What’s on Bedford: 5 – 15 January 2023

Happy new year! If your new year’s resolution was to find out about loads of great things happening right on your doorstep, then you’ve come to the right place.
From live music to theatre, comedy to film, family-friendly fun to art and culture – we’ve got it all.

Friday 6 January 2023

Film: Children’s Community Cinema
Great Denham Village Hall @ 3.30pm (film starts at 3.45pm)
Tickets: £1.50 including drink and popcorn

Great Denham’s much-loved Children’s Cinema Sessions are back, but you’ll have to check out their Facebook page to find clues to what film they’re showing as it’s top secret!
Doors open at 3.30pm with the film starting at 3.45pm – entry is only £1.50 per child and includes a drink and popcorn.
Other refreshments will also be on sale.

Friday 6 January – Sunday 8 January 2023

Gaming: Gameplay TTRPG Live Stream Weekender
The Place Theatre @ various times

Join online for The Place’s regular RPG streaming event, taking place live on YouTube and Twitch over three days. With 25hrs of live content over the weekend, work alongside the cohort of young Role Play Gamers from the regular Sunday games club, plus friends, artists and professionals from the UK ‘actual play’ scene.

Expect a mixture of exciting Role Playing Games, showcasing new systems as well as old favourites, and running across Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery and Horror – explore and share the rich, ever-growing world of TableTop Role Playing games made famous by Dungeons & Dragons.

Saturday 7 January 2023

Theatre: The Quarry Theatre Spring Launch
The Quarry Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: Free

Quarry Theatre
Behind the scenes at the Quarry Theatre (image: The Quarry Theatre)

Why not join the Quarry team at the theatre on Saturday 7 January to help launch their 2023 Spring Programme? During your visit you can enjoy discounts at the bar, a flash sale on selected events, a presentation about how the theatre came to be and explore areas of the theatre that most people don’t get to see!

The Theatre will be open from 2pm and the presentation will start at 2.30pm. Limited spaces… book your free ticket now.

Saturday 7 January 2023

Live music: Hear The Drummer Get Wicked
Bedford Esquires @ 8.30pm
Tickets: £8.50

With an amazing percussion set-up and a finely tuned set, this show has the crowd dancing to some of the greatest dance anthems while watching one of the U.K.’s busiest and in-demand percussionists playing drums and percussion instruments from around the world effortlessly blending electronic and acoustic sounds in to a truly unique visual experience.

HearTheDrummerGetWicked has taken playing percussion in dance music to new levels bringing incredible live performances to the dance music world. You do not want to miss this show!!

Sunday 8 January 2023

Live music: Esquires’ annual BowieJam
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry (donations to Bedford DayCare Hospice)

Image: BowieJam Facebook page

This is the ONLY way to start the New Year! Join fellow music-lovers at Esquires on 8 January to celebrate the 76th anniversary of David Bowie’s birth and his life in music

At this annual event, the very best of Bedford’s local musicians play tribute to the Starman.

If you would like to take part please email host Charly White on porcelainwhite@gmail.com with song requests.

The event will raise money for Bedford DayCare Hospice, so all donations welcome.

Tuesday 10 January 2023

Live music: Tuesday Lunchtime Concerts
St Paul’s church, St Paul’s Square @ 1pm
Free with retiring collection

Maxime Morise and Christopher Cohen (violin). Free with retiring collection.

Friday 13 January 2023

Live music: Noasis + Bowfinger
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £14

The mighty Noasis touch down again at Bedford Esquires this month for one giant party and a celebration of one of the greatest bands this country has ever produced.

Noasis is the definitive tribute band to Manchester’s five-piece super group Oasis. Since their formation in 2006 and with over 800 performances to date, Noasis has justly earned its reputation as the best tribute on the circuit packing out venues up and down the UK.

With a huge back catalogue from Oasis to choose from the band create huge crowd-pleasing sets taking tracks Definitely Maybe, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory, Be Here Now, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, Heathen Chemistry, Don’t Believe the Truth and Dig Out Your Own Soul delivering a supersonic show of the very best Oasis anthems.

Saturday’s show has already sold out, so get your tickets now!

Friday 13 January 2023

Classical music: Philharmonia Orchestra – Nodoka Okisawa
Bedford Corn Exchange @
Tickets: £15 – £39

Nodoka Okisawa – conductor
Michael Collins – clarinet

Weber Overture, Der Freischütz
Weber Clarinet Concerto No. 1
Brahms Symphony No. 1

Nodoka Okisawa won the Besançon competition in 2019 and in 2018 she won the Tokyo International Music Competition for Conducting.  From 2020 until 2022 she was assistant to Kirill Petrenko and stepped in for Petrenko with Berlin Phil in March. Nodoka has been appointed 14th Chief Conductor of the City of Kyoto Symphony Orchestra from March 2023 and is the Münchner Symphoniker’s Artist in Residence for 22/23.

The spotlight is then on the brilliant Michael Collins as he demonstrates all that the clarinet has to offer in Weber’s radiant first clarinet concerto. The work was embellished by Weber’s clarinettist friend Heinrich Baermann, for whom it was written, and the result is abundant in melody playing to the clarinet’s strengths.

Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 is full of in melting lyricism and dynamic expansion. Brahms looked to Beethoven for inspiration, and his own version of the Ode to Joy (taken from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony) can be heard in the final movement.

Free Insights Talk

6.30-7pm, Harpur Suite

Michael Collins (clarinet) in conversation with Bekah Cork (Head of Concerts & Residencies)

Friday 13 January 2023

Film: Friday The 13th (1980)
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £5

Join the Quarry for a screening of this 1980s horror classic on a very significant date!

They were warned…They are doomed…And on Friday the 13th, nothing will save them.

A group of camp counsellors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which was the site of a child’s drowning and a grisly double murder years before.

Fridays will never be the same again…

Friday 13 January 2023

Theatre: Two by Jim Cartwright
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £10

Join The Place for their 20th Anniversary celebration with a revival of the very first show to appear on their stage in January 2002! Featuring the original cast of that show and bringing together the same team who supported the debut show at the venue.

Two actors, fourteen characters and one dark secret. Jim Cartwright’s Two gives us a busy evening in a Northern pub as the landlord and landlady serve a collection of locals, giving us a small insight into the dreams, desires and disappointments of their lives.

Funny, disturbing and poignant, Two Is a wonderful portrait of humanity and the strength of the
human spirit.

Saturday 14 January 2023

Art: Beds Urban Sketchers meet up
The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane @ 11am
Free to attend

Sketch by group member Rekha Sabu at the last visit to The Higgins Bedford
Sketch by group member Rekha Sabu at the last visit to The Higgins Bedford
Beds Urban Sketchers begin the year with an outing to The Higgins. Everyone’s welcome – all ages, all backgrounds, all artistic abilities.
Sketchers will meet at 11am outside the front entrance of the museum. The post-sketch ‘throwdown’ will take place in the Garden Room on the ground floor.
There is so much to see and do at the amazing Higgins, but, you can take a look at what’s on here to plan your visit.
Or, if the weather is fine, why not sketch outside?
This meet up is free, as are all the current exhibitions, but you will need to bring your own materials. The Higgins has plenty of perching stools to use for sketching items from the exhibits and collections. Remember, you can donate in the front entrance hall to help support the future of the museum.


Saturday 14 January 2023

St Paul’s church, St Paul’s Square @ midday
Free with retiring collection

Featuring organist Justin Waters (Bedford). Free with a retiring collection.

Saturday 14 January 2023

Live Event: Our 20th Anniversary Birthday party
The Place Theatre @ 4pm
Tickets: Free

Join The Place team to help celebrate 20 years of The Place Bedford, whether you’ve been with them since the very beginning or only just found them today!

There will be a new display of images from the renovation and opening of the venue in 2002 – so everyone can see how far the space has travelled in such a short time.

Reminisce, socialise, grab a bite, watch the cutting of the cake, help eat it and raise a glass! They would love to see you there.

Saturday 14 January 2023

Theatre: Buffy Revamped
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £16

Seventy minutes. Seven seasons. One Spike.

Fresh from a smash-hit run at Edinburgh Fringe, this fast-paced new production brings you the entire 144 episodes of the hit 90s TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as told through the eyes of the one person who knows it inside out… Spike.

Funny, satirical and bursting with 90s pop-culture references, it’s the perfect parody for Buffy aficionados and those who never enrolled at Sunnydale High alike.

Created by comedian Brendan Murphy whose last show, Friend: The One with Gunther, recently won the award for Best Play in the World Wide Comedy Awards.

Sunday 15 January 2023

Gaming: RPG Youth Club
The Place Theatre @ 10am
Tickets: £4

Aged 10-18?
Love games, fantasy, stories and play?
Want to be the hero (or villain) you’ve always imagined? Want to meet people who share your interests? A great opportunity for young people to engage in creative problem solving in a fun, welcoming, supervised space. Great for developing speaking and listening skills, team building and developing storytelling and creativity.

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

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

Until April 2023

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

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

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

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

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

Theatre highlights by Paula Walker