What’s on Bedford: 6 – 16 April 2023


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.

Thursday 6 April 2023

Quiz: Esquire’s monthly Music Quiz
Bedford Esquires @ 8.30pm
£2/person – teams of up to six people

Hosted by Pete Burridge, Esquires’ legendary music quiz features music from the 1950’s to the present day.

Teams of up to six people compete for a cash prize.

The first round starts at 8.30pm, early arrival advised as this event gets very busy.

Thursday 6 April 2023

Live music: ABBA tribute – Waterloo Duo
3 St Peter’s, Bedford, MK402PN @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £7.50/member and £12.50/non-member

“Thank you for the music!”  Waterloo Duo is back again and what better way to kick off the Bank Holiday weekend than with an Abba party?
The talented tribute duo will be singing and dancing their way through Abba’s iconic back catalogue. Voulez-Vous be there! Seats won’t be reserved so come early to guarantee a table.

Optional dress code: ABBA inspired retro.

Friday 7 April 2023

Family fun: Dinosaur Adventure Live
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 2pm and 4.30pm
Tickets: £14

The Greatest Prehistoric Show on Earth has been 65 million years in the making… Are you ready for the adventure?

Join the intrepid Dinosaur Adventurers as they journey to a world of living, breathing, life-like Dinosaurs.

Walk through the Jurassic era on an unforgettable interactive experience as you are introduced to some of the most incredible species ever to have lived on Earth. Feel the excitement of meeting real life-like Dinosaurs face-to-face and hearing the tremendous roar of a T-Rex.

Learn their history and even feed them but watch out – you could be on the menu.

Friday 7 April 2023

Live music: Guns 2 Roses – the ultimate Guns n’Roses tribute band
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

If you’re a GN’R fan then this is the night for you. One of the only tribute bands to have actually played live on stage with four members of Guns N’Roses themselves.

Friday 7 April 2023

Live music: Danni Nicholls Band
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £10
Now fully recovered from Covid, Danni hits up Esquires for this rescheduled show.
Having recently relocated to Nashville, award-nominated singer/songwriter and Bedford native Danni Nicholls returns for a hometown show with a full band.
With songs to make you move, weep and smile there’s something for everyone…her powerful self-penned songs span the Americana spectrum.

With comparisons to artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Brandi Carlile and Roseanne Cash, Danni’s vibrant, captivating performances are all but guaranteed to melt your heart into the soles of your (cowboy) boots. Her passionate delivery, captivating voice, mesmerising guitar skills and charmingly engaging between-song banter compel you to fall under her spell.

Friday 7 April 2023

Live music: Frenzy + single launch
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free Entry

Describing themselves as a cross between Jilted John, the B52’s and Bob Dylan, Frenzy promise to deliver anight to remember. They are also launching their first single, so join them to help celebrate.

Friday 7 April 2023

Dance music: Give Me Garage presents The Artful Dodger + DJ Sean Harvey
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 9pm
Tickets: £20

The Artful Dodger DJ and MC Alistair  take centre stage for the headline set with UK Garage Legend MC KIE performing alongside Bedford’s very own UKG rising star DJ Sean Harvey.

Sidewinder and Flex FM’s Twista and Dappz will also be bringing their unique and energetic vibes with a host of special guests to be announced leading up to the show.

There’s nothing like a good old skank out to some quality UK Garage with your friends and loved ones and with state-of-the-art sound and lighting production, this event is sure to make its mark on the ravers in attendance.

Saturday 8 April 2023

Easter activities: Easter bonnet-making workshop
The Panacea Museum @11am- 4pm
Free entry

Bookable activity sessions, creating themed hats inspired by the ladies of the Panacea

Saturday 8 April 2023

North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Cranfield Church MK43 0DR @ 1.30pm

North Bedfordshire Ramblers following a footpath alongside a summer meadow towards a rural church
Joining North Bedfordshire Ramblers is a great way to explore the county and beyond (image: North Bedfordshire Ramblers)

Six-mile walk. Walking through the countryside around Cranfield. For more information contact Margaret Sawyer 07780 933729.

Saturday 8 April 2023

Theatre: Yippee Ki Yay
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets:from £13.50

The acclaimed retelling of the classic film Die Hard from Richard Marsh – Fringe First-winner, London poetry slam champion, BBC Audio Drama Best Scripted Comedy Drama award-winner and New York cop (one of these is untrue).

This joyfully funny show heads out on tour following rave reviews for its premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe, which also won it a London transfer.

When gunmen seize an LA skyscraper, off-duty policeman John McClane is the hostages’ only hope. This uplifting action romp (and unauthorised parody) pays affectionate tribute to the iconic 80s festive fan favourite. Essential viewing for Hans Gruber superfans and newcomers alike.

Saturday 8 April 2023

Live Music: Triple Header – Black Ridge/Crossroader/DJ Funk
The Cellar Bar @ 7.00pm. Special late licence until 2AM.
Free Entry

What better way to celebrate the Easter weekend than a triple header? Kicking off the night is Black Ridge, a teenage band with talent beyond their years who will have you in the party mood in no time.

Cambridge rock band, Crossroader – featuring Cellar Bar regular Mr Hugo St Ledger on drums – already have nine studio releases and countless live performances under their belts. They’re followed by DJ Funk taking things through til close.

Saturday 8 April 2023

Live music: The Bluetones – acoustic
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

The Bluetones’ frontman Mark Morriss and his partner in crime Adam Devlin are taking their ‘Bluetones Acoustic’ show back out on the road this spring and will be making a ‘Slight Return’ to Bedford Esquires on Saturday 8 April.

The band, formed in 1993, had an impressive run of hit singles throughout the late 90’s/early 00’s, including ’Bluetonic’, ‘Slight Return’, ‘Marblehead Johnson’, ‘Solomon Bites The Worm’, ‘If’ and ‘Keep the Fires Burning’. They scored thirteen Top 40 singles and three Top 10 albums in the UK charts before a hiatus in 2010.

Returning in 2015 with a run sell out shows the band continue to tour to packed houses up and down the UK.  This is a unique chance to hear the classics stripped back with shows at more intimate venues the band don’t usually play.

Saturday 8 April 2023

Live music: ABBA Forever
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £22.50/£12.50

Non-stop choreography, sunning visuals, top cluss musicianship and the unforgettable music – Forever ABBA is one of the UK’s leading tribute shows, captivating audiences from the opening refrain to the final sing-along chorus of this two-hour spectacular.

Saturday 8 April 2023

Live music: Joe Bygraves
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £8

Local singer-songwriter Joe Bygraves returns to Esquires for his first headline show. With his guitar-driven pop anthems, Joe has been making waves in the music industry in the last few years, supporting Paloma Faith, Ronan Keating, Frank Turner and Jools Holland to name a few.

Joe has become a regular on the local festival scene with several appearances at Bedford Park Proms.

With now over 230k Spotify streams, Joe is back for 2023 with a bang….and some brand new music – which has already featured on BBC Introducing.

Sunday 9 April 2023

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

The Workshop Boys – formed by original members of Los Marbles and Cuttin’ Out and one of Bedford’s most popular bar bands – are welcomed back to Esquires for the Sunday Afternoon Session.

Sunday 9 April 2023

Wildlife: Gordon Buchanan – 30 Years in the Wild
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £25/£22

After a sell-out tour last year, Gordon Buchanan is going back on tour.

One of the most prominent wildlife presenters and filmmakers working today, Gordon’s journey is a remarkable story to tell. Having produced some of the most popular wildlife programmes on the BBC, we have been able to see his incredible passion for the animal kingdom and the unique ability he has for presenting such hidden animal worlds to an audience.

Gordon will be taking a look back at his incredible 30 years working both behind and in front of the camera. This will be a rare opportunity to discover what has driven his career and what are his most favourite wildlife encounters.

Monday 10 April – Friday 14 April 2023

Workshop: Press Pack 2023
The Place Theatre @ 10am
Tickets: £15 for all sessions

Following the successful Zine workshop in Summer 2022, The Place has another week-long workshop for young people aged 11-16.

Working together across the week the participants will create their own newspaper, filled with local and relevant journalism based on their own interests.

Covering all areas of research, investigation, interviewing, editing and photojournalism this course is perfect for young people interested in flexing their creative writing skills, as well as budding photographers, cartoonists or visual artists.

Sessions run 10am – 4pm each day.

There is a 45min break for a healthy lunch each day which will be provided on site (and included in the cost)
Spaces are limited to 20. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Monday 10 April 2023

Enjoy: Tea and Cake Cruise
John Bunyan Boat, Priory Marina @ 2pm
Tickets: Adult £18.00 Children £12.00

John Bunyan Boat

Treat yourself to a leisurely cruise with a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of cake served to your table and experience a different view of Bedford Tranquil countryside and along the Embankment.

Monday 10 April 2023

Film: Bedford Film Society presents – Cabaret
Main Theatre, University of Bedfordshire, Polhilll Avenue @ 7.30pm
Tickets: Special offer half-season membership £35/day membership £5/free parking

In Berlin in 1931, American cabaret singer Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) meets British academic Brian Roberts (Michael York), who is finishing his university studies.

Despite Brian’s confusion over his sexuality, the pair become lovers, but the arrival of the wealthy and decadent playboy Maximilian von Heune (Helmut Griem) complicates matters for them both. This love triangle plays out against the rise of the Nazi party and the collapse of the Weimar Republic.

Thursday 13 April 2023

Live music: Woman Like Me – the Little Mix Show
Bedford Corn Exchange @
Tickets: £15/£12/£48 (family of four)

Woman Like Me – The Little Mix Show is a highly energetic show that follows in the footsteps of the award-winning girl band, Little Mix. This iconic five-star rated show has live vocals and is full of commercial pop video choreography.

Suitable for kids, tweens, teens and adults alike, The Little Mix Show brings the full pop concert experience to your local theatre. There are lots of added extras including dance competitions, free giveaways and a meet & greet with the girls after the show.

The Little Mix Show features all of Little Mix’s chart-topping hits including the brand-new LM5 album. Dance & scream to a packed-out playlist of songs that include Black Magic, Power, Woman Like Me, Wings, Shoutout To My Ex and even a few covers from their time on the XFactor.

Thursday 13 April 2023

Comedy: Castle Comedy Birthday Special
The Quarry Theatre @ 8pm
Tickets: £15

Castle Comedy celebrates its 11th birthday with an all-star line up! Paul Zerdin is the UK’s number-one comedy ventriloquist and winner of Series 10 of America’s Got Talent!

Zerdin and his sidekicks have since gone viral on YouTube, receiving millions of views from around the world.

He has appeared on countless TV shows including Comedy Rocks with Jason Manford (ITV1), Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show (BBC1) and three appearances at The Royal Variety Performance.
Also on the bill is Josh Pugh, English Comedian of the Year winner and star of Live at the Apollo, Comedy Central Live and Dave’s Hypothetical. Josh has amassed over three million views on his Twitter videos and regularly headlines the biggest clubs in the country.

Your host for the show is Paul Revill.

Thursday 13 April 2023

Live music: October Drift + guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

October Drift return to Bedford Esquires this month.

Friday 14 April 2023

Comedy: Jack Carroll: Walking Funny
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30 pm
Tickets: £12

Jack Carroll, Britain’s Got Talent Runner-Up, Star of BBC’s Live at the Apollo and QI and Sky sitcom Trollied, as well as award-winning movie Eaten by Lions returns to the stage with his new stand-up comedy show, Walking Funny.

Friday 14 April 2023

Live music: The Homegrown album launch – A Right Royal F**k Up
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £10

The HomeGrown are launching their first album with a bang!

Get ready for a party with some exceptional talent supporting – this one is going to go off…

Friday 14 April 2023

Music: Silent Disco – 80s vs 90s vs 00s
Bedford Esquires @ 10pm
Tickets: £8

Esquires’ legendary Silent Disco returns for an Easter party – and for the first time in 15 years, three decades battle it out for your finest dance moves and loudest singing.
80s Classics vs 90s Hits vs 00s Anthems
Never been to a silent disco? Grab a pair of three-channel, bass-heavy headphones on the way in – three DJs will be spinning big tunes, just choose which one you want to listen to. Dance, sing, shout the night away and leave with a big smile on your face!

The funnest events in Esquires’ calendar these nights usually sell out in advance, so get yours early to avoid disappointment.

Saturday 15 April 2023

Walk: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Emmaus Carlton MK43 7LQ @ 1.30pm

North Bedfordshire Ramblers following a footpath alongside a summer meadow towards a rural church
Joining North Bedfordshire Ramblers is a great way to explore the county and beyond (image: North Bedfordshire Ramblers)

Six-mile walk. a circular walk through the countryside south of Emmaus.

For more information contact Margaret Sawyer 07780 933729.

Saturday 15 April 2023

Dancing: Silent Disco – family edition
Bedford Esquires @ 1pm

If you’re anything like the Esquires team, filling time over the holidays can become a bit much, so they’re bringing back their family silent disco – and it’s likely to be a sell-out.
Choose from three channels of music transmitted to your LED Headphones:
*Adult Party Anthems Channel (kid friendly)
*Kids Pop Channel (adult friendly)
*Disney Hits Channel
Recommended for kids 12 years and below.
On the day, all children must be accompanied by a participating adult. Likewise, Adults are not permitted unless accompanied by a child.
Babies in arms admitted for free but will not receive headphones.
*Children must be supervised at all times*
The smoke machines and lights are primed and there will definitely be a glowstick or two…

Saturday 15 April 2023

Relax: Fish and Chip Supper Cruise
John Bunyan Boat, Priory Marina @ 6pm
Tickets: Adult £26 Child £14

The John Bunyan Community Boat on the River Great Ouse with Bedford's Castle Mound in the background
The John Bunyan Community Boat

Enjoy a relaxing evening cruise over a fish and chip supper as the sun goes down, along Bedford’s picturesque Embankment. You’ll even discover Bedford’s unique pyramid. This cruise navigates the town lock, and then past the 12th-century mound of Bedford Castle before going under the historic Town Bridge towards Queen’s Bridge.

Saturday 15 April 2023

Film: Life After the Navigator
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

Join the Quarry for a very special screening of this 2020 released documentary including a post event Q&A with Joey Cramer (via Zoom) and director Lisa Downs (in person).

In 1986, Joey Cramer was cast as 12-year-old David Freeman in Disney’s Flight Of The Navigator and his life would never be the same.

Directed by Randal Kleiser, Flight Of The Navigator found its way into the hearts of children all over the world. The story of a young boy who goes out with his dog, and returns eight years later is today still regarded as a classic.
​Joey’s life, however, wasn’t so glamorous.

Life After the Navigator not only celebrates this 1986 classic, but takes an open, honest and in-depth look at the life of this former child star, and the path his life took since that breakthrough role.

Saturday 15 April 2023

Live music: London Calling play The Clash
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £15

London Calling are the world’s premiere tribute to The Clash.

Released in April 1977, the self-titled debut LP by The Clash reached #12 in the UK charts and is regarded as one of the greatest punk albums of all time.

London Calling will be performing the entire LP in sequence before playing a selection of hits and fan favourites by The Clash.

Sunday 16 March 2023

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

Skimmington Ride return to Bedford Esquires for a Sunday afternoon session with special guests The Tenbags.

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

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


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