What’s on Bedford: 9 – 19 May 2024

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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.


Wednesday 8 May – Saturday 11 May 2024

Community Theatre: Educating Rita
The Place Theatre@ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £12.50

Rita has enrolled on an Open University course to discover herself and better her circumstances. Her tutor is Frank; a jaded academic and an alcoholic who is less than enthusiastic about taking on an open university student. Yet he’s fascinated by her take on life and realizes she has potential.

An insightful look into the ways that social class and education can shape who we are, and a careful study in the uncertainty of transformation as we go through life wishing for something we don’t have.

Willy Russell’s hysterical, thought-provoking modern classic Educating Rita premiered in 1980 at the RSC and went on to win multiple awards not to mention being adapted for a feature film starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine.


Thursday 9 May 2024

Theatre: Under Milk Wood
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £16

Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Olivier Award winner Guy Masterson celebrates his own 30th anniversary with Dylan Thomas’ enduring masterpiece – Under Milk Wood: a day in the life of a fictional sea-town somewhere in Wales…

In an amazing feat of memory and physical virtuosity, Masterson recreates all 69 of Dylan Thomas’ wonderfully ebullient inhabitants entirely on his own.


Thursday 9 May 2024

Film: The Miracle Club
Stevington Cinema Club, Stevington Village Hall, MK443 7QT @ 6.45pm
Tickets: £6

In 1967, a group of women travel to the religious shrine at Lourdes in search of different forms of healing. This gently emotional Ireland-UK drama contains allusions to abortion, suicide and illness.


Thursday 9 May 2024

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

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 10 May 2024

Theatre: Bowjangles: Dracula in Space
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £22

Forget everything you think you know about string quartets, Bowjangles are an irreverent, anarchic group of genre-spanners, bringing music, theatre and coming together in a way you’ve never seen before.

With over 15 years of performing under their belts, Bowjangles have performed all over the world from rural village halls to concert halls, festivals and street performances, hospitals and the occasional prison. In 2019, the company made their off-Broadway debut, performing at SoHo Playhouse, New York. Dracula in Space is a hilarious and totally original musical comedy that sees the award-winning foursome blasting into outer space to meet a mysterious benefactor whose proposition seems a little too good to be true…


Friday 10 May 2024

Classical music: Philharmonia Concert – Beethoven and Mozart with Martin Helmchen
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: (limited availability) £16.50 – £44

Alessandro Crudele – conductor
Martin Helmchen – piano

BEETHOVEN Overture, Fidelio

MOZART Piano Concerto No. 16, K. 451

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 4

With his ability to shape “lines as elegant and clean as a Greek temple’s” (The New York Times), Martin Helmchen has a natural affinity with Mozart’s music. Mozart composed his Piano Concerto No. 16 as a vehicle for his own gifts, resulting in a piece that drips with apparently effortless elegance.

Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony is a sublimely beautiful work that exudes a fresh-air, outdoorsy feel, with an exhilarating first movement, idyllic Adagio, spirited third movement and exuberant finale. Beethoven starts the concert, too, with a work-out for the orchestra in the form of his adventurous Fidelio Overture.


Friday 10 May 2024

Live music: Izo Fitzroy + Mia Rae
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

Raw, dynamic performances and honest songwriting have become the trademark of gospel blues singer-songwriter Izo FitzRoy. Her powerful vocal delivery and unique storytelling set her apart from contemporaries and a collaboration with Dimitri From Paris. Gospel, blues, jazz, funk, folk and soul are all present in her most accomplished album to date with her live band and gospel choir replicating on record, the magic the magic she brings to her live shows.

FFO: Gregory Porter, Janis Joplin, Bill Withers


Friday 10 May 2024

Live Music: Samantha Hughes
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm  
Free entry

Samantha has become a regular at The Cellar Bar, having previously performed at Twinwood Festival and the Festival of Vintage. She was previously a British champion on the mandolin and banjo.

Samantha’s set will be part acoustic so you are in for a treat as she plays a selection of Rock n Roll, Country, 50s/60s and 80’s party tunes, spreading some good old fashioned music from years gone by.


Friday 10 May 2024

Live music: Danni Nichols + special guest Sarah Peacock
Friday 10 May
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

Hailing from Bedford and now based in Nashville, Danni Nicholls returns for another hometown show featuring a local all-star band of Sam Barrett, Luke Tuchscherer and Dave Banks. The wind still in her sails from three consecutive Americana Music Association UK award nominations plus extensive tours, Danni, her powerful, arresting voice and her dynamically poetic original songs are ever-gaining presence and reach.


Saturday 11 May 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walks
Sharnbrook Surgery car park, MK44 1PT @ 10am
Bolnhurst, St Dunstan Church on Thurleigh Rd, MK44 2HB @ 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

The North Beds Ramblers morning walk is a 12-mile circular walk towards Knotting Green, into Risely and returning via Bourne End.

The afternoon walk is through fields and woodland in Bolnhurst. Seven miles and meet at 1.30pm

Check out the North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ excellent website for further information.


Saturday 11 May 2024

Market: Bedford Craft Market
Silver Street/Silver Square @ 10am – 3pm

Silver Street Craft Market at Christmas 2023. Image: Bedford Borough Council
Silver Street Craft Market at Christmas 2023. Image: Bedford Borough Council

Sliver Street and Silver Square will host this month’s Bedford Craft Market, with local makers, artists and crafters.


Saturday 11 May 2024

Dance music: Herd Alldayer
Herd, St Cuthbert’s Street @ 2pm til late
Tickets: £17.50

After the success of their 2022 Alldayer, the team at Herd will be clearing out the tables, polishing the floor and perfecting the sound to do it all again this May. The event features DJs Rocco Rodamaal (France), Atjazz (Arco), Craig Smith (SPW, Suncbeat), The Journey Men (residents) & DJ Carlene (D.I.S, Switch) and the Herd All Stars – George James, Dave Christie etc.


Saturday 11 May 2024

Music: Elaine Delmar: A Celebration of George Gershwin and Cole Porter
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £18

Elaine Delmar has long been established as a singer of the very highest calibre. A British Jazz legend with the voice, looks and personality that have captivated world-wide audiences through her many stage and television appearances – including work on Broadway, The West End, as well as the UK’s finest concert venues, including The Barbican, The Royal Albert Hall as well as regular visits jazz venues such as London’s Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.

In this very special concert, Elaine explores the incredible library of music composed by George Gershwin and Cole Porter.  Featuring a sparkling collection of their best-known compositions, alongside a selection of lesser-known gems and reworkings of classic arrangements.


Saturday 11 May 2024

Live music: Sing the Musicals
Bedford Corn Exhchange @
Tickets:

Direct from London’s West End, the first national tour of the greatest musicals of all time performed by a sensational live band and character singers, giant screen with singalong lyrics.

Join in with classics from Mamma Mia, The Greatest Showman, Grease, Dirty Dancing, Les Miserable, Phantom of the Opera, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mary Poppins, Oliver!, We Will Rock You and more…


Saturday 11 May 2024

Live music: Miles Hunt (The Wonder Stuff) acoustic + Sunsinger
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £21

The Wonder Stuff’s Miles Hunt is back on the road to perform songs from his latest album Things Can Change, alongside classics from his 36-year career.

For the new album, Miles did what he’s always done and wrote about things that were happening around him, and what had happened to him in the past. Endeavouring to make the music as uplifting as possible, Miles came to accept that we live in a constant state of flux – things can, and will, change. But one thing that he can always be sure of is that his community of friends and family keep him from sinking.

Miles Hunt is the singer of the highly successful The Wonder Stuff, and also briefly of Vent 414. His solo career began in 1999 and he has released four studio albums – From ‘Hairy On The Inside’ (2000), to this year’s ‘Things Can Change’.

His live shows are famous for cracking anecdotes and stories. This is a seated show so capacity is limited. Seats taken on a first come first served basis.


Saturday 11 May 2024

Live Music: Double Header – Last Laugh Lane + Cameo
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Last Laugh Lane return to The Cellar Bar playing cassic throwback indie anthems of the 2000’s including The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs, Razorlight and Kings of Leon.

Cellar Bar favourite Cameo is also back for another solo performance, so expect a beautiful voice and some cracking party tunes! From Dolly Parton to Fleetwood Mac to The Red Hot Chili Peppers and so much in between, be ready for a cracking party night.


Sunday 12 May 2024

Shopping: Bedford Flea, Affordable Art and Local Produce Market
St Paul’s Square @ 10am – 3pm

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – yes, Bedford Flea season is back and we cannot wait to see what 2024 has in store for us!

As ever, from 10am until 3pm you’ll find stalls in St Paul’s Square, right in the heart of Bedford, with 40 local businesses represented. Launched in 2018, Bedford Flea was originally conceived as a way to drive much-needed Sunday footfall into the town centre. Six years (and a global pandemic) later and it’s certainly delivering on its aim, with thousands of visitors coming from near and far.

A visit to Bedford Flea is the perfect way to enjoy your Sunday, so take a stroll along the Embankment, grab a coffee, have a mooch around Bedford’s indie shops and cafes and then hit the market.


Sunday 12 May 2024

Walking: “The Silent Faces of Bedford” 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 has many impressive statues and memorials. They cannot speak for themselves but our guides can tell you their story and why they take their place in Bedford’s history. 

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 the walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £4 per adult or £2 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.


Sunday 12 May 2024

80s music:  Retro Vibes
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm – 7pm
Free entry

Fancy dancing along to some 80’s retro bangers on a Sunday afternoon? Have a few drinks, party hard and still make it home at a reasonable hour or stay out? Then head to the Cellar Bar on the second Sunday of the month where you’ll be transported back in time to an 80’s retro nightclub where night and day become one!

Come with your bright neon colours, shoulder pads, puffed sleeves, animal prints, leather, and lace or as you are! 80s dress optional.


Sunday 12 May 2024

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

Esquires welcomes The King Bees back to the Sunday Session. Marc Patching – Guitar/Vocal, Tony Morton – Drums, Stewart Noakes – Keys, Stephen Pagano – Bass.


Sunday 12 May 2024

Live music: Taylor Mania – Taylor Swift Eras tribute concert
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £26.95

An award-winning extravaganza that plays tribute to one of the leading contemporary recording artists of our time. Katy Ellis a self-obsessed ‘Swiftie’ with an incredible live band and dancers promises to deliver the most authentic recreation of a Taylor Swift show you will ever see

The show has already taken Swiftie fans across the world by storm and features all of Taylor’s much-loved hits including Shake It Off, Blank Space, Love Story, You Belong With Me, Look What You Made Me Do, I Knew You Were Trouble and many, many more.


Tuesday 14 – 18 May 2024

Exhibition: Bedford River Project
Basement @ Bunyan @ check website for opening hours
Free entry

After a year of artistic exploration and engagement with diverse communities, the Bedford River Project, with funding from Arts Council England, will culminate in a vibrant exhibition at the Basement @ Bunyan.

The exhibtion features emerging and established artists from the local community, who were commissioned by lead creative producer, Anthea Davis-Barclay, to create works of art inspired by the River Great Ouse.

“As a black-led project, we have embraced our role as stewards of our natural environment. Our goal is to champion conservation efforts and inspire people from all cultures to appreciate our natural surroundings,” Ms Davis-Barclay said.

“The commissioned artists visited four schools in Bedford and presented poetry, sculpture, illustrations and different creative arts. And after the workshops, the students responded by making their own work, like poetry, sculptures, 2-D arts and photography in the project-led competitions.” Ms Davis-Barclay said. 

Among the roster of commissioned artists are Anthea Barclay (Poet and Creative Director), who also serves as Project Director, Leon Barclay (musician), Anita Powell (painter/podcaster), Paul-Michael Berwise-Ebanks (photographer), Antaya Lendore (illustrator), Anne-Marie Abbate (mixed media), and Hazera Forth (poet and podcaster). Together, these artists have crafted a body of work that celebrates the majesty of the Great Ouse and the enduring power of art to unite and inspire.


Tuesday 14 May 2024

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

Piano recital by Peng Lin.


Wednesday 15 May 2023

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

“Fever Pitch” is a 1997 British romantic comedy-drama film directed by David Evans and based on Nick Hornby’s bestselling memoir of the same name.

The film stars Colin Firth as Paul Ashworth, a die-hard fan of Arsenal Football Club, whose obsession with football is put to the test when he falls for a fellow teacher named Sarah, played by Ruth Gemmell. As their relationship develops, Paul must reconcile his love for the game with his feelings for Sarah.


Wednesday 15 May 2024

Drag: Fanny’oke and Boozy Bingo
The Cellar Bar @ 8pm / bar opens at 7pm
Free entry

Fanny Burns is back and ready to entertain! Drag queen Fanny will bring her own spin on karaoke and bingo, it’s hilarious and good fun and the bingo cash jackpot has been well over £100. £2 per card of six tickets, meaning six chances of winning.  Raffle tickets for Fanny’s Flaps game are just £1.

This show contains adult humour and swearing and is strictly an over 18’s event,


Wednesday 15 May 2024

Live music: Pale Blue Eyes + Cruush
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

Pale Blue Eyes come to town hot off the back of an EU support tour with Slow-Dive this Spring. PBE are a young electro-modernist guitar group, formed in South Devon. Their debut single came out in 2021 on the band’s own label, Broadcast Recordings.

PBE’s debut album, Souvenirs, was released in 2022 on the Full Time Hobby label. The album was mixed and mastered by Dean Honer (The Moonlandingz, Róisín Murphy, I Monster, Human League). The second PBE album, This House, was released to critical acclaim in September 2023, again on Full Time Hobby and again mixed and mastered by Dean Honer.


Thursday 16 May 2024

Theatre: Jack’s Ashes
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £13.50

Former professional cricketer Jack gives his team talk, but as wickets fall like a ticking time bomb the anecdotes from the ashes of his career prove less than inspirational…

As Jack pads up to be the last man in to go out and save the day, Jack’s Ashes offers a humorous insight into the mental frailties that can cloud the mind and the distractions that can lead to ruin.


Thursday 16 May 2024

Bedford Skeptics: The Cambridgeshire Crucifixion with David Ingham
The North End Social Club, Roff Avenue @ 7pm
Donationi appreciated

In 2017, a routine archaeological dig was taking place on the site of a proposed housing development in the village of Fenstanton in the Cambridgeshire Fens. When human remains were found alongside a variety of Roman artefacts, none of the team at Albion Archaeology saw anything out of the ordinary.

But once the bones were washed back at HQ, something highly unusual was uncovered: a nail through the heelbone of one of the individuals. Could this be evidence of a Roman crucifixion?


Thursday 16 May 2024

Live music: Fat Dog
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

Fat Dog have earned their stripes in South London’s burgeoning alternative music scene. They come to Esquires off the back of the 12 shows in 4 days at Austin’s SXSW, having signed to Domino Records.

Their upward trajectory is powered by high-octane and chaotic live shows. Very hot in the industry and definitely the last time they’ll play this level.


Thursday 16 May 2024

Dancing: Planet Swing featuring Danny Graceland – Elvis Tribute Night
The Dance Hall, Wixams Retirement Village, Bedford Road, Bedford, MK42 6EA @ 8pm – 10.30pm
Tickets: £12.99

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 17 May 2024

Music: The Jive Aces
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £22

Together for over 25 years, The Jive Aces have been keeping the show on the road for three decades and become renowned worldwide for their high-energy live show, having toured in over 40 countries. The band aim to spread smiles and cheer with their swingin’ music and classic vintage style from crooning smooth ballads to blasting honking rhythm & blues.

Having played for Her Majesty the Queen, selling out the Royal Albert Hall, becoming the first band to reach the finals of Britain’s Got Talent or just entertaining at one of their 250 live shows a year, they continuously showcase why they are the UK’s No.1 Jive & Swing band!


Friday 17 May 2024

Live music: The Men They Couldn’t Hang + Skimmington Ride
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

English-Folk-Punk group The Men They Couldn’t Hang will be making their debut at Bedford Esquires as part of their 40th Anniversary Tour. The band’s unique combination of barnstorming live performance, rich storytelling ability, often rooted in historical and social themes, and mix of Celtic, Folk and Country flavours saw them rise rapidly to national and international prominence where they have remained through dint of sheer tenacity and a passionate fan base.

Founded in 1984, TMTCH evolved from the Shepherd’s Bush squatting and busking scene to make their debut supporting Poguemahone at the Electric Ballroom in Camden.

Swiftly their uproarious and engaging style, coupled with keenly contemporary songs, gained a passionate national following, leading to a 40-year career filled with much-loved music, a dedicated fan community and high-octane performances.


Friday 17 May 2024

Live music: Endless Love – a tribute to Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £30.80

Get ready for the ultimate feel-good show celebrating the music of legendary hitmakers Lionel Richie and Diana Ross.

Starring a sensational cast, incredible vocals and a stellar live band, the show is packed with Motown classics and timeless smash hits such as ‘I’m Coming Out’, ‘Dancing On The Ceiling’, ‘Upside Down’, ‘Say You Say Me’, ‘Chain Reaction’, ‘All Night Long’, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, ‘Hello’,’ Can’t Hurry Love’ plus many more classics from these two legendary artistes featured together for the first time in one amazing production.

Featuring authentic live arrangements taken from both Lionel’s and Diana’s original touring shows, Endless Love is an electrifying, joyful and emotional rollercoaster guaranteed to get you singing along and on your feet! This wonderfully produced show brilliantly captures the glitz, glamour and sentiment of soaring love songs with audiences rocking out to 80s classics and gettin’ down to outright dancefloor fillers. 

You already know the words… so, singing voices at the ready and dancing shoes on, grab your tickets and let’s party All Night Long! 


Friday 17 May 2024

Live Music: Tie One On
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Tie One On are a rock/ blues band with a vast amount of live experience, whether it is large festivals or pubs/ clubs.  They are down to earth, honest, hard-working musicians with a knack of lighting up a night of Blues Rock Mayhem!


Friday 17 May 2024

Live music: Mad Mods and Englishmen
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

Following two packed-out shows earlier in 2023 it’s time to ‘save the date’ Mad Mods are back for another show at Esquires.
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Anyone that has seen the ‘Mad Mods’ live will tell you that they are no traditional covers band. Their energetic performances have built them a massive following and they have a reputation of packing every venue they play at, and then bringing the house down!

Their repertoire includes hits from The Who, Small Faces, The Kinks, Rolling Stones, Spencer Davis, Yardbirds, The Jam and many more, and yes, they’ve even been known to smash the odd guitar up on stage!

The band will be playing 2 sets with no support on the night, doors open at 7:30pm with the band hitting the stage around 8.30pm.


Saturday 18 May 2024

Exhibition: Rediscovering Black Portraiture
The Higgins Bedford
Free entry

Virgin of Guadeloupe 1745 recreated by Peter Brathwaite. Image: Getty Publications

This month sees the launch of a new exhibition in Bedford which began as a diversionary lockdown project in 2020 and can now be seen at Kensington Palace, the Bodeian Library in Oxford and now The Higgins.

It features the work of Manchester-born professional opera singer, Peter Brathwaite, who has lived in the Black Tom area of Bedford since 2018.

With all his singing work cancelled during the pandemic, Peter began looking for an outlet for his creative talents and started recreating famous and lesser-known Black portraiture paintings using as props whatever he could find around his house.

It was inspired by the Getty Foundation’s lockdown project, but quickly took on a life of its own, gathering a large international online following. You can explore the project at his Instagram page @peter_brathwaite.

And from Saturday, 18 May, they will form part of an installation at the Higgins Bedford which will lead visitors through the main collections and into Cecil Higgins’ house, with Peter’s interpretation of The Paston Treasure at its heart.

Read: ‘Rediscovering Black Portraiture’ at the Higgins Bedford this May


Saturday 18 May 2024

Sustainable shopping: Brewpoint hosts first ever ‘Thriftathon’ in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust
Brewpoint, Cut Throat Lane, Bedford
Free entry

This month Brewpoint, is hosting its first-ever ‘Thriftathon’, transforming its Garden Bar into a lively thrift shop and welcoming guests to donate their pre-loved clothing and grab some bargains of their own.

Entry is free and entertainment will be provided by C&W band, Nashville Nights, Yeeeeha!


Saturday 18 May 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Little Staughton, All Saints Church, MK44 2BL @ 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

Circular 6.8 mile walk through Little and Great Staughton.

Check out the North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ excellent website for further information.


Saturday 18 May 2024

Live music: Tiptoe Apollo + Diversion
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Tiptoe Apollo is back to The Cellar Bar playing classic covers from the Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, The Strokes, The Cure, Foo Fighters and more.

Afterwards, The Krakens play the late slot.  

The Krakens are a four-piece rock band featuring Chris Craigen on Keys/Vocals, Naomi Vranas on Bass, Jon Mason on Guitar and Seb Hensman on the Drums. They cover a variety of rock songs through the ages featuring songs from: Elton John, Queen, Nirvana, Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day and many more.


Saturday 18 May 2024

Classical music: Bedfordshire Symphony Orchestra presents
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: prices vary

A concert of music by Schubert and Brahms will be conducted by the finalists of BSO’s conducting competition to determine the permanent Music Director of the orchestra.

Bjorn Bantock will conduct Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished) and the Brahms Academic Festival Overture, and Cathal Garvey will conduct Brahms’ Symphony No. 2.

Both candidates are experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable musicians, and after the performance, the orchestra will vote for their choice as to who will lead them from September 2024.


Saturday 18 May 2024

Live music: Ion Maiden
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

Formed in August 2018, Ion Maiden was built around the core of four ex-members of some of the best Maiden tribute bands in the UK, and with only one rehearsal their first gig was an instant success with Maiden fans.

Since they exploded onto the scene the band have played Holland, various clubs throughout the UK, and London raising over £3,000 towards the Legend that is Paul Di’Anno at the Camden Underworld, who was blown away by the video footage that was sent to him in Croatia.

More recently they were honoured to be asked to open the “Birthplace of Iron Maiden” the Cart & Horses after its lengthy refurbishment, with support from another Iron Maiden stars band, Doug Sampson (Airforce) the original drummer of the Soundhouse tapes.

With a new singer on board the band are now putting on some of the most authentic Maiden shows you’ll see, apart from the real Iron Maiden that is!


Saturday 18 May 2024

Live music: Bedford Town Band
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: Pay what you can. U18s free

You are invited to join Bedford Town Band in a musical celebration of Spring.

Hear performances from all of the bands in the Bedford Town Band organisation; including Concert Brass, Progress Brass, the training academy and Bedford Town Band.


Saturday 18 May 2024

Live music: Motion + Ricochet + Beckie & Tyler
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets:

Motion is an up and coming indie rock band with a fresh new sound coming out of Luton. If you like bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Oasis you’re going to love Motion. Support on the night comes from Ricochet, a four-piece British indie rock band from Milton Keynes taking inspiration from rock legends Foo Fighters and Green Day, fused with the melodic guitar tones of Oasis and The Stone Roses.


Sunday 19 May 2024

Walking: “The Life and Times of John Bunyan” 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)

Discover the story of Bedford’s most famous son who was imprisoned for his non-conformist preaching. Visit the site of the cottage in which John and his family lived, the churches in which he worshipped and the site of the gaol in which he spent 12 long years and began to write one of the best selling books in history, The Pilgrim’s Progress.

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 the walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £4 per adult or £2 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.


Sunday 19 May 2024

Live music: U18’s Open Mic
The Cellar Bar @ 5pm – 7.00pm / bar opens at 4.30pm
Free entry

The Cellar Bar is throwing its doors open to the next generation of Bedford musicians, with a dedicated junior open mic session for under 18s.

Whether you sing, play guitar, drums, or any other musical instrument, or are a band already, you are welcome to take part. It’s a chance for you to perform on a stage in front of an audience with a full pa, drum kit, amps, lighting.

Hosted by none other than Mat Roberts, Mat will be on hand to offer support and advice, as well as doing a few jam sessions of his own.


Sunday 19 May 2024

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

Vintage Stuff make a welcome return to Esquires’ Sunday Afternoon Session as the season draws to a close.


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

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

The May issue of the Bedford Clanger is out now. Pick up your copy from many of the Borough’s independent shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, theatres, gig venues, pubs, museums and more…