From a celebration of a national treasure to classical greats, there's plenty to enjoy...
Zelkova String Quartet, Bunyan Meeting, Mill Street, Bedford, March 14
For the fifth concert of Bedford Music Club’s 50th anniversary season of its Music on Thursdays series, it welcomes the Manchester-based Zelkova String Quartet, winner of the 2017 St Martin’s Chamber Music Competition 2017. The competition awards an outstanding young ensemble with performance opportunities in the London venue of St Martin-in-the-Fields and around the UK with voluntary music groups in partnership with Making Music. Their programme brings together works from the rich and diverse repertoire of three of the best quartet composers: Mozart, Mendelssohn and Dvořák.
The Roy Orbison Story, Bedford Corn Exchange, March 15
The one and only Barry Steele takes on the role of The Big O in The Roy Orbison Story. He comes with great credentials and a genuine admiration for Roy Orbison. Following his West End Debut at The Adelphi Theatre in the West End, Barry aims to put the rock back into Orbison as he takes to the stage to commemorate him. Get ready for an upbeat night of solid gold hits and contemporary genius as Barry Steele and a cast of musicians and singers, celebrate and commemorate the musical legacy of The Big O and his friends. Barry is joined on stage by guest pianist Boogie Williams as they present original material written but never sung by Roy Orbison and showcase elements of the symphonic orchestration first heard on the Hologram tour. The production also showcases chart-busting hits originally made famous by Jerry Lee Lewis, Procol Harum, Del Shannon, ELO, Tom Petty, Chris Isaak, The Spencer Davis Group and culminates as the whole cast comes together to pay homage to the super group The Traveling Wilburys.Barry Steele has been impressing audiences around the world with his ability to recreate the vocal talents of Orbison, winning rave reviews across the globe.
Sindhu Vee: Sandhog, Bedford Corn Exchange, March 16
The 2018 Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer nominee comes to Bedford with her critically acclaimed and Edinburgh Fringe sell-out show Sandhog. Sindhu explains how loving your children, spouse and ageing parents is very hard work and very intense – but who wants to live without love? It’s the highly anticipated debut from the host of BBC Radio 4’s Comedy of the Week podcast, as seen on BBC shows QI and Have I Got News for You.
Cilla and the Shades of the ‘60s, Bedford Corn Exchange, March 17
The irrepressible Victoria Jones returns in her starring role as Cilla Black and invites audiences to ‘step inside’ her world. Together with vocalists The Shades, Victoria/Cilla will take audiences on a musical journey through the life and career of the legendary entertainer. The show starts with the discovery of the teenage Cilla at Liverpool’s Cavern Club and presents a string of hits by artistes who changed the world of popular entertainment in the 1960s. The show features highlights of Cilla’s career, right up to her lengthy stint presenting ITV show Blind Date. Victoria said: “Performing as Cilla gives me the opportunity to celebrate the sound and style of a generation of women who made a vital contribution to music in the UK and abroad. Each song is a pleasure to perform and as well as singing, I get the opportunity to use my acting skills as well.”
Sammy Mayne, The White Horse, Bedford, March 18
The next Monday Night Jazz session welcomes alto and tenor saxophonist Sammy Mayne, who leads a quartet featuring pianist Graham Harvey, bassist Jeremy Brown and drummer Mark Hale. Sammy is a London-based alto sax player who performs regularly with the BBC Big Band and the Guy Barker Jazz Orchestra. He’s also a regular on the mainstream jazz room circuit in the south east. Jeremy Brown is one of the top jazz double bassists in the country, while Graham Harvey is renowned as one of Britain’s finest jazz pianists and Jeremy Brown is in demand all around the world.