Category Archives: LGBT

lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans / transgender

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!


It would be great if you could email questions to 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.


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!


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.


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.


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!


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

Packed House

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 responses: 

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 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 and low waged. Pay by card or cash on the door. But if you can’t afford it please just say ‘Not today thank you!’ and you will be waved in!

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!


‘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.


‘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>>


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.


Ladies of Llangollen Tour

Queer Tales from Wales are back on the road in the sunshine this summer (2023) with our most popular show, ‘An Extraordinary Female Affection: The Life and Love of the Ladies of Llangollen’.

This is a playful performance (in English) that brings these intriguing women and their household and friends back to life. Described by audiences as ‘superb’, ‘sensational’ and ‘fabulous’! You can catch the show at these venues:

Sunday 11 June 5pm Out & Wild festival – thanks to those who came along and threw flowers!

Sat 24 June 3pm Storiel Bangor
Tickets include tea and cake. This will be our first-ever performance at Storiel. Edrych ymlaen! Details and booking line here >>

Sun 2 July 3.30pm Plas Newydd, Llangollen – home of the Ladies!
Tickets are £22.50 (plus booking fee), to include tea and cake with the Ladies, our promenade performance, and entry to the House so you can look round during the day and see the Gentleman Jack Costume Exhibition too.
Book via Eventbrite >

The Ladies will look forward to reading your letters of introduction and meeting you and your cows. Croeso cynnes i bawb!

More about the show and the Ladies: