Category Archives: Women

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:


Aberration Goes to Town with VG Lee

16/5/23 Bank Vault, Aberystwyth

Cyffrous! Aberration yn y Dre efo VG Lee!


The author and comedian VG Lee is coming to town for Aberration on 16 May at the Bank Vault bar!

The brilliant novelist and short story writer VG Lee is coming all the way from Hastings to entertain us. Venue: Bank Vault bar, 1 New Street, Aberystwyth.

This event is FREE. No booking. Arrive from 6pm when the Bank Vault bar opens for a great range of craft beers, wine, spirits and superior soft drinks!

Please support this lovely venue by buying drinks ???????????????? And please bring cash too, to buy signed books from our special guest. She will be onstage around 7pm.



VG Lee (aka Val) is an author and comedian. She’s written five novels and two collections of short stories, the latest being Oh You Pretty Thing (Tollington, 2019).

Past books are: The Comedienne, The Woman in Beige, Diary of a Provincial Lesbian, As You Step Outside, Always You Edina, and Mr Oliver’s Object of Desire – runner up for the YLVA Publishing Literary Prize for Fiction 2017. Val was long-listed for the BBC National Short Story Award 2022. She is a judge for both the Polari Book Prize and The Hastings Book Festival Short Story Prize.

VG Lee also writes for newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, Diva and The Lady. She embarked on a stand-up comedy career just when other people might be planning their retirement – and made it to the finals of Hackney Empire’s New Act of the Year.

VG Lee is an old friend of the Aberration organisers and we are absolutely delighted she is coming to Aberystwyth especially for our fabulous audience. Be there! Edrych ymlaen!


Next events

Also in our Aberration Goes to Town series: 29 June Mike Parker, 13 July Queer Diary.


Book launch ~ Chase of the Wild Goose

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.


IWD performers

Three exciting acts are appearing in the second half of Our Voices, Our Lives on 7 March 2020 at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. They are Dancing Queer, Louise & the Feathers, and Kittie Belltree. Your host is Helen Sandler. Details below. TICKETS>>

Shrouk El-Attar’s Dancing Queer

Dancing Queer (photo @LeviticusHinds)

Shrouk El-Attar (She/They) is an electronics design engineer who was born in Egypt and has been living in the United Kingdom as a refugee since 2007. She is an activist for refugee rights in the UK, and for LGBT rights in her native Egypt.

She performs as a belly dancer in an act called “Dancing Queer”, to raise funds for legal defense fees for LGBT people in Egypt, and to help with relocation for those persecuted and at risk because of their gender or sexuality. It’s a performance that mixes belly dancing, Arabic songs, magic tricks, and comedy!

Belly dancers should have long hair and shave their legs and underarms? Well, not this one! Named by the United Nations as Young Woman of the Year and listed by the BBC top 100 influential women Worldwide, this Egyptian, hairy, bearded, pierced and tattooed Queer Refugee dancer will give you a very authentic performance with a twist!

As featured on Pink News, BBC, Huffpost, Buzzfeed, Reuters, and more!

“Although I don’t believe that neither I, nor anyone, needs to provide a reason to dance: I dance because where I come from being a belly dancer is considered to be shameful. I dance to break a stereotype of what a belly dancer “should look like”. I dance because I want to show the world that you can absolutely be a belly dancer and a kick-ass engineer at the same time! I dance because it connects me to my roots and culture. I dance because it makes me happy. But perhaps most importantly, I dance as a form of protest against the treatment of my LGBT+ siblings persecuted around the world just for being who they are.” – Shrouk El Attar @ShroukELA

Louise and the Feathers

Louise and the Feathers

Louise and The Feathers (the artist formerly known as Emily Farr!) is a creation after years of writing, jamming and finally wanting to share my folk, pop, rock vibe with influences from Florence and The Machine, Paolo Nutini, Alison Moyet, Tina Turner, Annie Lennox, Haim, Kate Bush, 4 Non Blondes and more.

From Birmingham originally, we moved to Mid Wales when I was 9 and I have been writing ever since, playing in a variety of bands and at numerous open mic nights. Then revisiting early written originals (in 2017), I decided to start afresh using my middle name “Louise” representing the roots of my music passion, alongside “and the feathers” linking to spiritual perspectives and a love of nature with the hope to form a band and gain feathery fans.

To test the water, I shared a demo EP ‘Fallen Leaf’, which had recorded at home and received great feedback, but felt could do more at a studio. So in 2019, I got ‘Mistress, ‘Can’t Stop Thinking About’, ‘Come Back’, ‘Faded Away’ and ‘Rich Tea Biscuit’ recorded at Aberystwyth Music Studio, with additions from Ivan Anchant, bass and backing vocals from Andy Lloyd-Williams and mixing and mastering by Steffan Woodruff’s. All steadily shared and now all together on ‘Window View’ EP. Alongside this I did various gigs including Pembs Fest, West Fest, Cwmaman Festival and Caffi Iechyd Da. Now I am excited to get further afield and work on EP2 ‘Reflection’!  #LaTF @LouiseATF

Kittie Belltree

Poet Kittie Belltree

In her debut collection, Sliced Tongue and Pearl Cufflinks (Parthian), Kittie Belltree explores fractured connections of self, family and home. At the heart of these poems are a daughter’s fraught relationships with  a mother who grew up in National Socialist Germany and her half-Japanese father, who survived three years as a POW in Czechoslovakia. These dark themes are counterbalanced by moments of comical absurdity and delightful domestic chaos.

‘Haunting yet poignant … it is poetry that will undoubtedly change your perception of modern reality.’ New Welsh Reader

Kittie’s new poetry collection

Kittie Belltree was born in south London and lives in Wales. Her poems and short stories have been published in Orbis, The North, Under the Radar, I am not a silent poet, Poetry Wales, New Welsh Review, The Lampeter Review and Brittle Star. She has been a Literature Wales Bursary recipient, shortlisted for the Venture Award and highly commended in the Welsh International Poetry Competition, the PENfro Poetry Festival Competition, The Camden and Lumen Poetry Competition and the Orbis Readers Award. @kittiebelltree


The evening is compered by Aberration regular Helen Sandler, holding it all together in a near-organised fashion.

More info and tickets

Get your tickets now for Our Voices, Our Lives! TICKETS: Aberystwyth Arts Centre 01970 62 32 32

Full programme for 7 March >>
Afternoon workshops for women >>


IWD speakers


Saturday 7 March 2020 for International Women’s Day at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

The first part of the evening (6 to 7.30pm) is a panel discussion with the theme of Speak Up! We are fortunate to have three inspiring women on the panel:

Maria Constanza Mesa

Maria is the Operational Director of Women Connect First – a Cardiff-based charity to empower BAME women – and a WEN Board member. Originally from Colombia, she arrived in Wales as a refugee and has over 30 years’ experience in social work and community development, specialising in gender and race issues.

Leena Sarah Farhat

Leena is a computer science student at Aberystwyth University and a young activist with the Liberal Democrats. She is first generation British, multilingual and international in outlook. Leena has campaigned to prevent violence against women and for improved Welsh language provision, among other passions. She is a prospective candidate for the Senedd.

Shrouk El-Attar

An activist for the rights of refugees and LGBT+ people, Shrouk is herself a refugee from Egypt. She is based in Bristol where she is an electronics engineer by day, a Dancing Queer by night (as we will see when she performs for us later on!). Named by the BBC as one of the 100 most influential women in the world.

Facilitator: Helen Sandler

Our Aberration co-programmer will be facilitating the discussion. Helen runs Tollington Press, publishing new books by women. She is an experienced chairperson and enjoys getting people talking and drawing out common threads. (Photo by Heather Broster)

We will ask:

  • How do we get heard?  
  • How have our panel members been effective in their work?
  • How do they use their voices to campaign around the issues facing women in their lives today, in Wales, the UK and the world?
  • And what can the rest of us learn from their experiences?

There will be time for questions from the audience and discussion. After an interval, sit back and enjoy our live entertainment.

Get your tickets for Our Voices, Our Lives (including panel and entertainment) from Aberystwyth Arts Centre >>

Workshops for women earlier the same day >>

<<Back to previous post / more about evening

International Women’s Day 2020 ~ ‘Our Voices, Our Lives’ evening

Aberystwyth 7 March 2020

Diwrnod Rhyngwladol y Menywod 7 Mawrth

Shrouk dancing with rainbow flag
Shrouk El Attar performs her ‘Dancing Queer’ act
Photo: @Diego_Maeso_ 

Celebrate International Women’s Day (a day early) on Saturday 7 March with a sparky and inspiring evening of talks, discussion and live music! At Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Organised in partnership by Aberration / SpringOut, Aberystwyth University and WEN Wales.

English details below // Cymraeg >>

6 to 10pm
Our Voices, Our Lives

Talks and live performance to challenge, dazzle and inspire. Hosted by Helen Sandler. £7 / £5 (concessions) – your ticket is for the whole evening. TICKETS>>

6pm Panel discussion on the theme ‘Speak Up’: amplifying crucial issues affecting women’s lives in Wales and beyond. How can campaigners be heard and be effective? With activists Maria Mesa, Leena Sarah Farhat and Shrouk El-Attar. Read more about speakers >>

8pm Live performance

Shrouk El-Attar’s gyrating and gender-bending Dancing Queer (pictured, top) brings us magic tricks and Egyptian belly-dancing. Plus beautiful live music from Louise and the Feathers, whose second EP is now in progress; and truth-telling poetry from Kittie Belltree whose new collection Sliced Tongue and Pearl Cufflinks came out recently from Parthian. Read more about performers >>

Evening open to everyone interested in women’s equality, whatever your gender (women, men, non-binary – all welcome). Events mainly in English. Age guidance 14+. Programme has changed slightly since we printed our leaflets due to unforeseen circumstances.

TICKETS: Aberystwyth Arts Centre 01970 62 32 32

WORKSHOPS: Earlier the same day we are running an afternoon of creative workshops for women. Release your inner rock star with our ‘Encore’ music session run by The Rock Project, or make your own zine with artist Nicky Arscott. More about workshops here>>

Women’s Equality Network Wales Cymru
Prifysgol Aberystwyth University

International Women’s Day workshops

Saturday 7 March 2020, Aberystwyth Arts Centre

An afternoon of workshops for women at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

There are three inspiring creative workshops to choose from, listed below with ticket links. Book now – and be sure to buy tickets for the evening event, ‘Our Voices, Our Lives’, too.

12 women per workshop (age 16+, trans women and non-binary people welcome at all sessions).

1. Our Selfies, Ourselves – Zine-making workshop for women

12.30 to 2.30pm in the Digilab, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, £5/£3 TICKETS>>

Fed up with the portrayal of women in the media? We’ll take matters into our own hands as we draw, cut, stick, stamp and collage our very own ‘zines’ with artist Nicky Arscott.

Zines (short for ‘magazines’) are hand-made or low-tech booklets and magazines with a creative, DIY feel. No experience or special talent is needed to make them!

‘Blind Carbon Copy’ by Nicky Arscott

Nicky Arscott lives in Llanbrynmair and specialises in making poetry comics. She has exhibited at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, MOMA Machynlleth and Oriel Davies Newtown. She has an MA in Creative Writing and is one of the directors of Ennyn CIC, which promotes art and creativity in schools and communities. Nicky is a friendly and encouraging workshop leader. TICKETS>>

2. Sounding Off! – Theatre workshop for women CANCELLED

Unfortunately this workshop has been cancelled due to low numbers.

Apologies for any disappointment. The box office have written to everyone who booked to offer them either another workshop or a refund.

3. Encore! – music workshop for women
with The Rock Project

3-5pm in the Students Union, adjacent to Aberystwyth Arts Centre, £5/£3

As of Friday 6 March, a small number of places remain – vocals or guitar only – please phone the box office on 01970 623232 to book your place!

Release your inner rock star! This one-off taster workshop starts with a lesson on specific instruments or vocals in small groups. This is followed by a ‘plug and play’ session where you will all be able to put into practice what you have learnt by playing together as a band. Mentored by the tutors throughout. 

You do not need any experience – beginners are welcome. On the other hand, if you have been a bedroom player all your life and want to play with other musicians, then this is your chance. So whether you are 20, 30, 40 or 70-something, if you have always dreamt of being in a rock band, Encore is just what you’ve been waiting for.

All instruments provided. Capacity: three drums, three guitar, two bass and four vocals. Express your preference when booking. Led by Lisa and Liesa: friendly and knowledgeable tutors who also offer longer courses for adults and children with The Rock Project Aberystwyth.

Evening event

See details of ‘Our Voices, Our Lives’>>

International Women’s Day programme is organised in partnership by Aberration, Aberystwyth University and WEN Wales, with support from The Rock Project.

100 Welsh Women event

Wed 6 March 2019, 7.45pm Round Studio, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, £6 / £5


{Scroll down for English} Dathlwch Ddiwrnod Menywod Rhyngwladol!  Darganfyddwch 100 o fenywod anhygoel o’r gorffennol a’r presennol sydd wedi gweithio dros gydraddoldeb yng Nghymru.  Gyda sgyrsiau (Dinah Mulholland, Megan Talbot a mwy), barddoniaeth (Gillian Clarke) a cherddoriaeth fyw (Cerys Hafana – telyn). Croeso i bawb. Iaith: Saesneg

Cerys Hafana

Aberration, WEN Wales (Women’s Equality Network) and Aberystwyth University bring you this special evening to celebrate International Women’s Day.
‘100 Welsh Women’ will include music, poetry and discussion:

Gillian Clarke

Book your tickets for 100 Welsh Women now>>

Poetry: Gillian Clarke, former National Poet of Wales, will read her lyrical and moving poems. If you have never heard Gillian read, you are in for a mesmerising treat. If you have heard her before, then you know you will want to be here for this! Gillian has been awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry and the Wilfred Owen Award. Selected Poems (Picador) was published in 2016, Zoology (Carcanet) in 2017, and her version/ translation of the 7th century Welsh poem Y Gododdin, appears this year from Faber.

Speakers: Dinah Mulholland (left), Chisomo Phiri (centre) and Megan Talbot will form a knowledgeable and rousing panel, chaired by our own Helen Sandler (right).

Dinah is a political activist who has campaigned around domestic abuse, women in prison and austerity. Dinah was the Labour Party candidate for Ceredigion in the 2017 General Election and is involved in setting up a local branch of Acorn Tenants Union.

Chisomo is the NUS Wales Women’s Officer. She was elected on a manifesto of campaigning to end period poverty, encouraging women to run for leadership, and tackling sexual harassment. She aims to create a strong, intersectional movement.

Megan is an associate lecturer in law at Aberystwyth University and is studying legal recognition of non-binary genders internationally. She is co-convener in the Aberystwyth Interdisciplinary Gender Studies Research Group (aber gender).

Helen is a writer and editor who runs Tollington Press and comperes Aberration. She has been involved in theatre and events for women and LGBT+ people for many years.

>>Book your tickets for 100 Welsh Women now>>

Live music: Musical interludes from Cerys Hafana (pictured, top) on the Welsh triple harp. Cerys is a talented young musician who lives locally. She is a member of the National Youth Folk Ensemble, and last year played at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient with Tŷ Teires and Robin Huw Bowen, and on the Aran Islands with Cerrig Camu. She will play her own compositions and tell us a little about the history of the instrument.

Joan and Linda of Bright Field
Bright Field

Bright Field sing folk harmonies such as Georgian, Corsican, Shape Note, British traditional and sacred music, as well as modern compositions. They enjoy the way voices will lock into or lean on one another. The group has changed its make-up over the years, but local singers Linda Gwillim and Joan Mills, who join us for the evening, have been a part of Bright Field since it began back in 2001.

Exhibition: on display will be WEN’s exhibition of posters of significant and inspiring women, past and present, who have worked for equality in Wales – including Gillian Clarke. We will pick out some of these women with readings chosen specially.

Inclusive fabulousness: All welcome at this inspiring evening. Whether you identify as female, male or non-binary, whether you are trans, intersex, queer, lesbian, gay, bi, straight, unsure or wotever… you are very welcome at all Aberration events.

Language: Event mainly in English.

Booking: Book your tickets for 100 Welsh Women now>>


Aberration goes to L Fest

Aberration goes to L Fest

Mae Aberration yn mynd i ‘L Fest’

Cabaret: 7yh Sadwrn 14 Gorffennaf 2018, Llandudno
Aberration is going on tour for the first time this summer, starting at L Fest in Llandudno. We will put on a fabulous cabaret at 7pm on the Saturday night, 14 July 2018.

Frankie Sinatra
Frankie Sinatra

Take your seat for the Aberration Cabaret, hosted by Helen Sandler. With Archibald Tactful – proto-god, cement-lover and experimental dancer; Ali Cocks twirling from the aerial hoop; sharp spoken word from radio star Sarah McCreadie; the mellow voice of Frankie Sinatra… and the world’s first Sex Noise Orchestra, conducted by Rachael Clerke.

L Fest is a whole weekend of music, arts, comedy and workshops for lesbian and bi women, and their friends and families of all genders. The festival is now SOLD OUT. If you are lucky enough to have a ticket, this includes entry to the cabaret (subject to room capacity). Good access.

Aberration launched in Aberystwyth five years ago and is now hitting the road with funding from Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Government, National Lottery, Aberystwyth University, and Over the Rainbow vegetarian guesthouse. Programmed by SpringOut and Enfys Aber (Aberystwyth University’s LGBT staff network). Expect the unexpected!

Diwrnod Rhyngwladol y Menywod 2018, Aberystwyth

Ymlaen Gyda’n Gilydd

Diwrnod Rhyngwladol y Menywod 2018
8 Mawrth 2018
Amgueddfa Ceredigion, Ffordd y Môr, Aberystwyth
Drysau’n agor am 6.30yp


Cymraeg: Diwrnod Rhyngwladol y Menywod: Bydd Amgueddfa Ceredigion yn cyflwyno noswaith ddifyr o sgwrsio a thrafod, a cherddoriaeth gan y Bung Bung Belles.

Bydd panel amrywiol o fenywod lleol sy’n ymgyrchwyr yn siarad am sut allwn ni weithio i greu byd mwy cyfartal. Cewch daith dywys o amgylch yr amgueddfa cyn i bopeth ddechrau, ac yn y diwedd bydd cyfle i’r gynulleidfa ymuno yn y drafodaeth. Mae’n argoeli i fod yn noson llawn ysbrydoliaeth. Croeso i bawb. Trefnwyd mewn partneriaeth ag Aberration.

Y Cadeirydd: Joanne Hopkins
Y Panel: Amal Abu-Bakare, Andrea Hammel, Kate Rose, Michelle Pooley

£6 Gostyngiadau: £5