munch, Dora Carrington, Stanley Spencer, Henri Matisse, Gwen John, Roy Lichtenstein, Lucian Freud and Chila Burman.

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker


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