Banners & Ballads

Saturday 26 March 2022, 5.30pm to 9pm, Aberration presents: Banners & Ballads, Aberystwyth Arts Centre Studio £10 / £8


Dathlu Hanes LHDT // Celebrating LGBT+ History

Fascinating and fun readings, talks, videos and surprises. Hear Jeffrey Weeks chatting about his radical youth in the Gay Liberation Front, Jane Traies reading from her sexy sapphic version of the French Revolution, and the first exclusive recording of a raunchy queer ballad from centuries ago, rediscovered in 2022!

Hosted by Helen Sandler in the Performance Studio (aka Round Room). We are trying to be covid-aware and expect about 30 people at distanced tables with windows open 🙂 We recommend everyone takes a covid test at home before attending.

BOOK NOW: Tickets >> Tocynnau >>

Estimated timings 5.30pm to 9pm with long interval at 6.30 for you to buy a meal in the cafe or drinks in the bar and have a chat, plus: Meet the authors: Book signings.
Raffle tickets in aid of AllOut, focusing on queer refugees from Ukraine


5.30 Choice of ice-breakers with our friendly crowd:

1. Queer Museum: bring an object you would put in a queer museum and meet curator Mark Etheridge.

2. Sloganising: If Aberration makes its own banner, what slogan should we use? (You can sit down with a felt tip if chatting’s not your thing.)

3. In the Pink: take a look at the mini banners we made in Sarah-Joy Ford’s workshop last month – if you took part then please bring your banner!

  Welcome – host Helen Sandler

Pride is a Protest – the inspired folk who took part in the banner workshop say a few words about their artwork.

Liberty! Jane Traies reads from her wonderful new lesbian historical novel  Liberty (Tollington Press). ‘A compelling, spellbinding historical romance’ – VG Lee. Published under the name Jay Taverner – the pseudonym for Jane and her co-author Jacky Bratton. Their novels stretch across space and time, but all have a connection to Brynsquilver, an ancient cottage in the Shropshire countryside, close to the Welsh border. Liberty brings together sailor girls, French aristocrats and revolution. When Rebecca ‘Jude’ Wiston breaks from her puritanical family in Salem, Massachusetts in 1789, she little knows the passions and dangers that await her. @JayTaverner

Crossdressing women: Norena Shopland, author of A History of Women in Men’s Clothes (Pen and Sword) brings to life fascinating stories from the past with an illustrated talk. Norena is like the keeper of the LGBT+ history of Wales! @NorenaShopland

Billie-Gina Thomason (above) on queer ballads – a specially filmed talk about her analysis of queer ballads from England and the light they shine on undocumented lives. Billie-Gina is an academic at Liverpool John Moores University with a special interest in gender identity. She can’t be with us in person but we’re so glad we’ve found a way for her to share her work with you all. @Billie_Gina

The New Old Ballad: Norena tells how a queer ballad in the Welsh language, ‘Lanciau Bro Gwalia’, has been thrillingly rediscovered in the archives – with exclusive new recording by Cerys Hafana, plus new English translation, ‘Lads of Fair Walia’.

Tickets >> Tocynnau >>

Mark Etheridge

Sloganising aloud: sharing our ideas for Aberration slogans

Mark Etheridge of National Museum of Wales updates us on the queer collection he is gathering for the nation with help from the LGBT+ community of Cymru. @CuratorMark

Much-loved and inspiring writer Jeffrey Weeks chats about his packed life and his new autobiography Between Worlds: A Queer Boy from the Valleys (Parthian), with our homegrown historian Paddy O’Malley. Emerging from the intense and thrilling (and sexy) gay rights movement of the 1970s, Jeffrey brought radical sexual politics to sociology.

Jane Hoy introduces Ceredigion Museum’s story project and plays our Lesberados song, as recorded by Aberrationistas in lockdown!

Raffle draw for All Out Raffle in aid of AllOut with first prize of magnum of champagne generously donated by Bottle & Barrel bar. Scroll down to read about their exciting plans for the future! Plus more prizes including speciality gin, magnum of prosecco, and signed novels by Jay Taverner.

Aberration returns to real life with tonight’s packed bill. BRING CASH! You will want to buy raffle tickets and signed books!

Tickets on sale now from Aberystwyth Arts Centre>>

Sponsors and supporters

A big thank you to our main sponsor, Prifysgol Aberystwyth University. This event wouldn’t have been possible without their generous support.

We would also like to thank Bottle and Barrel for the raffle prize. Bottle and Barrel are a craft beer bar located in Aberystwyth and are big friends of the LGBT community. They have just announced a new live music and events venue opening in Aberystwyth too, The Bank Vaults. This will be opening within the next month or so and we hope to do some fab collab events with them there in the future. Thank you to Zac and all the Bottle and Barrel team.

~ Spirit of Aberration ~

Come along in the spirit of Aberration – queer arts, activism, community and diversity. We are (of course) trans-inclusive and anti-racist. You are welcome whether you are lesbian, gay or bi, trans, genderqueer or non-binary, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual… or an open-minded ally! Yes that absolutely includes straight friends 🙂 so stop wondering and come along!

Aberration’s 2020 History Walk (Cath photographed by Heather Broster)

The Long LGBT+ History Month: an exciting programme of events – in real life! – in February and March 2022, organised by Aberration and/or our partner venues


Sat 12 February 2.30pm Best of Iris short films, Aberystwyth Arts Centre cinema

Seven award-winning short films from the 2021 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival have been chosen to tour the UK in 2022.

Tickets on sale now from Aberystwyth Arts Centre:

Sat 12 February 7pm Rebel Dykes (18), Magic Lantern Cinema, Tywyn

A rabble-rousing documentary telling the story of a community of lesbians in 1980s post-punk London, and how they went on to change their world. Bring a photo of yourself in the 80s / early 90s (if you were around) and share your memories of how to be a rebel! Bar open before and after the film, with cocktail menu, and 80’s music on blast! Hosted by Helen & Jane.

Magic Lantern event details:

Film info & trailer
Facebook event:

Saturday 26 February 1–3pm Pride is a Protest – a banner making workshop, Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Tickets £5/3. Led by Sarah-Joy Ford (pictured)

A workshop inspired by queer activism, visual culture and community story telling.   

In this workshop you will be able to tell your own queer story, share a memory, protest or idea, as you create your own mini LGBTQ+ textile banner which can be hung on a dowling rod ready to be marched with or hung up. You’ll be using heat bond applique, hand stitching techniques and tassel making. No previous experience necessary. Sarah-Joy is an artist and researcher – you can see her work at:

Limited numbers. Tickets on sale now from Aberystwyth Arts Centre:

And stay for the film…

Sat 26 February 4pm, Rebel Dykes (18), Aberystwyth Arts Centre cinema

A rabble-rousing documentary telling the story of a community of lesbians in 1980s post-punk London, and how they went on to change their world. Followed by discussion led by Helen Sandler of Aberration, with rebel dyke poet Jane Campbell (known to her friends as Maj) and subversive stitcher Sarah-Joy Ford (who is leading the above workshop before the film, ticketed separately).



Mention Aberration to get discounted £5 tickets when booking on phone or in person at Aberystwyth Arts Centre: 01970 62 32 32



Sat 12 February
• 2.30pm Best of Iris award-winning LGBT+ short films, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
• 7pm Rebel Dykes film, Magic Lantern Cinema, Tywyn
Sat 26 February
• 1pm Aberration Workshop: Pride is a Protest – banner-making with Sarah-Joy Ford, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
• 4pm Rebel Dykes film + Q&A, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Sat 26 March
5.30pm Aberration presents Banners & Ballads: an evening of talks, readings and surprises.