Category Archives: Aberration

Queer-themed events for all at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Lucy and Hazel gig

Thursday 20 June 2024: Aberration presents queer folk duo Lucy and Hazel, with special guest Cerys Hafana, at Bank Vault, Aberystwyth – 6pm doors for 7pm start

A wonderful evening of inspiring music! Lucy and Hazel combine a love of groove, soulful raw harmonies and passionate songwriting to bring you hope and rage in these strange times. Mid Wales’ own Cerys Hafana will open the night with spellbinding tunes that blend innovation with tradition. Come on down! Edrych ymlaen!

Entry price: £7 full price / £5 for concessions. Pay on the door.

Lucy and Hazel

Sheffield-based duo Lucy and Hazel write songs on feminism, politics, climate, land rights, swamp monsters, lawns and anything that gets their goat. Playing guitar, uke, melodeon, clarinet and blending voices in harmony, they draw influences from multiple musical traditions from Europe, and the comings and goings of Hazel’s brain.

Two of the Aberration team met Lucy Huzzard and Hazel Thompson when they were visiting Mid Wales – and when they sang harmonies in the back of our car we immediately invited them to play Aberration. We were delighted when they said a big YES! We can’t wait for you to hear them!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lucyandhazel_/

Web: https://lucyandhazelmusic.wixsite.com/lucy-and-hazel

‘Surely the queens of the new tribe of British folk emerging from the radical activist left. Folk music just got very exciting.’ Sam Lee, singer

‘Poignant and witty, Lucy & Hazel will make you laugh and cry. Absolutely brilliant!’ Tamsin Elliott, musician (Solana)

Don’t miss this special performance. With inspirations spanning from Joni Mitchell and Ivor Cutler, to stories of resistance, Lucy and Hazel are a powerful and entertaining duo. 

VOTING

Vote for Lucy and Hazel to win the Homestage competition by liking this video on Youtube>>

Special guest Cerys Hafana

Cerys Hafana is a composer and multi-instrumentalist who mangles, mutates, and transforms traditional music. She explores the creative possibilities and unique qualities of the triple harp, and is also interested in found sounds, archival materials and electronic processing. Cerys comes from Machynlleth, where rivers and roads meet on the way to the sea.

Edyf is her second album, released in 2022, and was selected as one of The Guardian’s Top Ten folk albums of 2022. In January 2023, Cerys was also featured on Cerys Matthews’ BBC 6 Music ‘Highlights of 2022’ New Year show.

‘Mae gan Cerys Hafana amser: amser i fynegi ei syniadau trwy gyfrwng ei hofferyn, amser i greu awyrgylch, amser i ddilyn ei dychymyg, ond yn bwysicach na hyn oll, amser i wneud i’r gerddoriaeth anadlu.’ Tomos Williams, O’r Pedwar Gwynt

‘Hafana explores resonances from the past that connect with the modern day in a contemporary, creative way. On her second album, Edyf (meaning “thread”) she uses her harp as a percussive, jagged-toothed tool… Hafana also sings movingly, her high voice like an indie-pop soprano shorn of its sweetness.’ Jude Rogers, Folk Album of the Month, The Guardian

Cerys Hafana’s website >>

DEWCH I YMUNO Â NI!

About Aberration

Aberration is a series of exciting events with an LGBTQ+ theme. We aim for a friendly community space. Everyone is welcome, including open-minded straight friends and allies of course. Events are very much trans-inclusive as well as highlighting gay, bi and lesbian lives and culture. All under one rainbow! Your friendly hosts are Jane Hoy, Ruth Fowler and Helen Sandler.

The venue is the Bank Vault bar at 1 New Street, Aberystwyth SY23 2AT. A supportive venue where we are made very welcome. Please buy drinks to return the support! There is a range of craft beers, ciders, wine, spirits and soft drinks on offer.

We are grateful to Prifysgol Aberystwyth University for financial support for Aberration.

See you soon! Edrych ymlaen!

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Packed House show

Thursday 9 May 2024 at Bank Vault Bar, Aberystwyth. Doors 6pm, onstage 7pm. Tickets on the door, £7 / £5.

Lou C brings their new one-person show Packed House to Aberration in the intimate venue of the Bank Vault.

Packed House is a sexy, honest and gut-punching exposé from poet Lou C where body politics gets queerly personal. In a cocksure and impassioned delivery, Packed House refuses the dangerous absurdity of the binary and flags up how transness ushers in liberation for all.

A captivating literary voyage of witty, profound, and life-altering experiences.’ – Radio Summerhall Arts – Full review here>>

Audacious new writing that finds personal survival in collective healing through joy and protest, Packed House is an emboldened response to the mundane violence of the everyday straight world.

Performed at the Edinburgh Free Fringe 2023 where audiences found it ‘Profoundly moving. Rhythmic, inspiring, spiritual poetry about our universal relationships with our bodies and each other. … Superbly written. Super talented!’

Lou C’s previous Fringe shows are critically acclaimed, earning them the title “the literary lovechild of Allen Ginsberg and Jeanette Winterson”.

AUDIENCE PRAISE:

An extraordinary spoken word piece – a torrent of powerful poetry, language and queer creativity. Thank you!

This was wonderful. I didn’t expect to blush or cry so much or to be so understood.

Fabulous, informative, exciting, educational, fun, quirky, languaged – a walking lexicon… Loved it!

Really powerful, when Lou stepped forward at the end it felt magical.

The perfect show for queers and their allies; or even queers who need a refresher.

Thank you for helping me to be inspired to be myself.

It feels so important to be understood like this by someone with more life experience than me.

About Lou C

Lou C aka Lucy Aphramor is a radical dietitian and spoken word performer – or poetitian!

Lou C’s shows are renowned for connecting disparate themes with immediacy and physicality, captured by a review from the iconic Bar Wotever as “horny and lust-filled” and “heart breaking” and by Scotsgay as “graphic and cuts no corners … a poet of real substance.”

Described as “the literary lovechild of Jeanette Winterson and Allen Ginsberg” (Broadway Baby) and noted for “dizzying eroticism” Lou C has performed across general and LGBT venues and events ranging from Shrewsbury’s Severn Theatre to L Fest and at Manchester and Seattle Pride. And now, Aberration!

About Aberration

Aberration is a series of exciting events with an LGBTQ+ theme. We aim for a friendly community space. Everyone is welcome, including open-minded straight friends and allies of course. Events are very much trans-inclusive as well as highlighting gay, bi and lesbian lives and culture. All under one rainbow!

Your friendly hosts are Jane Hoy, Ruth Fowler and Helen Sandler (pictured above with D-M Withers and canine pal at one of our first Bank Vault events).

Tickets are £7 full price, £5 concessions (including low waged). Pay by card or cash on the door.

The venue is the Bank Vault bar at 1 New Street, Aberystwyth SY23 2AT. A supportive venue where we are made very welcome. Please buy drinks to return the support! There is a range of craft beers, ciders, wine, spirits and soft drinks on offer.

We collect for our favourite charity, All Out, so bring some cash for the collection.

We are grateful to Prifysgol Aberystwyth University for financial support for Aberration.

See you soon! Edrych ymlaen!

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CALENDAR

ABERRATION & QUEER TALES FROM WALES
DATES for MAY TO JULY 2024:

Saturday 4 May at Taj Mahal, Machynlleth as part of Mach Fringe: Jane Hoy of Queer Tales from Wales tells the story of the Queen of the Lake. https://www.facebook.com/MachFringe/

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Thurs 9th May 6pm doors for 7pm gig, Bank Vault bar, Aberystwyth: Aberration presents Packed House: Lou C performs this sexy, honest and gut-punching one-person show. Tickets on the door. Details: Packed House>>

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Friday 17 May 7pm at Wynnstay Hotel Old Pizzeria, Machynlleth, as part of Balchder Mach Pride: An Extraordinary Female Affection: The Life and Love of the Ladies of Llangollensee an intriguing pair of women from 1778 brought back to life by Queer Tales from Wales. Tickets on Eventbrite>>

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Sunday 19 May 1.30pm LezDiff, Cardiff: Queer Tales from Wales perform their new Katherine Philips piece The Welsh Sappho as part of an afternoon of lesbian history that also includes Jane Traies and Norena Shopland. See ‘Programme 7’ of the weekend>>

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Sunday 2 June 5pm at Out & Wild festival in rural Pembrokeshire: Queer Tales from Wales present ‘Queen of the Lake’ and ‘A Moral Amazon’. Also at Out & Wild: Helen and Jane are running an ‘Older & Bolder’ workshop for over 50s on the Friday afternoon, and Jane and Fran are running a Love Latin dance workshop on the Sunday morning. Weekend or day tickets still available>>

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Thurs 20th June 6pm doors for 7pm gig, Bank Vault – Aberration presents Lucy & Hazel, a brilliant folk duo. Tickets on the door. Details – Lucy & Hazel gig>>

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Later in the summer we have plans for an art tour and a summer picnic in Aberystwyth and a return of the Ladies of Llangollen to their home at Plas Newydd, so watch this space and follow us on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/611508792322178

– that’s the link to Aberration Cymru, a private Facebook group. We update it frequently but it’s a private group that requires signup so please answer the automated questions!

Or we have ordinary Facebook pages here:

https://www.facebook.com/AberrationAber

https://www.facebook.com/QueerTalesFromWales

Home

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Gay Gardeners’ Question Time

Aberration presents GAY! Gardeners’ Question Time at Bank Vault Bar, Aberystwyth on Thursday 25 April at 7pm. Doors open 6pm. Suggested payment on the door: £7 / £5 (but no one turned away for lack of funds, see below).

We bring you our very own Aberration tribute to the long-running Radio 4 show Gardeners’ Question Time ­­– with a queer twist! Our panel are three highly knowledgeable local gardeners, who also have a sense of fun. They are ready and willing to answer your questions about your own gardening, as well as telling us why they love getting down in the dirt. Whether you have a garden, an allotment, or just a straggly houseplant, you will enjoy this very special evening, which adds an LGBTQ+ slant to the world of horticulture. And non-gardeners are of course very welcome!

Questions

It would be great if you could email questions to aberrationcymru@gmail.com in advance, but there is also the option to bring them on the night. The panel will answer a selection.

The Panel

Alys Fowler is a well-known horticulturist who lives in Aberystwyth. A former presenter of Gardeners’ World on BBC2, Alys writes a regular column for the Guardian. Her popular books include The Thrifty Gardener, The Edible Garden (to accompany her TV series of the same name), and Hidden Nature. Alys is a regular attendee at Aberration and we are delighted that she will be chairing our “Gay Gardeners’ Question Time” panel. (Photo: Francesca Jones / Guardian)

Colin Audigé-Soutter (otherwise known as the gay gardener) is a self-taught gardener and landscaper working in and around the Dyfi Valley. He is happiest with a pair of secateurs in his hand and his head in a bush! Colin is originally from Conwy and was given his first plant, a Venus Flytrap, at the age of six. He learnt how to keep cacti and orchids from his grandmother in his teens. Since moving to Machynlleth in 2018, he has started the Houseplant Hospice and Cacti Against Covid; as well as working on market gardens and with the Mach Vegbox scheme, which supplies seasonal local produce. Since 2020 Colin has been running his own garden maintenance and landscaping business in the area.

Preds Tomos has been gardening in the Dyfi Valley all his life, first at his parents’ farm and subsequently in Machynlleth. For the past 13 years he has tended the garden of the old house near Darowen where he lives with his partner Mike. This special place was inherited from their dear old friends Reg and George, who were together more than 60 years. Preds’ sense of place – and of being the custodian of the land – drives all of his planting and design ideas, and inspires much of his artwork too.

Contributions

After a run of subsidised, free Aberration events at the Bank Vault, we now need to start asking for your contributions to cover costs, including paying our speakers and artists. Please contribute on the door if you can afford it. Suggested payments: £7 waged, £5 concession / low waged. Cards or cash accepted. If you don’t have funds right now, just say ‘Not today thank you’ on the door!

AllOut

Aberration will still collect for our favourite campaign, All Out, by passing the bucket round, so please bring cash to donate if you can. Or you can give to AllOut direct on their website >>

The All Out movement works with activists around the world to mobilise efforts to shut down hateful bigots, change anti-LGBT+ laws, and provide life-saving support to LGBT+ people facing emergencies.

Venue

Bank Vault is a lovely bar where we are made very welcome. They serve a fantastic range of craft beers, ciders, wine, and soft drinks. Please support them by buying drinks.

Ethos

This is a friendly LGBTQIA+ themed night, and all open-minded folk are welcome. Trans and non-binary people are of course very much part of our rainbow at Aberration. And just to be clear, straight allies are welcome too!

Sponsor

Aberration is grateful to Prifysgol Aberystwyth University for its generous support. Diolch yn fawr.

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‘Double Lives’ – LGBTQ+ History Month 24/02/24

Saturday 24 February 2024
Aberystwyth Arts Centre

For LGBTQ+ History Month UK, Aberration presents ‘Double Lives’ – an evening of talks and live performances. Plus afternoon tea party about Section 28 [sold out], and a chance to eat together in the cafe between events.

5.30pm Dinner break

Eat together in the Arts Centre Café. Pay as you go – just turn up!

EVENING PROGRAMME

Double Lives

Cymraeg>>

Performance Studio (Round Room) Aberystwyth Arts Centre 7pm to 10pm £10 / £8

**WEDI GWERTHU ALLAN / SOLD OUT!**

Our evening of lively talks and performances includes the groundbreaking writer-performer Tom Marshman (pictured) who returns to Aberration to present painful, beautiful and hilarious anecdotes from his new theatre piece about Section 28, ‘The Show of Shows’.

Jane Hoy (left) and Norena Shopland are collaborating to present a new performance piece about the life of Katherine Philips, the 17C Anglo-Welsh poet and translator also known as the Welsh Sappho and the Matchless Orinda (and now our poster girl for Double Lives – see top image).

Alis Hawkins, author of A Bitter Remedy – a new historical crime novel with a feisty Welsh
heroine and a queer twist – will be in conversation with host Helen Sandler.

Alessandro Ceccarelli presents an illustrated talk on ‘Queering Archaeology and Heritage: a visual story of desire, love and identities from prehistory to modern day through Welsh collections.’

+ surprise guest just announced! The fabulous Rhys Slade-Jones @boparhys

PLUS: Bookstall from Gayberystwyth Books, and raffle for AllOut.

More about Speakers & Performers >>

**WEDI GWERTHU ALLAN / SOLD OUT!** Arts Centre link >>

SPONSOR

Aberration is generously supported by Aberystwyth University.

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About the speakers

Double Lives: speakers & performers

Dr Alessandro Ceccarelli is an archaeologist by training. He studied ancient and modern community networks and social identities at the University of Cambridge, and published on the subject. He is interested in what objects from national collections can tell us about real lives, including queer lives from the past.

Alessandro’s current career in Equality and Human Rights developed in academia, the charity sector and the public sector in Italy, Spain, India, England, and Wales. He advocates for LGBTQ+ rights and for ending new HIV transmissions. In his day job, Alessandro is Head of LGBTQ+ Policy for the Welsh Government. But he appears at Aberration with his archaeology hat on! https://alessandroceccarelli.com/

Alis Hawkins grew up in Ceredigion and currently lives on the Welsh–English border. Her Teifi Valley Coroner historical crime series – featuring partially sighted ex-barrister Harry Probert-Lloyd and his chippy assistant, John Davies – is set in the area where she grew up and has twice been shortlisted for the prestigious CWA Historical Dagger.

Her new novel, A Bitter Remedy, is the first in her new Oxford Mysteries series. It introduces readers to young Welsh polymath Rhiannon Vaughan and college lecturer Basil Rice. https://alishawkins.co.uk/

“A Bitter Remedy is an excellent historical mystery dripping with atmosphere (and bodily fluids) that exposes the chauvinism, misogyny and bigotry of late Victorian England. It’s often highly amusing and even features a cameo by the cipher-mad Reverend Dodgson (Lewis Carroll). Not only gay Welsh feminists will love it.” Mark Sanderson, The Times

Tom Marshman has been a practising artist for more than 20 years. He has produced over 60 projects across many mediums, including museum audio-tours, theatre and cabaret. Encouraging dialogue with participants through socially engaged processes such as ‘Tea Parties’ allows him evocative glimpses into everyday life, letting him tell engaging, poetic and unpretentious stories. He often focuses on the outsider and on the LGBTQ+ stories that have been omitted from the archives.

Tom’s work incorporates video, stylised movement, sound and text. He has appeared at or had work shown at top venues from Bristol Old Vic to Chapter Arts Centre and at various festivals.

“One of the most exciting things about Marshman’s work is his ability to pick a seemingly small subject and peel back the layers to expose something unexpectedly profound.” The Big Issue

https://www.tommarshman.com/

Norena Shopland is a historian specialising in the interlocking histories of Wales, women, and LGBTQ+ people. Norena was recently awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University in recognition of her work on raising awareness of diversity in Welsh history. Norena lectures extensively and has appeared in the press, radio, and TV. She has been a regular at Aberration over the years, entertaining and informing us with her latest research. Norena worked with the Big Pit museum on the first exhibition of women miners in Wales; with Swansea’s Waterfront Museum on an exhibition of Welsh button badges; and Race Council Cymru on their Windrush heritage project.

Norena Shopland’s book Forbidden Lives: LGBT Stories from Wales (Seren) is the first completely historical work on Welsh sexual orientation and gender identity. A Practical Guide to Searching LGBTQIA Historical Records is published by Routledge, while Pen & Sword have published A History of Women in Men’s Clothes, The Welsh Gold King, and Women in Welsh Coal Mining.

“Captivating, cliché-defying studies” – Liz Jones reviewing Norena’s latest titles in Planet magazine

Twitter / X @NorenaShopland

Come and see all these amazing talented people at Aberration’s LGBTQ+ History Month event, Doubles Lives on 24 Feb 2024! Plus our very own Jane Hoy, Helen Sandler and Ruth Fowler.

Back to Double Lives programme >>

Buy tickets now >>

‘Section 28 and Me’ Tea Party

Aberration presents Section 28 and Me Tea Party, led by Tom Marshman, as part of an exciting day of events for LGBTQ+ History Month 2024

Saturday 24 February 2024 3.30-5pm, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 2D Room
– please book in advance, and ask for directions to the room at the box office on the day.
FREE, AGE 18+

Please note: Tea party has now sold out!

View other Aberration events on 24 Feb >>

The writer and performer Tom Marshman hosts this free afternoon Tea Party, where he will collect your stories and experiences of Section 28 and its aftermath – while pouring tea and slicing cake!

Tom Marshman is currently working on ‘The Show of Shows’: a new piece of theatre about Section 28 (the infamous 1988 law that banned schools and councils from ‘promoting homosexuality’). Having already gathered stories in England, Tom now has Arts Council Wales support to brew up conversations in Cymru, which will feed into the show.

Tom says: “We are living in a moment where history might be repeating itself, with political rhetoric of the 1980s showing up again now, so it’s important that we come together.”

You may have seen or met Tom Marshman at past Aberration nights where he has presented powerful short dramas about LGBTQ+ history including ‘Kings Cross Remix’. Tom will create a welcoming atmosphere where everyone can take part in their own way.

During the tea party there will be short performances to provide starting points for discussion with a cabaret flair. The event is FREE to attend. All welcome (18+), but booking is essential as numbers are limited.

Free tickets from Aberystwyth Arts Centre SOLD OUT >>

Background to project: https://www.tommarshman.com/teaparty

CREDITS: Brought to you by Queer collective Beacons Icons and Dykons. Co-hosted by Aberration. Supported by Arts Council of Wales, Aberystwyth University and Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

PLUS… Evening event

Stick around after the Tea Party! We’ll eat together in the cafe and then, in the evening, Tom Marshman will be presenting moments from his new show as part of Aberration’s exciting evening programme, ‘Double Lives’. Tom will perform some of the painful, beautiful and hilarious anecdotes he has already collected from LGBTQ+ communities. Book separately.

Full details of Double Lives and ticket links here>>

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Seasonal Social 14/12/23

[THIS EVENT HAS NOW PASSED]

Join us at the Bank Vault bar in Aberystwyth on Thursday 14 December for our Seasonal Social! Doors open 6pm. Games, reindeer, karaoke, stories and socialising! Join in as much or as little as you like. Bring friends or come alone.

Whether you love this time of year or prefer to ignore that it’s C—mas, there will be something jolly for you… possibly in a stocking.

Come along and enjoy a relaxed evening together in a festive atmosphere. Free! All LGBTQIA+ people & friends are welcome.

Bank Vault is a gorgeous venue that kindly welcomes Aberration without charge, so please support this lovely intimate bar in return by buying lots of drinks! They are well stocked including superb craft beers and soft drinks.

SPONSOR

Aberration is generously supported by Aberystwyth University.