What’s on Bedford: 4 – 14 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.

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 X Certs
The Cellar Bar @ 5pm
Free entry

The  first Sunday session of 2024 for The X-Certs, a Herts-based covers band playing new-wave, power-pop and classic rock from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Always a busy Sunday.

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.

Monday 8 April 2024

Film: Bedford Film Society presents – Eric Raviliious: Draw to War
The University of Bedford, Polhill Avenue @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £69/annual membership, £5/day guest

Drawn to War is the first major feature film about Eric Ravilious (1903-1942), the much loved but hugely underestimated British Official War Artist artist, killed in a plane crash over Iceland in 1942. 

The film features contributions from artists Ai Weiwei and Grayson Perry, writers Alan Bennett and Robert Macfarlane and recounts a life as compelling and enigmatic as his art, set against the dramatic wartime locations that inspired him. The story is told in Ravilious’s own words through a wealth of material drawn from a treasure trove of private correspondence and previously unseen archives.

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Family fun: Dinosaur Adventure Live!
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 2pm and 4.30pm
Tickets: £16.50

Join the brave Dinosaur Live Rangers for another action packed adventure in the all new and exciting show: Trouble on Volcano Island.

When the island’s ancient volcano becomes active, it spells danger for everyone – including the Dinosaurs!

It’s a race against time to help the Rangers and their favourite Dinosaurs in this thrilling prehistoric expedition, to save Volcano Island from imminent disaster.

Meet the incredible Triceratops, the cheeky Spinosaurus, cute baby dinos and the gigantic T-Rex and follow in their huge footprints and journey across the island. You’ll encounter wild new species of Dinosaur and conquering exhilarating challenges at every turn.

This amazing, immersive and interactive show is guaranteed to be an unforgettable adventure for the whole family.

Remember to join us after the show for a free photo opportunity and meet the dinos.

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Film: Cinema @ 3 St Peter’s presents – An Affair to Remember (1957)
3 St Peter’s Street @ 7pm
Tickets: £12/£10.50/£9/£6

An Affair to Remember (1957) is a classic romantic drama starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. The film tells the story of a playboy and a singer who meet and fall in love on a transatlantic cruise.

Despite being engaged to other people, they vow to reunite at the top of the Empire State Building in six months if their feelings remain. An Affair to Remember has become a touchstone of romantic films, celebrated for its impact on the genre and its enduring appeal across generations.

Thursday 11 April 2024

Family fun: Inflat-O-Mania
Trinity Arts & Leisure, Bromham Road, Bedford @ 9am – 11am / 11.30am – 1.30pm / 2pm – 4pm
Tickets: Under 3 – £5 / 3 – 12yrs – £9. Tickets must be booked in advance here.

Following two previous sell-out events, Inflat-o-mania is coming back to Bedford town centre and taking over the Trinity Arts & Leisure Grand Hall. 

The hall will be filled with assault courses, bouncy castles, inflatable slides, soft play, ball pools and fun foods including freshly made popcorn and candy floss.

Thursday 11 April 2024

Historical Association talk: Remembering the Reformation
Chapter House, St Peter’s Church, MK40 2TX @ 7.30pm
Free to members of the Historical Association / non-members welcome (£3 suggested donation)

This month’s talk hosted by the Bedford branch of the Royal Historical Association reflects on the Reformation – a pivotal point in the history of Western Europe.

The talk will be given by Alex Walsham, national president of the Royal Historical Association. Since 2010, she has been a Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and is currently a fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. She is co-editor of Past & Present and vice-president of the Royal Historical Society.

For further details, contact 07989 837819.

Thursday 11 April 2024

Comedy: Castle Comedy Birthday Special
The Quarry Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £16

Castle Comedy celebrates its 12th birthday at the Quarry Theatre this month. Headling this landmark event is Angela Barnes, an award-winning stand-up comedian and writer who is one of the best live acts on the UK comedy circuit.

As seen on Mock The Week, Live at the Apollo, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, and former chair of BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz.

Thursday 11 April 2024

Dancing: Planet Swing featuring the 251’s
The Dance Hall, Wixams Retirement Village, Bedford Road, Bedford, MK42 6EA @ 8pm – 10.30pm
Tickets: £12.99

Planet Swing generic dance and event poster (Swingsters)

An evening for dancers and music enthusiasts alike. Cashless bar, plenty of seating (night club set up) and dance floor. Book in advance and come along at 7.15pm for a 45 minute dance class in Balboa, one of the original swing dances of the era. For the main event, just turn up – pay cash at reception – have fun, no booking needed.

Friday 12 April 2024

Quizzing: Quiz night in aid of The Place Theatre’s Raise the Roof fundraiser
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: £3 per quizzer

The team at The Place Theatre love their quirky little venue [so do we – Ed], but even they admit that it needs some extra TLC right now.

The roof needs repairs so that they can aim to keep the rain on the outside of the building and it leaks in several places. 

“There are noticeable damp spots in our most used rehearsal room,” said The Place Theatre’s Lissy Malt. “The space is a hub for community arts and engagement and we want to keep it that way. Our Raise the Roof campaign seeks to help raise enough to properly repair the dodgy spots on the roof and hep with the general upkeep of a 60-year-old flat-roofed building.”

The theatre is holding charity events throughout the year in aid of the Raise the Roof campaign and this month sees a charity quiz, hosted by the theatre team. On 12 April, form a team (maximum six people), grab a table and settle down for a fun and informal night of quizzing. All proceeds will go towards the campaign.

Friday 12 April 2024

Live Music:  New Harmony
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free Entry

Making their return to The Cellar Bar, New Harmony are the ultimate crowd pleasers bringing you the very best in reggae, Motown and classic songs.

Friday 12 April 2024

Live music: The Angels’ Share
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £12

A night of Celtic based folk/rock from Northampton based The Angels’ Share – featuring original material and re-arranged covers from bands like Runrig and Wolfstone.

Saturday 13 April 2024

Theatre: Behold Ye Ramblers
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15/£12 – 13th April  

From the voices of ramblers and campaigners to the songs and poetry inspired by past and current struggles, “Behold Ye Ramblers” is a new play about The Clarion newspaper and the organisations formed by its readership, including the famous rambling club, The Sheffield Clarion Ramblers. 

Along with the Clarion Cyclists, these early Edwardian pioneers promoted healthy outdoor pursuits, organising expeditions across open moors and mountains whilst campaigning for the right to roam, bringing them into conflict with landowners’ hunting and shooting activities and laws that prioritised private property over the wellbeing of others.

Saturday 13 April 2024

Theatre: Toy Stories
The Quarry Theatre @ 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Tickets: £12.50

Meet Chris. Chris is a 54-year-old artist financially trapped in the house where he grew up. The garden shed has become his studio, where he tries to create works of art that will allow him to come to terms with the absurdities of modern living – or else to escape his daily life entirely.

Chris now turns to the stage – where, in this new show he shares stories of his latest projects, from his efforts to make friends with Essex taxi drivers to his quest to understand more about his Polish heritage (without speaking a word of Polish).

Toy Stories sees Chris dig up some metaphorical ghosts of the past, as well as a real German tank dating from the Second World War and reminds us how little has changed in populist politics between then and now.

Part stand-up comedy, part performance lecture, Toy Stories takes the audience on an irreverent adventure through art, contemporary politics and twentieth-century history.

Saturday 13 April 2024

Live Music:  Double Header – Tie One On & Hugo St Leger
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Unfortunately The Workshop Boys have had to cancel, but in their place, Tie One On will be rocking The Cellar Bar, making their debut at the venue.

Also on the bill, Hugo St Ledger returns for the late session.  He will be playing a rare stripped back solo gig, playing legendary, classic rock songs.

Saturday 13 April 2024

Dance music: Swiftogeddon – The Taylor Swift Club Night
Bedford Esquires @ 10pm
Tickets: £7

Following their first event here last October, national club phenomenon Swiftogeddon is returning to Esquires this month. A night dedicated to worshipping at the altar of Taylor Swift: non-stop Swifty all night: deep cuts, extended mixes, fan favourites and all the hits.

FFO: Taylor Swift

Sunday 14 April 2024

Walking: “The Jewel in Bedford’s Crown” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £4/children over 8 £2 (Please use the code HIGGINS30 to remove the transaction fee)

Bedford's River Great Ouse, Longholme Boat House, Longholme Lake and Butterfly Bridge. Credit: ADC Films
Bedford’s River Great Ouse, Longholme Boat House, Longholme Lake and Butterfly Bridge. Image: Image: www.thebusinessvisuals.co.uk

The Bedford Tour Guides are back for their 2024 season and the first of their guided walks explores The Jewel in Bedford’s Crown – the River Great Ouse and its Embankment. This entertainig and informative circular walk takes you along the banks of the river, which has been described as one of the finest riverside settings in England. Learn the story of the Victorian Embankment development and enjoy a walk in the ornamental gardens

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 £4 per adult or £12 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.

Sunday 14 April 2024

Dance music:  Retro Vibes
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm – 7pm
Free entry

Fancy dancing along to some 80’s/90’s retro bangers on a Sunday afternoon? Have a few drinks, party hard and still make it home at a reasonable hour? On the second Sunday of every month, the Cellar Bar will be transporting you back in time to an 80’s retro nightclub where night and day become one.

Come as you are, or get into the vibe with some 80s and 90s-themed outfits. The party starts at 3pm until 7pm and entry is free.

Sunday 14 April 2024

Live music: The Feelgood Band play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @
Free entry

The Feelgood return to Esquires for another Sunday Afternoon Session bringing their high energy performance of classic Dr. Feelgood, from the 1970s ‘Gypie’ Mayo period.

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.

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker

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