The Bedford Marianettes has been established for over 50 years and evolved from a church group in St Mary's, Bedford, and is still commonly mis-spelt as Marionettes.
Traditionally the Marianettes produce two musicals a year as well as a pantomime, many concerts and old time music halls.
The Society is a registered charity and part of the Making Music (National Federation of Music Societies) Network. It exists to support musical education and also to provide high quality classical music which is performed by musicians from the locality. There are two orchestras: the Bedfordshire Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and the Bedford Sinfonia (BS). The BSO has approximately 80 members and its repertoire concentrates on the larger symphonic works of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Bedford Sinfonia is a smaller orchestra whose members join by invitation and is widely acclaimed for its performing standard. It specialises in chamber works and aims to include a selection of 20th century music in its choice of repertoire.
Discover the unique village of Stewartby, the dream of the Stewart family and once home to the largest brickworks in the world.
If you have any messages for or memories of the Society or photos of past productions please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you send a message or a photo it will be assumed that you agree to its publication on this web site and to the message or photo being credited with your name, unless you state otherwise. There is no guarantee that all messages or photos will be published on this web site.
So glad to hear that the society is still going strong. I and my sister Judith were in the chorus in the early 1960s, and Mum and Dad were involved in the Pirates of Penzance and the Gondoliers in the 1950s (Doc Whiting and Mrs E A Whiting). Between those dates I thought your society put on the Sorcerer with Trial by Jury, but I can't see it on your list, so I must have got it wrong!
I have many more memories - my mother as stage manager flat on her front in the wings struggling to pull a wheeled gondola bearing the gondolier etc across the stage by a rope (it got stuck and she had to wriggle on to the stage to free it), and my mousachio'd father in the 'Pirates' dressed in a three cornered hat and a skirt with rows of rick rack binding round the hem, slapping his thigh and brandishing his cutlass, making us four sisters guffaw with a mixture of embarrassment and admiration; - the fast talking ?Vic? singing "my name is John Wellington Wells, I'm a dealer in magic and spells.....' . - Also a lovely mature lady whose name I've forgotten who sang so beautifully 'sing hey lack a day let the tears fall free.. etc'; - The day the costumes arrived from the theatrical hire company in London and none of the skirts being long enough and all the bodices being far too large. I could go on and on - sorry!
I am the chorus girl on the extreme right of the picture on both [photos of Ruddigore, 1961].
If you would like more information on any aspect of the society
• to perform
• to help out
• to see a show
please contact Hazel
phone: 01908 616213
We rehearse and perform in Stewartby. Early rehearsals are held at the church hall, later rehearsals and the performances are at Stewartby Village Hall.
Stewartby United Church Hall
Park Crescent. MK43 9NJ
Stewartby Village Hall
Stewartby Way. MK43 9LX