Bedford Park Festival 2020

The Bedford Park Festival started on Friday 12 June with a virtual Green Days fete over the weekend, complete with Craft Festival and Band Stand. There is a programme of events planned for the next fortnight – until Saturday 28 June, including plays, talks and concerts.

Bedford Park Festival reinvents itself

When it became evident that live events attracting the usual crowds were out of the question, The Chiswick Calendar got together with the organisers to see how much of the programme we could rescue by recreating it online. Quite a lot as it turns out. The events raise money for a group of charities, including The Upper Room, which supports homeless people, who need their help more than ever this year.

Images above: Phyllis Logan, Kevin McNally, John Rowe, Jeremy Vine

Two new radio plays and a Jazz album

We are pleased to host not one, but three premieres, the first of which is a short radio play by Christina Balmer. It’s only 12 minutes long, but every word’s a pearl.

Dusted with Sugar

The play is set, fittingly, at a church fete. Phyllis Logan, the actor best known for her role as the housekeeper Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey, plays a champion cake maker, embittered by being unexpectedly knocked off the top slot. The play’s other character, the vicar, is played by Fr Kevin Morris, vicar of St Michael & All Angels Church, who in my opinion is wasted as an actual vicar.

Listen to Dusted with Sugar from 7.00pm on Tuesday 16 June until midnight on Saturday 28 June here.

Creature Features 

What would happen if a journalist went to interview the pets and wildlife of West London during lockdown? What are their lives like with the humans all at home? A play for all the family to listen to together, featuring actors Phyllis Logan (Downton Abbey), Kevin McNally, (Pirates of the Caribbean), Lucy Briers (Pride & Prejudice) and John Rowe (The Archers), and journalist & broadcaster Jeremy Vine.

Listen to Creature Features from 7.00pm on Tuesday 23 June until midnight on Saturday 28 June here.

Trio Manouche – The Isolation Sessions

Since our Jazz at George IV nights came to an abrupt halt with the coronavirus, The Chiswick Calendar and Jazz promoter Larry Pryce are particularly pleased to be able to present the YouTube Premiere of Gypsy Jazz band Trio Manouche presenting their new album, recorded during Lockdown, The Isolation Sessions.

Trio Manouche always pull a crowd and number Paloma Faith and Sting among their fans. Sample their new album below and watch their whole concert on Friday 19 June from 7.00pm here.

Photography Competition and Summer Exhibition

The Chiswick Calendar is hosting the Bedford Park Festival Photography Competition and the Summer Exhibition of art works.

You can vote for your favourite photographs in each of eight categories here, and choose the photograph you like best in the whole competition as well. A donation of £2.00 to the Bedford Park Festival charities to exercise your vote would be much appreciated. You can do that here.

The art work in the Summer Exhibition is for sale. To buy a piece of original art, get in touch with Miriam Morris by email at: You can also vote for your favourite piece of art in the exhibition.

Talk by Mark Fox on Frank Matcham, who designed the Chiswick Empire

Coming up on Monday 22 June is a talk by Mark Fox about Frank Matcham, the great theatre designer who was so prolific in Victorian and Edwardian times that he set the image of how a theatre should be until the present day.

Among the many theatres he designed, all over Britain, was the Chiswick Empire. Mark has done some new research into our theatre, which was knocked down in the 1950s, which he presents in his talk to mark the centenary of Frank Matcham’s death. This talk has been produced by The Chiswick Calendar and will be available to listen to from 7.00pm on Monday 22 June.

Bedford Park Virtual Open Gardens

Take a tour of some of the best kept gardens in the neighbourhood, for inspiration, or just out of sheer nosiness! Sunday 14 June 2020, 11:00 to Sunday 28 June 2020. The Open Gardens can be enjoyed in photos and video on Flickr and Instagram: a garden will be revealed each day from June 14th. The garden pictured above belongs to Di in Queen Anne’s Grove.

Silent Auction of Gifts and Promises

Friday 12 June 2020, 18:00 to Sunday 28 June 2020. Bid for something in the Gifts and Promises Auction. There’s everything from Christmas puddings to dog walking sessions. have a look here.

And much, much more …

These are just some of the fortnight’s highlights. See more music, more talks, poetry and wine tasting on the Bedford Park Festival events page.