2.30pm Sunday 26 March, Aberystwyth Arts Centre: WOW Film Festival matinee
Come and watch A Home for My Heart, a sensitive documentary portrait of Suvana Sudeb, an Indian trans woman – her life with her family, friends, lover and fellow activists. Hour-long film directed by Sankhajit Biswas. Plus short.
After the film, Helen Sandler of Aberration will be chairing a Q&A in which the star and director will beam in from India to answer your questions!
Relaunching this novel about the Ladies of Llangollen: ‘A fascinating piece of queer literary history’ – Sarah Waters
Wed 12/4/23, doors 6pm, onstage 7.15pm, Bank Vault.
We are pleased to have made an arrangement with Bank Vault bar in Aberystwyth to host a series of smaller events over spring and summer in this lovely venue. We kick off with this unusual book launch where publisher D-M Withers will tell us about the reissue of Chase of the Wild Goose by Mary Gordon, who died in 1941.
But why let the little matter of a dead author get in the way? Jane Hoy of Queer Tales from Wales will play Mary Gordon for the night, reflecting on the profound effect of the Ladies of Llangollen on her life. As she writes: “Early one silvery blue morning I met them on the hillside above Plas Newydd, sitting by the path with their dog Chance. Quite clear and alive. Nothing ghostlike.”
Come early to get a good seat and enjoy some craft beer (or cider, wine or pink lemonade?) and good conversation before the main event. Please support Bank Vault in exchange for them supporting us! They have offered the venue to us for free which means we can make this first event FREE for you too!
Access: Disabled access by side door which bar staff will need to open for you. Let us know if you would like us to meet you outside at a specific time. Accessible toilet.
Events in Cymru for ‘Long LGBTQ+ History Month’ involving Aberration or Queer Tales from Wales
March 2023 – Book now!
Tuesday 7 March, 5pm, National Library, Aberystwyth. Queer Tales from Wales present ‘A Moral Amazon: The Story of Miss Amy Dillwyn’. A novelist, industrialist and cigar smoker, Miss Dillwyn also loved her friend Olive with all her heart. ? https://www.library.wales/visit/things-to-do/events
Sun 12 Feb, 12 noon, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff. LezDiff celebrates History Month with films, talks and performances. Queer Tales appear with both ‘Queen of the Lake’ and ‘A Moral Amazon: The Story of Miss Amy Dillwyn’. Also on the bill are our friends Behind the Lines and Norena Shopland. https://lezdiff.org/lgbtq-history-month-event/
Sat 18 Feb, 2.30pm, Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Aberration presents: Proud Writing Workshop with Norena Shopland – writing from history. Book early, limited to 15 places.
Take your seats from 6.45pm with a welcome at 7pm from your host Helen Sandler.
Cerys Hafana – live music
Cerys Hafana is top of the bill! Cerys is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from Machynlleth 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, archive materials and electronic processing. Her latest release, Edyf, was Folk Album of the Month in the Guardian.
Especially for Aberration, Cerys has created ‘Queer as Folk’, by interviewing other LGBTQ+ musicians from around the UK and will be playing clips from these interviews as well as singing and playing live for us. A work in progress that has never been heard before!
“Cerys Hafana’s sound is simultaneously ancient in feel and yet impossibly, intriguingly modern. It is also in a field of its own; there is nothing else quite like this” – folkradio.co.uk
“A master of the Welsh triple harp… Hafana also sings movingly, her high voice like an indie-pop soprano shorn of its sweetness.” – Guardian
Behind the Lens – film and Q&A
Screening of Ysbrydion (Spirits) (Welsh with English subtitles), a stunning new short documentary by award-winning film director Amy Daniel. The film features four people sharing their experiences of growing up LGBTQ+ in rural Wales, imaginatively projected into the landscape. Followed by a panel discussion with Amy and participants.
Beloved – lesbian art
Sarah-Joy Ford will talk about her 2022 solo show Beloved: Crafting Intimacies with the Ladies of Llangollen at Plas Newydd. Created after a period of residency, the site-specific embroidered intervention was inspired by the deep and lifelong intimate relationship between the Ladies and the extraordinary home that they created together from 1780.
Sarah-Joy Ford is an artist researcher working with textiles to explore the complexities and pleasures of queer communities, histories and archives.
The Lost Knitters take time out from their hard lives gathering wool, spinning and knitting to tell the story of their lives. Times are changing and they gossip about two local girls who cross-dress and have been immortalised in the street-corner ballad ‘Wel Lanciau’.
Then Sarah-Jane Rees – often known by her bardic name Cranogwen – visits to answer their questions. Wondering what to do with your life? Cranogwen has the answer!
Cranogwen (1839-1916) was a writer, sailor, lecturer, and editor of the women’s magazine Y Frythones. Her relationships with women sustained and inspired her. She comes back to life this evening for your edification and delight.
Please bring cash for donations to AllOut, the international campaigning network that supports LGBTQ+ people wherever their rights and safety are threatened.
All welcome. The evening is suitable for adults and young people interested in LGBTQ+ lives and history. Aberration is a trans-positive space. Event partly in English, partly in Welsh with English subtitles. The venue has good disabled access.
How historic material can be used creatively to inspire and celebrate our Welsh LGBTQ+ past. Discover real-life stories from old newspapers and use them as inspiration to get writing in this supportive workshop. Find out more and book your tickets >>
Starring: Sian Davies, Welsh Ballroom Community, Mr Brake Down, Misha & The Kings, Jane Campbell… plus raffle and surprises, all hosted by Helen Sandler.
Sian Davies is a comedian, MC, presenter and writer from the North West of England. We loved her show at L Fest and are delighted she accepted our invitation to come to Aberystwyth for Cabarration! Sian’s droll observational material puts an insightful spin on the everyday. She is the driving force behind sell out fringe phenomenons Best in Class and Comedy Queers. She is working class and queer, and fiercely proud of belonging to both communities.
“A very funny observational stand-up … imagine a queer Peter Kay with more emotional literacy and a quiff like young Morrissey.”
Welsh Ballroom Community put on a stunning show of dancing and voguing at the National Eisteddfod and we are thrilled that some of the troupe will be with us at Cabarration. You may have heard of queer ballroom culture via Drag Race or the TV drama Pose, or perhaps you are sufficiently seasoned to remember the 80s documentary Paris is Burning and the dancers in Madonna’s Vogue. But now, the revival has reached Cymru! The Welsh Ballroom Community has received international recognition since its creation in Cardiff during lockdown in 2020. Founded by Leighton Rees and supported by Kyle London Tisci from The Impeccable Haus Of Tisci, the community has evolved into a vibrant celebration of queer identity in Wales. Aberystwyth, get ready!
Misha and the Kings are a fabulous Aberystwyth four-piece rock band, ready to whisk you away to escapism in its truest form! They have firmly put their stamp on a few classics, sprinkled with their own brand of energy, attitude and sparkle. Expect to be surprised, expect to get dancing. Their recent gigs at Bank Vault proved they are not to be missed. Special guest appearance, Doja Deluxe. Facebook >>
Jane Campbell (known to her friends as Maj) is a familiar face to Aberration audiences after wowing us with her spoken-word performances before lockdown. Now she’s back with some spellbinding new work, having recently won the 2022 Disability Arts Cymru creative writing award. In 2021, Jane also won the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize with her debut collection Slowly as Clouds published by Indigo Dreams: www.indigodreamspublishing.com/jane-campbell
Jane’s poem ‘The Gardener’ was featured on BBC Wales programme Giants in the Sky, and she performed at the first-ever Powys Pride this summer. For the past twenty years, Jane has lived happily in a handmade home as part of an off-grid community in West Wales.
Mr Brake Down is an AFAB drag king originally from Cardiff, who now resides in the beautiful city of Chester. When he’s not charming crowds with impersonations of obscure celebrities like Tom Waits and Joe Exotic, Brake can be found sporting sinister gothic fashions, glitzy showbiz get-ups and singing his heart out to lively crowds. Whether it’s comedy, hosting, music or merriment, Mr Brake Down has exactly what you need to drag up your life.
Cabarration is a cabaret show to celebrate LGBTQIA* performers and community. As always, Aberration puts on welcoming and inclusive events, and aims for an anti-racist, trans-inclusive space, with good disabled access. Everyone is welcome as long as you love the big rainbow umbrella as much as we do! So in answer to a question we get asked, yes our straight friends and audience are very welcome. And so are those who are still unsure or don’t like labels. Do bring your friends and family and do have a great night!**
Aberration Summer Sizzlers: Queer History Walk & Beach Picnic Sat 20/8/22
Dewch i ymuno â ni – dau digwyddiad gwych yn Aber!
TWO GREAT EVENTS ON 20 AUGUST 2022
BEACH PICNIC – JUST TURN UP!
7pm onwards on Aberystwyth South Beach near The Hut refreshment stand – look out for the rainbow flags and join the fun! Just turn up (no booking). Bring your own picnic. All LGBTQ+ people and their supportive friends and families welcome. If you are under 16 then your parent or carer needs to be with you.
Profits to AllOut – the grassroots campaigning charity for LGBT+ people worldwide.
Meet 2.30pm at The Bank Vault bar, 1 New Street, Aberystwyth for a guided walk around the town led by Jane Hoy of Aberration & Queer Tales from Wales. Fascinating stories of the queer history of Aber and the people who lived and worked here.
Aberration presents ‘Ceredigion Cwiar’ (‘Queer Ceredigion’) in Welsh at the National Eisteddfod Ceredigion: Tregaron, Friday 5 August 2022. 6.30pm. Maes D (Learners’ Tent)
With stories of the Lost Knitters of Tregaron, answers to your problems from the poet Cranogwen (played by Ruth Fowler, pictured), new short film of queer rural voices (dir. Amy Daniel), and live music from hip-hop / punk / folk duo Mermerings. Compered by writer and broadcaster Mike Parker. See you there!
Sat 20 Aug 2022. Meet 2.30pm at Bank Vault, 1 New Street, Aberystwyth with your tickets (in hand or on phone). The Bank Vault is a lovely new bar that is helping us out with events – buy a refreshing drink before we set out!
Discover the queer history of Aberystwyth on this easy two-hour walk. We’ll be exploring the town’s alleyways and buildings where LGBTQ+ people contributed to some historic moments. On the way we will be listening to stories about LGBTQ+ people from the 1860s to the 1990s.
There will be poetry from winners of Bardic prizes, and a singalong to sea shanty Lesberados outside the old lesbian nightclub Wrecked. We’ll also hear about historian John Davies who came out as bisexual at Cardiff Pride in 2012, and discuss the scandal of the 1950s – was Principal Goronwy Rees of the University really a Soviet spy and homosexual?
There’ll be more surprises on the way. You may even have your own story to tell. Led by Jane Hoy of Queer Tales from Wales & Aberration.
You might also like to come to the Aberration picnic later in the day. View the whole day on the main Summer Sizzlers page >>