New play brings Bedford’s history to life

editorial image

A special play retelling the story of Bedford will be performed in early September at the town’s newest theatrical venue, The Quarry Theatre, St Luke’s. The play opens on Thursday September 8 with a gala performance on Friday September 9.

The play ‘Somewhere in England’ (The Bedford Play), was commissioned by The Harpur Trust as part of its 450th anniversary celebrations and uncovers the lives of key Bedfordians, famous people connected to the town and the stories behind some of the town’s landmarks, including the Cardington Hangars, The Bedford Swan Hotel and of course Bedford’s iconic bridges.

Mark Burgess, writer and director of the play, said: “The title reflects the fact that the BBC’s Music & Religious Departments were based in Bedford during WW2, broadcasting from Bedford venues.

“The town’s true identity had to remain a secret to avoid being bombed by Hitler’s Luftwaffe and so the broadcasts were always announced as being live from somewhere in England.”

Whilst primarily set in the early forties when it wasn’t uncommon to see stars such as David Niven, Vera Lyn and Glenn Miller wandering through the streets of Bedford, the play moves back and forth in time exploring a host of stories.

With costumes hired in from the National Theatre, professional actors and a live orchestra, the play promises to be a real treat for Bedfordians and anyone connected with the town.

The play features nine professional actors who are each experienced in a range of media from television and radio to stage performances and pantomime, whilst the two child roles will be performed by local pupils Josh Dogra and Charlotte Barnett, who both attend Bedford Modern School.

The Harpur Trust has put on a range of community events for the town already this year including a Run and Fun Day in May at Priory Country Park and a children’s art competition and exhibition at The Higgins Bedford and to ensure that the play is as accessible as possible, they will be offering a number of free tickets for schools and for local community and voluntary groups, as well as for the residents in its Almshouses.

Tickets for the play can be purchased via