Your Bedford weekend starts here: 22 – 24 March 2019

Black Grape
Shaun Ryder and Kermit will be at Esquires this weekend

Diaries at the ready! This weekend is jam-packed with art, music, theatre, walks, Shaun Ryder and more…


Sketch Fridays at the Higgins Bedford
Every Friday, 12pm – 4pm
Drawing and sketching are great ways to de-stress and relax. Explore the works in the Higgins’ beautiful galleries and be inspired to create your own work of art.  Materials are provided, or you can bring your own. (Please do not bring paint or materials that might cause damage to the collection.)

Mindful walks
Every Friday, 11am – 12pm
Starts and finishes at the Higgins Bedford. A relaxing and social walk, encouraging social integration and gentle exercise in a group setting. Different routes each week. The walk is free and finishes with either a short tour of a gallery or an opportunity for informal chat at the Higgins Pantry.

Unboxed is a solo exhibition of new work by Fiona Wilson and can be seen at the Basement @ Bunyan until Saturday. The exhibition includes drawings, paintings and mixed media works exploring identity and the significance of environment. Bunyan Meeting, Mill Street, Bedford MK40 3EU. Access to The Basement at Bunyan is via The John Bunyan Museum entrance.

Act One Theatre present Shakespeare’s magical A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Place Theatre this Friday.  Enjoy the laughter and love as intertwining stories disentangle and move towards their happy ending. Suitable for the whole family. 7.30pm Tickets: £10 (concessions £8.50)

Every fourth Friday of the month, DJ Marin brings his selections of jazz, funk, soul, disco, latin, broken beats and house for his Back to Mine set at the Third Place from 9pm.

From 8pm, Crazyhead, one of the finest bands of the late 80’s, bring their unique Garage/punk/rock n roll sound to Bedford Esquires this Friday. Reformed last year, don’t miss a rare chance to see this band perform their ‘Grebo’ rock , a night not to be missed.

Also at Esquires, The Burke Brothers, Liam and James host their friends, ‘Coarse’, on what promises to be a lively entertaining night. 8pm

Back by popular demand, the Silent Disco – Fancy Dress edition hits Esquires this Friday. Prizes for best and worst dressed, including bottles of fizz, a £50 bar tab and Jason Donovan VHS videos. Check ticket availability in advance and arrive early to avoid disappointment. Doors open 10.00pm


Chock full o’ nuts by Richard Estes, featured in We Are Five at the Higgins Bedford

This weekend is the last chance to see the Higgins’ We are Five and Bedford’s Windrush Generation exhibitions.. Celebrating five years since the Higgins reopened following redevelopment work, We Are Five shows highlights from the Cecil Higgins’ collections, chosen by communities, organisations and people.

Discover the stories of Bedford’s Windrush Generation and explore the challenges they faced and the contributions they made to Bedford, detailing their journey to Britain, where they settled, and their employment opportunities.

At the Quarry Theatre this weekend and adapted for the stage in twenty-four scenes and several songs and tableaux, Neil Bartlett’s production of the Charles Dickens’ classic, Oliver Twist, vividly brings to life the dark underbelly of ninteenth-century London. Oliver, Fagin, Bill Sikes, the Artful Dodger inhabit a world filled with danger and fear, innocence and hope; a world seen through the eyes of an astonished child. 3pm and 7pm performances Tickets £7 (concessions £5)

Saturday stress busting at the Higgins
Head over to the Higgins for a variety of sociable and relaxing activities to help improve your feelings of wellbeing.

1pm – 4pm: Creative art sessions
Paper crafting & mindful colouring. Or bring in your own work. Traditional table-top games including chess, jigsaws, dominoes & Scrabble. Lacemaking with Aragon Lacemakers.

2pm – 3pm: Mindful Yoga session
Stretch & relax with Alex. No experience needed.

2.30pm – 4pm: Tea Party Poetry
Join Satwinder and give a voice to your thoughts and emotions through poetry writing. No experience needed.

Saturday Stress Busting afternoons are open to all but we aim to create a relaxing and supportive atmosphere for people to feel comfortable in. No unaccompanied or young children please.

Esquires has a cracking line up in the bar on Saturday night featuring the welcome return of both FaceDown and The Dead Melody and the Debut of JEANA

Over at the King’s Arms St St Mary’s, Bootleg Zoo hit the stage at 9pm.

Borne from the Madchester movement, Black Grape could only have been made in Manchester. The swagger, fun and cryptic humour seem hewn from a city historian AJP Taylor once described as offering an archetypal different way of English urban life to London. Join the superbly unpredictable Shaun Ryder and Kermit for an intimate show at Esquires. From 7.30pm

The Black Grape aftershow party is brought to you by Common People playing favourites from the era including 90s indie, Britpop, Madchester, Baggy Sounds and Big Beat.Expect: Stone Roses, Suede, Oasis, Fatboy Slim, Happy Mondays, Blur, Charlatans, Pixies, Pavement, Manic Street Preachers, Sonic Youth, Supergrass, Pavement, Weezer, Breeders, Sleeper, Elastica, Ocean Colour Scene, The La’s, Chemical Brothers, Shed Seven and everything in between. Tickets are £4 Entry is FREE with a Black Grape ticket.


Esquires’ Sunday Afternoon Session features ever-popular The V.I.Peas.  Their wide-ranging repertoire is delivered with stunning vocals and breath-taking musicianship, appealing to all ages.

Next week’s highlights:

Monday Art -Activitea
Every Monday from 18th February – 25th March, 2pm – 4pm
£5 Per Person
Art and Tea sessions for people with dementia and their carers. No need to book, just turn up and have fun. For more information, contact 01234 210993 Working in Partnership with Tibbs Dementia Foundation

Circus of Illustration: Sketch Up!
7.30pm Tuesday 26 March
The Three Cups
The Circus of Illustration’s Sketch Ups happen every other month, and are a drop-in meeting for creative types to chat and doodle in a relaxed atmosphere. No prescriptive drawing tasks here: it’s your chance to work on your own sketchbook, ask for advice from other creatives, and network over a cheeky drink. This is a free, drop in event for adults. We encourage you to bring your own drawing materials, but will have some on-hand if you’re caught short.

Talking Heads
Wednesday 27 – Saturday 30 March
The Place Theatre
Certain Age present two of Alan Bennett’s well-loved Talking Heads monologues directed by Paul Frecknall. A Chip in the Sugar introduces us to Graham, (Chris Loft), a quiet middle-aged man who lives with, and looks after, his mother. His life becomes more complicated as she reunites with an old flame.In Bed Among the Lentils Susan, (Kathy Frost), is married to the local vicar. Her husband’s job helps define her place in the world; delivering the parish magazine, doing flower arrangements in the church and watching life pass by.Alan Bennett’s astute observation brings his usual poignancy and humour to these two stories.

Philharmonia Orchestra: Beethoven & Brahms
7.30pm Thursday 28 March
Bedford Corn Exchange
Rising-star conductor Xian Zhang leads a performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, alongside Brahms’s heartfelt Violin Concerto. Celebrated for her “deeply moving” performances, Alina Pogostkina plays the Brahms Violin Concerto, with its dramatic first movement, delicious Adagio, and vibrant finale. When Beethoven’s Seventh was premiered, one newspaper reported that the “applause rose to the point of ecstasy”. Wagner called the work “the apotheosis of the dance”, and recent audiences have come to enjoy the symphony through its inclusion in the film The King’s Speech.

Your Bedford weekend is brought to you by the Bedford Clanger in association with Explore Bedford

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