Your Bedford weekend starts here: 5 – 7 April 2019

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Spring Artisan Fair

New exhibitions at the Higgins, the Spring Artisan Fair, the first Boyd’s of Bedford bike meet plus theatre, live music, comedy, film screenings and more…

Friday

At Great Denham Community Hall it’s the monthly children’s cinema club this Friday. At 2pm they’ll be screening a surprise kids’ film in Saxon Hall. Entrance is £1.50 including popcorn and a drink.Bring cushions, pillows or beanbags for children o sit on (big chairs will be available for grown ups).

At 8.30pm, Dom’s ever-popular quiz returns to the Great Denham pop up pub. It’s £3 per person and all funds raised will be donated to Lulu’s Fight  www.solvingkidscancer.org.uk/lulu

Get a groove on

Get a groove on at the Third Place on St Peter’s Street this Friday. Just like the flyer, this is proper old school, no digital here. It’s analogue all the way with Rob Gipson on the decks. From 8pm

Flanders & Swann

Tim FitzHigham has been performing the Flanders & Swann award-winning homage to the extraordinary comedic talents of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann to packed houses for over a decade. Accompanied by Duncan Walsh Atkins, and with their own unique style and humour, the boys present F&S’s classic songs and traditions interspersed with a few of their hidden and yet ever-sparkling gems at the Quarry Theatre this weekend. Fans and the uninitiated alike will ‘wallow’ in this unique take on the work of two of Britain’s most iconic comedy songsmiths. Songs include: The Hippopotamus Song (Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud), The Gas Man Cometh, The Gnu Song, Omnibus (or A Transport of Delights), and Madeira M’Dear. 7.30pm Tickets: £16.50

 Oceans 8

Oceans 8 (12A) is screened at the Place Theatre tonight. Starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway, Danny Oceans’ estranged sister Debbie attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City’s star-studded annual Met Gala.Her first stop is to assemble the perfect all-female crew. 7pm Tickets: £6

The Outcasts

For the first time ever the fabulous THE OUTCASTS play in Bedford at Esquires. Formed in Belfast in 1977. This will be an unmissable gig with support from Knock Off, Hazard, Johnny & The Mental Breakdowns. Tickets from Esquires bar, Vinyl Revelations in Luton and Slide Records, Bedford. 7pm

The Take That Experience

As Take That celebrate over 25 years as the UK’s number one boy band, The Take That Experience mark over a decade together as the ultimate tribute act with their best show yet. With all the classics including Pray, Relight My Fire, Patience, Shine, These Days and Giants, the show at Bedford Corn Exchange also features the one and only ‘Robbie Williams’ adding Angels, Rock DJ and Candy to the mix. It’ll be a night you’ll Never Forget… 8pm

Gaz Brookfield
Gaz Brookfield is a solo acoustic musician based in Bristol. Since winning Acoustic magazine’s 2010 Singer Songwriter of the year, he has spent his time on the road, sharing the stage with the likes of The Levellers, Frank Turner, New Model Army, Nick Harper, Newton Faulkner, Miles Hunt, Seth Lakeman and many more, racking up over 1,000 gigs to date.Gaz remains the only unsigned solo artist to sell out The Fleece, Bristol. A feat he has now achieved four times, the last two selling out over six months in advance. He’s at Esquires this Friday. Tickets: £8 from seetickets.com, Slide Record Shop, Esquires Bar and Mario’s Hair Design in Kempston.

Saturday

Round and Round the GardenTwo new exhibitions open at the Higgins Bedford this weekend:
Round and Round the Garden – A Celebration of Horticulture in Art celebrates our human fascination with gardens. The exhibition observes how artists have been inspired by gardens and explores the different ideas of gardens.  For the Pre-Raphaelite artist, John Everett Millais, gardens were settings for tragic love stories, Sickert brought the garden inside for his still lives and Joan Eardley braved the weather to paint Scottish wild flowers. The Camden Town artist Charles Ginner painted his own suburban garden whilst Lucian Freud and Graham Sutherland travelled further afield to paint continental gardens and exotic plants. The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with Christiana Payne, Professor of History of Art at Oxford Brookes University. In addition, Theatre of The Widdershins have created a sensory installation within the gallery.

The Journey from Bunyan to the Brickworks explores the journey of pride, inspiration and hope made by Bunyan who was imprisoned and persecuted for his beliefs, alongside the difficult journeys to Bedford by those who came to work at the brickworks after the Second World War. This exhibition has been formed in partnership with John Bunyan Museum and The Bedford Chronicles, first exhibited in 2017 and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, now re-displayed with additional objects and images from The Higgins own collection. Entry is free. Saturday 11am – 5pm Sunday 2pm – 5pm

Over 60 players will be performing with Bedford Town Band to celebrate their 125thanniversary. Tickets bedfordtownband.org.uk 7pm

At the Kings Arms on St Mary’s, live music is from Distant Echoes playing Mod inspired covers. From 9pm.

Pigs x 7
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs play a sold out night at Esquires tonight. Might there be any return tickets? We doubt it, but check their FB in case…

Sound of the Sirens

West Country folk-rock duo Sound Of The Sirens are at Holy Molys at Esquires this Saturday.  Their live shows combine a natural facility for connecting with their audiences and unforgettable performances with warmth, humour and, above all, real conviction. Special guest support comes from Minnie Birch and Sara Music, specially selected by the band supporting local artists. From 8pm. Tickets £10 from seetickets.com, Slide Record Shop, Esquires Bar and Mario’s Hair Design.

 Sunday

Spring Artisan Fair

From 10am – 4pm, the Made in Bedford Spring Artisan Fair is back in the heart of the town centre, showcasing over 80 of the area’s designers, makers, printers, jewellers, textile artists, food producers and more.  Taking place in the Harpur Suite and the Corn Exchange, the Spring Artisan Fair is Bedford’s largest local arts, crafts and produce fair. It takes place over three connected venues: the Corn Exchange, Harpur Suite and Howard Room and parking on the day is free in all council car parks.After shopping, visitors will be able to relax with a cup of locally ground coffee and homemade cake or try a range of locally made food including vegan street food. There will be live music from Acoustic Amy, May Blossom – Vintage Songbird and James Burke, blacksmith demonstrations outside the Harpur Suite and live wood carving in the foyer. Admission is free.

Boyd's of Bedford Bike Meet

This Sunday is the first Boyd’s of Bedford Bike Meet, a monthly, informal get together, open to anyone on two (or three) wheels. Whether you ride a bike, trike, scooter, Harley or sports bike – anything goes! For visitors, there will be lots to look at, loads of people to talk to and plenty of places to eat, drink and shop while you’re here. “This event is for everyone, not just petrolheads,” said organiser, Tom Answer of Boyd’s of Bedford. “It’s a great opportunity to get together and enjoy a relaxed Sunday in Bedford.” From 1pm

The Friends of Bedford Cemetery host On and Off the Footplate, a talk by Bill Davies at 2.30pm. Bill spent 42 years on the railways in the driving grades starting as a humble cleaner at Toton Depot in 1964 before moving to Nottingham, Kings Cross, Charing Cross and finally Bedford where he spent his last 29 years.On and Off the Footplate is a light-hearted look at Bill’s railway career, including anecdotes of his life around railway work. The talk will be held at the Chapel at Foster Hill Road. Tickets £5 (or £4 for Friends). Available on the door or email: info@fosterhillroadcemetery.co.uk

SouthboundSouthbound play the Esquires Sunday Afternoon Session this week,drawing inspiration from blues, rock, jazz, funk and soul. From 5pm

Coming up next week:

castle comedyFor seven years, Castle Comedy has been bringing the best acts on the UK comedy circuit to the Ent Shed in Bedford. Headlining their birthday show on Thursday 11 April at 8pm is Stephen Bailey, who had a stellar 2018. He made his acting debut (and his dream come true) in Coronation Street and recorded his very first stand-up special for Comedy Central. Opening the show is Mark Simmons. Mark is an exceptional one-liner comedian. It won him a place in Dave’s prestigious Best Joke of The Fringe in Edinburgh 2017. The host with the most is Bedford’s very own Paul Revill. Tickets: £10 or £18 with pre show meal & glass of wine. Tel:07736 060541, castlecomedy@hotmail.co.uk

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