BEDFRINGE 2019

Bedfringe was born very simply out of a visit to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe back in 2004. Subsequently, we teamed up with Sandra Dudley (of Art’icle magazine) with the idea of bringing a little bit of Edinburgh back to Bedford.

This year we celebrate the events 13th year with some fantastic acts; fimiliar faces at bedfringe as well as some brand new talent.

Visit Bedfringe.com for the full lineup

RSC Live: The Taming of the Shrew

In a reimagined 1590, England is a matriarchy. Baptista Minola is seeking to sell off her son Katherine to the highest bidder.

Cue an explosive battle of the sexes in this electrically charged love story.

Justin Audibert (Snow in Midsummer, The Jew of Malta) turns Shakespeare’s fierce, energetic comedy of gender and materialism on its head to offer a fresh perspective on its portrayal of hierarchy and power.

“Deftly provocative and exuberantly entertaining” ★★★★ THE TIMES

“Beautiful…revelatory…wonderful” ★★★★ WHATSONSTAGE

“Justin Audibert’s RSC production extracts every laugh from the subplot” ★★★★ THE SUNDAY TIMES

NT Live (Encore Screening): All My Sons

by Arthur Miller
directed by Jeremy Herrin
photography by Manuel Harlan

Broadcast live from The Old Vic in London, Academy Award-winner Sally Field (Steel Magnolias, Brothers & Sisters) and Bill Pullman (The Sinner, Independence Day) star in Arthur Miller’s blistering drama All My Sons.

America, 1947. Despite hard choices and even harder knocks, Joe and Kate Keller are a success story. They have built a home, raised two sons and established a thriving business.

But nothing lasts forever and their contented lives, already shadowed by the loss of their eldest boy to war, are about to shatter. With the return of a figure from the past, long buried truths are forced to the surface and the price of their American dream is laid bare.

Jeremy Herrin (NT Live: This House, People, Places & Things) directs a cast including Jenna Coleman (Victoria), and Colin Morgan (Merlin).

All My Sons is an Old Vic co-production with Headlong

NT LIVE: Small Island (encore screening)

Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel Small Island comes to life in an epic new theatre adaptation. Experience the play in cinemas, filmed live on stage as part of National Theatre Live’s 10th birthday.

Small Island embarks on a journey from Jamaica to Britain, through the Second World War to 1948 – the year the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury.

The play follows three intricately connected stories. Hortense yearns for a new life away from rural Jamaica, Gilbert dreams of becoming a lawyer, and Queenie longs to escape her Lincolnshire roots. Hope and humanity meet stubborn reality as the play traces the tangled history of Jamaica and the UK.

A company of 40 actors take to the stage of the National Theatre in this timely and moving story.

Oysters

A new dark comedy by Neil Salvage, with live music

Johannes Brahms is attending a party to celebrate the first performance of his Violin Concerto – but his genius is overshadowed by his self-destructive ego. His friends are all there, but everyone is caught in a seething cauldron of passionate recriminations – and darkly hilarious outcomes. Everyone has their own agenda – the arthritic, embittered and ageing Clara Schumann from his past: jealous, unstable virtuoso Josef Joachim; pompous and waspish critic Hanslick – and gentle friend and disciple Von Herzogenberg. As the evening progresses and emotions turn on a sixpence, the play moves to its extraordinary conclusion fuelled by turbulent feelings and farcical misunderstandings. Laughing through our tears we are continually challenged with the questions: Why art? – and what price do we pay for it?

More reviews from the 2019 Adelaide Festival:

“Brilliant performances” ★ ADELAIDE ADVERTISER

“A superb evening of theatre” BROADWAY WORLD

Much Ado About Nothing

The world’s first cycling theatre company, The HandleBards, pedal from venue to venue with all the set, props and costume necessary to perform environmentally sustainable Shakespeare across the globe.

Join their all-male troupe in The Quarry Theatre Garden for a bicycle-powered production of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ like none other. In usual HandleBards style, expect riotous amounts of energy, a fair old whack of chaos, and a great deal of laughter.

And what’s the play about? Well – a group of soldiers return from the war to a household in Messina, causing the kindling of new love interests and the re-kindling of old rivalries. The parallel love stories of Beatrice, Benedick, Claudio and Hero become entangled with plotting, frivolity and melodrama in Shakespeare’s famous comedy.

This is an outdoor production, so please bring your own chair or blanket to sit on, a picnic to dig into, and dress for the weather!

Visit www.handlebards.com to find out more!

Poems for a Summer’s Evening

The Bedford Poetry Company presents a specially created programme of poetry chosen to reflect the many moods of an evening in the height of summer.

Some of the choices will be well known but others will be far less familiar while there will also be pieces written by the performers. The presentation will be further enhanced by music and song.

RSC LIVE: Measure for Measure

To whom should I complain?

When a young novice nun is compromised by a corrupt official, who offers to save her brother from execution in return for sex, she has no idea where to turn for help. When she threatens to expose him, he tells her that no one would believe her. Shakespeare wrote this play in the early 1600s, yet it remains astonishingly resonant today. Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, directs this new production.

Disney’s Aladdin Jr

Students from the Pauline Quirke Academy, Bedford perform Disney’s Aladdin JR.

Based on the 1992 Academy Award®-winning film and the 2014 hit Broadway show about the “diamond in the rough” street rat who learns that his true worth lies deep within.

The story you know and love has been given the royal treatment! Aladdin and his three friends, Babkak, Omar, and Kassim, are down on their luck until Aladdin discovers a magic lamp and the Genie who has the power to grant three wishes. Wanting to earn the respect of the princess, Jasmine, Aladdin embarks on an adventure that will test his will and his moral character. With expanded characters, new songs, and more thrills, this new adaptation of the beloved story will open up “a whole new world” for your young performers!

21 Chump Street: The Musical

21 Chump Street is a fifteen-minute mini-musical with book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is known for creating the Broadway musicals In the HeightsBring It On the Musical, and Hamilton. Directed by Miles Leven and featuring students from Bedford School.

The show was based on the true story of Justin Laboy and his interview with This American Life, Episode “What I Did For Love”.

The Story; a high school student falls in love with an undercover police officer, and is ultimately arrested for selling drugs to the officer in an attempt to impress her.

Music and Lyrics by Lin Manuel Miranda

An amateur production by arrangement with Concord Theatricals LTD. On Behalf of R&H Theatricals.

Based on the story by Robbie brown which originally appeared on WBEZ’s This American Life.