Category Archives: Archive

Bywydau Dwbl

24 Chwefror 2024, Canolfan y Celfyddydau Aberystwyth, Stiwdio Perfformio


Mae Aberration yn dathlu Mis Hanes LHDTC+ gyda ‘Bywydau Dwbl’ / ‘Double Lives’ – noson gyfareddol o siaradwyr a pherfformiadau. Croeso i bawb.  


Mae’r perfformiwr arloesol Tom Marshman yn cyflwyno hanesion poenus, hardd ac hynod doniol o’i ddarn theatr newydd yn seiliedig ar Adran 28 (y ddeddf 1988 ddrwgenwog a waharddodd ysgolion a chynghorau rhag ‘hyrwyddo cyfunrywiaeth’).

Mae’r hanesydd Norena Shopland a Jane Hoy o Aberration yn siarad am fywyd Katherine Philips, y farddones o’r ail ganrif ar bymtheg a adnabyddir fel y Sappho Gymreig (erbyn hyn yn fenyw poster Bywydau Dwbl!).

Mae’r archeolegydd Alessandro Ceccarelli yn dangos sut y gall eitemau mewn casgliadau Cymreig daflu goleuni ar ddyhead, serch ac hunaniaeth LHDTC+.

Mae’r awduresr Alis Hawkins yn siarad am ei nofel drosedd newydd afaelgar A Bitter Remedy gyda’n cyflwynydd Helen Sandler.

Hefyd ceir stondin lyfrau gan Lyfrau Gayberystwyth, a raffl ar gyfer AllOut.

‘Y noson orau o’i math yn Aberystwyth’ – Alys Fowler yn y Guardian

Iaith: Saesneg

Cefnogir yn hael gan Brifysgol Aberystwyth

‘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!


Double Lives


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


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 >>


Aberration is generously supported by Aberystwyth University.


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!

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.

“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

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.

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:

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>>


Seasonal Social 14/12/23


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.


Aberration is generously supported by Aberystwyth University.

Aberration’s Got Talent 16/11/23

16 November 

Aberration’s Got Talent, Bank Vault bar, Aberystywth. Sign up for your five-minute slot (limited numbers) by emailing

A fun talent night with all the excitement of a TV show but none of the competitiveness. Come along and enjoy the show!

Live acts from the local LGBTQ+ community. Expect comedy, music and radical drag! Compered by Helen Sandler.

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.

Also please bring cash for donations to AllOut, the international campaigning charity that channels funds direct to LGBTQ+ projects at grassroots level.


Aberration is generously supported by Aberystwyth University.

Aim King 19/10/23

We are thrilled to welcome Aim King to Aberration at the Bank Vault – intimate bar venue in Aberystwyth. Doors 6pm, onstage around 7pm. Host Helen Sandler. Free Entry. Donations to All Out.

Prepare to be bathed in sound, as haunting new voice Aim King performs original spoken word over live beats from their new band. A unique evening!

Aim writes amazing lyrics that wash over you and evoke visions and emotions – unique but with an affinity with artists such as Arlo Parks or Kae Tempest, or going back in time Massive Attack and Tricky. You can have a listen to the stunning Liminal album here:

Aim King is an ecologist, filmmaker, and poet, who grew up in London and is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at Aberystwyth University. Through writing, they are interested in drawing together threads of inner and outer worlds, in accessing the collective heart-mind, and in making transitory feelings tangible. This year they released a spoken word album, entitled liminal(l), which explores the in-betweenness we exist within.

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. Also please bring cash for donations to AllOut, the international campaigning charity that channels funds direct to LGBTQ+ projects at grassroots level.

Aberration is generously supported by Aberystwyth University.

Aberration x Queer Diary

13 July 2023, Bank Vault bar, Aberystwyth. 6pm doors, 7pm start

The popular Queer Diary night from ‘That London’ is on tour – and they’re coming to Aberystwyth especially for Aberration! People, get ready!

Ad for Queer Diary reads: Live teenage diary readings from live grown-up queers plus cringey poetry, GCSE artwork, thirsty fanfic and throwback soundtrack.

Would You Read Your Teenage Diary Aloud To A Room Full Of People?

A brave group of LGBTQIA+ folk are doing just that at Queer Diary – the night where queers share our teen angst (and joy, dreams, follies, and fabulousness). We can’t promise to reunite you with your first crush, but we do aim to reignite that rush of adrenaline you got when they first noticed you.  

In here the goths, the punks, the emos, the nerds, the glee-clubbers (and maybe a few populars?) come together as grown-ups, to escape cis-het-normativity by sharing our younger selves’ innermost thoughts via old diary entries, fanfiction stories, tumblr posts, and possibly the odd bit of cringey poetry!

Quick links:

Mae croeso i chi ddarllen yn Gymraeg – rhowch wybod i ni pan fyddwch yn cofrestru, a chrynhowch yn Saesneg ar ddechrau neu ddiwedd eich darlleniad os yn bosibl plis.

If your contribution is not in English – whether it’s in Welsh or another language – please let us know when signing up so we can facilitate your reading. It would be great if you could summarise in English if possible at the start or end of your reading.

Note: If you have registered to read then you don’t need to book a ticket. If you incur expenses you can claim them back from Queer Diary.

Don’t want to read? Come and listen!
We need an audience!

Please book if you possibly can, so that the fabulous Queer Diary presenter and producer, Beth and Josie, can share details with you!

TICKETS: Pay what you can – between zilch and £12 depending on your circumstances. Book via OutSavvy here >>

Poster for Queer Diary at Aberration featuring image of Beth Watson as host.

ACCESS: Ground floor bar. Wheelchair 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 to make this easier. (Email There are two unisex toilets. We are sorry but the toilets are not accessible by wheelchair.


This is an 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 both Aberration and Queer Diary. Straight allies are welcome in the audience too.

Please note this event is themed around memories of teenage years gone by, and is aimed at adult audiences.

See you there! Edrych ymlaen!


Aberration goes to town with Mike Parker

Reading and telling tales from his books and his colourful past!

Thurs 29 June 2023 Doors open 6pm for bar and chat, onstage around 7pm

Venue: Bank Vault bar, 1 New Street, Aberystwyth

Mike Parker by Ming de Nasty

Writer, broadcaster and friend of Aberration, Mike Parker, will read from his new book All the Wide Border – in which he walks the borderlands between Cymru and England. Mike also has some tales up his sleeve especially for the Aberration audience. Would you like to hear about when Mike met Lily Savage, when he kissed Dana International (the first trans Eurovision winner), when he admired the Cerne Abbas Giant (giant by name and giant by endowment), or just how he got his very gay house? Mike will entertain us with as many of these encounters as he has time for!

Mike is a fascinating and entertaining speaker, a witty wanderer who has queered travel writing and psycho-geography for the 21st century.

He is also an activist for Welsh independence and LGBTQ+ rights. In his previous book, On the Red Hill, Mike rewrote the history of the past 50 years via the heritage of his own house and the gay couple who lived there before. And before that, he stood for parliament and wrote about it in The Greasy Poll.

Mike previously co-wrote the first edition of The Rough Guide, came out as a Map Addict, and sailed round Wales in the TV series Coast to Coast (by boat) and Great Welsh Roads (by van).

About the night

Everyone is welcome at this edition of Aberration yn y Dre / Aberration Goes to Town. Just turn up on the night at the Bank Vault bar (1 New Street, Aberystwyth). We have an LGBTQ+ ethos, with trans people very much included. But you don’t have to be queer to be here – straight and cisgender people are welcome too. Just bring an open mind.

Come early from 6pm to get a good seat and have a drink and a chat. Free entry but please buy drinks to support our lovely venue – and bring some cash to get a personally signed copy of the book for yourself or a friend. Plus donation box for AllOut charity.

ACCESS: Ground floor bar. Wheelchair 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 to make this easier. (Email There are two unisex toilets. We are sorry but the toilets are not accessible by wheelchair.