Your Bedford weekend starts here: 11 – 13 October 2019

Urban Folk Quartet are at the Place Theatre this Sunday

A new exhibition at the Higgins, a double helping of folk (one gig’s in a graveyard), loads of other live music, theatre, comedy, DJs and the last two days of Fiver Fest.

What a Bedford weekend!

Friday & Saturday

Fiver Fest OctFiver Fest finishes this Saturday, so if you haven’t yet managed to get into town and take advantage of the fabulous £5 offers, then now’s your chance. Check out the Town Centre Champions’ facebook page and website for a list of all 110 participating businesses and get your fivers at the ready…

Murder in Play is at the Place Theatre until Saturday. Boris Smolensky’s budget repertory production of “Murder at Priorswell Manor” is looking decidedly shaky.The cast are more interested in their egos than the play but life imitates art when a real-life tragedy occurs on stage.

Simon Brett’s hilarious text, a worthy companion to his Charles Paris theatrical thriller novels, ruthlessly satirises the politics of the inept company and the numerous red herrings keep the audience guessing until the final moments of the play. 7.30pm Tickets: £12


The Miller Collective are taking over the decks at the Third Place this Friday. Rare groove, funk and soul from Paul Miller, with Sue throwing in a few breaks and beats too. From 9pm. Entry is free.

This Friday, Orlando, the life-affirming, comedic tale of an immortal poet, whose gender cannot be pinned down, comes to the Quarry Theatre. The irreverent, romantic adventure takes place across British history – from the 1500s to the present day – providing a magic-realist exploration of human identity; personal, sexual and national.

Based on the satirical 1928 novel by Virginia Woolf. 7.30pm. Tickets: £14 / Fiver Fest tickets available for this performance

Borders, supported by Bedford metalcore outfit The Hero Dies First, are at Esquires this Friday.

From playing sold out shows with Whitechapel and Skindred, levelling the Mainstage at UK Techfest, touring with Martya Defiled and filling venues throughout the UK, Borders come to Bedford with a very special one-off show playing music from their debut album ‘Purify’. 7.30pm

This Friday sees the welcome return of Mad Dog Mcrea to the Esquires main stage, having put on one of the most energetic shows ever seen at the venue back in November 2017.

Mad Dog Mcrea blend a unique mixture of folk rock, pop, gypsy jazz, bluegrass and ‘shake your ass’ music. From self-penned songs of adventure, drinking, love and life, to traditional songs of gypsies, fairies, legless pirates and black flies – Mad Dog never fail to capture their audience with their infectious songs.

In constant demand and having played just about every festival and two-bit, jibe-arsed dive in Christendom, Mad Dog Mcrea are, in every sense of the word, a live, band. 8pm

Atjazz, Jullian Gomes and The Journey Men at Herd this Friday. From 9pm


The 13th annual St. Andrew’s Come and Sing, featuring Haydn’s celebrated Nelson Mass (1798), takes place this Saturday. The performance will be conducted by Ian Smith and there will be four professional soloists, including internationally acclaimed soprano Carolyn Sampson. The performance begins at 7.30pm (Singers Registration is at 1.45pm; rehearsal 2.30-5pm). 

Tickets: Audience: £12 (Adult)/£10 (Concession)/£5 (Student, in full time education, aged 16-21); Singers: £10.

Children under 16 are free, with a paying adult. Tickets will be available on the door. Booking is also available online via Eventbrite, or from St. Andrew’s Church Centre Office, by phone, email or in person. St. Andrew’s Church, Kimbolton Road, Bedford, MK40 2PF, 01234 216881.

Dreams & Nightmares Higgins Bedford
William Blake (1757–1827) – The Good and Evil Angels Struggling for Possession of a Child c.1793

Head to the Higgins on Castle Lane from this Saturday to discover artists’ depictions of dreams and nightmares in this new exhibition, drawn from the internationally renowned Cecil Higgins Collection.

Explore spiritual visions, spectral images, fairies, witches and romantic dreams. Works include Samuel Palmer’s dreams of the village of Shoreham, Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s visions of the flames of hell and the literary nightmares of Henry Moore’s Greek myths.

Nightmares become reality in Pablo Picasso, Kathe Kollwitz and Francisco Goya’s depictions of war whereas fairies and goblins run riot in the watercolours of Richard ‘Dickie’ Doyle and Arthur Rackham. There is something for everyone in Dreams and Nightmares. Free entry.

It’s the BedPop Repair Shop this Saturday at their new home, Bedford Heights on Manton Lane. If you’ve got a wonky wheeled bike, a broken toaster, a zip that sticks or an item that just needs some TLC, let the volunteer fixers help you out.

Book your drop in slot here and learn how to fix your own stuff with the help of the Repair Shop. They’re brilliant!

Poet, comic, singer, songwriter, Bedfordshire-ian and glasses-wearer, John Hegley has captivated and devastated audiences all over the country, in theatres and festivals, at gigs at the Edinburgh Festival, and with numerous appearances on radio and television.

This new compilation shows the breadth of his appeal, with seriously funny, cleverly comic poems on everything from love, family, France, art and the sea to dogs, dads, gods, taxidermy, carrots, spectacles and – of course – potatoes. 7.30pm Tickets: £14.50 / Fiver Fest tickets available for this performance


Hey Ho Folk presents the Askew Sisters at the atmospheric Cemetery Chapel at Foster Hill Road for this intimate folk night.

Emily and Hazel Askew have become known as two of the foremost performers and interpreters of English folk music.

Their live performances brim with the depth and connection not only of two sisters, but also of two musicians who have been immersed in folk music all their lives.

Together, they rework and reinterpret songs and balladry, creating breath-taking arrangements, which allow words that are hundreds of years old to resonate profoundly with contemporary audiences.

Alongside this, both women are also skilled multi-instrumentalists and expert players of dance music, using fiddles, melodeons, concertina and cello in their innate drive to bring old dance music to life. Support from MarisaJack&Davy. Doors at 7.30pm, performance begins at 8pm. Tickets: £13.16


 The fabulous Sophia Soul returns to the Higgins Pantry this Saturday. Call 01234 276340 to book a table.

2019 is the 40th anniversary of Joy Divisions album Unknown pleasures.

To celebrate, Transmission will be performing the album in its entirety as their first set, with a second set of Joy Division’s iconic classics

Devoted to recreating the atmosphere of a live Joy Division gig, Transmission emulate the sound of one of the most inventive, evocative and influential groups of their era.

Joy Division were formed in the late 1970s and dissolved in May 1980 after the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis. The remaining members went on to form New Order and have achieved much critical and commercial success. The influence of Joy Division, however, was far reaching. They were considered the pioneering band of the post-punk movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

More than 20 years on you can still relive the dark cavernous sound of Joy Division through Transmission one of the leading UK tribute bands. 8pm

The Stourbridge duo, Cut Glass Kings, deal in scuzzy, fuzzed out rock’n’roll with debut single ‘Shadow of Your Love’ racking up almost 3 million listens on Spotify. They’ve gone down a storm at festivals like Kendall Calling and their debut album (recorded with The Corals’ James Skelly) is due out shortly – so it’s the perfect time to unleash them on Bedford.

For fans of The Black Keys, Queens of the Stone Age, Primal Scream, Kasabian, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and a dirty glam racket. Tickets: £8


Roadhouse play a South London twist on gothic Americana. Their songs paint cinematic soundscapes and feature themes of desperation, film noir, loss of hope and redemption. Catch them at Esquires’ Sunday Afternoon Session from 5pm. Entry free.

The Urban Folk Quartet are performing at the Place Theatre this Sunday. Read the Bedford Clanger’s interview with UFQ member (and Bedfordian) Tom Chapman here. 7.30pm. Tickets: £12

Your Bedford Weekend is brought to you in association with
the Bedford Clanger and Explore Bedford.

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