Category Archives: Archive

Cabarration bach

Aberration presents ‘Cabarration bach’ – a gorgeous little cabaret in the Studio at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

17 November 2017, Onstage 7.45pm
£10/ £8
, Age guidance 16+


Jonathan Mayor at Cabarration 2016 (by Jess Rose)


Starring Jonathan Mayor (above), genius comedian back by popular demand. Laugh till you fall off your chair, then laugh on the floor, then someone will take an embarrassing photo of you and use it as publicity for future events.
“Marvellously wicked” – Sarah Millican

CN Lester, wonderful singer-songwriter with lush, lyrical songs for voice and piano. Author of ‘Trans Like Me’ (Photo above by Dafydd Owen).
“The music was faultless. Mesmerising, beautiful, emotional and raw” – DIVA

Pi the Mime, skilfully weaving the traditions of mime, burlesque and drag (Photo below by Eddie Adams).

Sarah McCreadie (below), superb spoken-word artist from Cardiff, where she is a host on the youth-led Radio Platfform. Also heard on 1Xtra and seen at this summer’s festivals, Sarah writes about “every goddamn thing a girl could want”, according to Milk Poetry.

And Cardiff Trans Singers – fab new community choir performing upbeat songs with all the camp fun we love at Aberration.

Hosted by Helen Sandler. You know what she’s like.

All welcome. Croeso i bawb. Dress to impress!

Bring some change for the charity raffle with amazing prizes from local businesses.

Thanks to our sponsors

This event is generously supported by Aberystwyth University Centre for Widening Participation, Equality and Social Inclusion (CWPESI); and Over the Rainbow Vegetarian Country Retreat.

More events

We and our friends have more great events for you this season!














The Handmaiden Screening Aberystwyth

Special Screening of new film The Handmaiden, with book discussion and post-film Q&A

Handmaiden poster

Aberystwyth Arts Centre cinema 20 June 2017

5.30pm Book Club: discuss Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. Led by Jane Hoy. In Aberystwyth Arts Centre bookshop, with a glass of wine or fruit juice. Try to read the book beforehand and bookmark your favourite bit.

7pm movie: The Handmaiden film: “Park Chan-wook’s adaptation of Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith, relocated to 1930s Korea, is an erotic triumph – with a whiplash twist” – Guardian. Book through the Arts Centre as usual.

Q&A at end of film with our resident experts Tasha Alden and Stephanie Jones. Chaired by Helen Sandler.

This a public event with Aberration magic sprinkled all over it!



To book your tickets, click here and then click on ‘book here’ at the top of the description.







Icons & Allies exhibition Machynlleth

Icons & Allies: a one-night-only chance for the people of Machynlleth to see this touring exhibition about Icons & Allies from LGBT Welsh history on 10 March at MOMA. (Previously seen at Aberration ‘Blast from the Past’ in Aberystwyth on 3 March.)

Mike Parker will lead a tour round the exhibition, nineteenth-century artist Mary Charlotte Lloyd will appear from beyond the grave, plus time for you to say what you found interesting and who you would add if it were your exhibition! Arrive from 6pm for a 6.30 start.



Aberration Blast from the Past

Aberration presents

Blast from the Past

7.45pm Friday 3 March 2017, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, £7.50

Devils in Human Shape by Tom Marshman
Devils in Human Shape by Tom Marshman (pic: Vonalina Cake)

A fabulous evening about lesbian, gay, bi and trans lives, for LGBT History Month. With live music, theatre, talks, discussion and charity raffle…

‘The Devils in Human Shape’ – veiled gossips whisper about unspeakable sins in Tom Marshman’s theatrical interpretation of 18th century sodomy cases.
Ciaran O’Driscoll, as seen on The Voice, sings his way through queer musical history from Broadway to Bronski Beat.

Norena Shopland talks about the holes left in women’s history when sexual orientation and gender identity are overlooked.
Book launch & poetry recital from Archibald Tactful (Rachael Clerke): proto-God, cement-lover, experimental dancer.
Amy Daniel and Harry Heuser on the extraordinary eccentric collector, George Powell of Nanteos.
Charity raffle with prizes generously donated by Sophies, Rummers and the Arts Centre.
With your host for the evening, Helen Sandler.

Diolch yn fawr / big thanks for financial support to: Aberystwyth University; Over the Rainbow vegetarian guesthouse.

Croeso i bawb / all welcome. Aberration is organised by SpringOut and Enfys Aber in partnership with Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

Book your tickets now from Aberystwyth Arts Centre>>









Cabarration 2016



8pm 21 October 2016 (doors 7.30pm)
Aberystwyth Arts Centre – Great Hall
A cabaret night with a very queer bite!

Book tickets here>>



Jonathan Mayor

jonathanmayorgoldJonathan Mayor will be entertaining us with his cutting comedy – dressed up in glitter-storm Bollywood drag and delivered with twinkly chutzpah. Coming all the way from Gaychester just to entertain you.

‘A self-obsessed glittery queen with a larger than life personality who arrives onstage in a bamboozling mix of innuendo’ – Manchester Evening News
‘Very funny’ – Michael Palin
‘Marvellously wicked’ – Sarah Millican
Twitter: @jonathanmayor

Lynette Frances

lynettefranceswebLynette Frances is a hit wherever she plays, from L Fest to an intimate bar, combining an amazing voice with a love of entertaining. She will play a range of rock and country covers to get us in the Friday night vibe. Later in the evening, Lynette will be teaching us all a line-dance so get your dancing shoes on!

Lynette lives on the south coast of England and has been performing since the age of 12. She runs the Way Out Country Facebook group for LGBT lovers of country music and line-dancing.
Twitter: @LynetteFrances

Ashleigh Owen

ashleighturnAshleigh Owen will be performing an extract from her one-woman show, ‘The Rise and Fall Of The Hamburger Queen’, which can be seen in full at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool, as part of Homotopia.

Ashleigh’s mum wouldn’t let her dance, because dancing killed her dad. ‘He went down into the splits and never got up again.’ She danced in secret until the day came to break the news to her mother: she was leaving for London to become a famous dancer. Bright lights, big city, wide-eyed Scouser… what could possibly go wrong?
Twitter: @AshleighPOwen

Sparkles Hoop Troupe

sparkles2Hula-hoop dancing from Cardiff’s amazing Sparkles Hoop Troupe. This community troupe is fully inclusive and hooping crazy.

‘The funniest, finest and most dynamic act in Cardiff!’ – We Are Cardiff Press
Twitter: @sparkleshoop

Ernie Sparkles

sparkles7Fun ‘boylesque’ (male burlesque) from Ernie Sparkles. Cheeky in every way!

Bois y Fro

boisAberystwyth’s own vocal quartet, Bois y Fro, have been singing together off-and-on for 10 years and more. With a repertoire ranging from folk to classical to modern (and a lot of things in between) in both Welsh and English, there’s sure to be something for everyone when these guys take the stage.

Twitter: @boisyfro


Hosted by Aberration favourite Helen Sandler, with raffle and bar. The evening has an LGBTQI+ theme (lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, intersex, and all-round inclusive). All open-minded people are welcome at this fun and friendly night. “You don’t have to be queer to be here.” Dress to impress!

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Book your tickets now through Aberystwyth Arts Centre>>

Aberration is brought to you by SpringOut and Enfys Aber, in partnership with Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Without the financial and practical support of the Arts Centre, this year's Cabarration could not take place (or not unless we charged three times as much for the tickets) so please come along, show your support for the biggest queer-themed night in Mid Wales and have a fabulous night. Diolch yn fawr!

















Desert Hearts. Rainbow Film Festival 2016

Sunday 16th October 1.30pm

The Old Market Hall Cinema, The Square, Shrewsbury
(Donna Deitch, 1985. USA. 1hr 36 mins)
Certificate 18

Desert Hearts

Desert Hearts 1 Desert HeartsIn 2016 the appeal of Desert Hearts may be less in the story and more in the landmark staging of the first lesbian love story on-screen that didn’t end up in suicide or ménage à trios! A true love story, considered very risqué at the time, Desert Hearts was the first to portray lesbian relationships as multi-dimensional and real, rather than a caricature or somebody’s wet dream. Having said that, Donna Deitch’s film is a passionate, beautifully controlled drama about making choices and exercising the heart.

Desert Hearts4If you want a taster of the story … imagine Reno. It is 1959 and a 30-something teacher from New York turns up in search of divorce. She has an up-tight bun and a bunch of nerves when she encounters a younger woman – sexy, capable and living on a ranch with a Patsy Cline soundtrack! This is brilliant, beautiful and not-to-be-missed!

Desert Hearts 5We asked a few women to comment:

Desert hearts! There’s a blast from the past. One line that has always stuck in my head….she just reached in and hung a string of lights round my heart….. Classic

I think the woman on the door thought I was too young to be watching such a salacious film!

I was asked my age when I went to see this at the MAC in Cannon Hill Park, back in 1985. I was 24 at the time!

For a full line-up of the 2016 Shropshire Rainbow Festival click here:


Summertime: Rainbow Film Festival 2016

Saturday 15th October 8pm

The Old Market Hall, The Square, Shrewsbury

Summertime (La Belle Saison)
(Catherine Corsini, 2015. France / Belgium (subtitles). 1hr 46 mins)

SUMMERTIME_still-01In 1971, Carole, Parisian teacher and feminist campaigner and Delphine, rural farm worker and practical problem-solver – meet and fall in love. They luxuriate in each other’s company in a symbiotic relationship, which combines a sexual awakening for Carole and a political awakening for Delphine.


When Carole follows Delphine back to her family farm, experiencing rural life at its most sun-dappled and sweaty, the two find lesbianism and feminism are not as easy in the countryside.

SUMMERTIME_still-02From vibrant scenes of civil unrest on the streets of Paris, to the lushly photographed rural landscape that make up the latter section of the film, Director Catherine Corsini has crafted a beautiful and sensual film about two women in love, and the reminder that “We can’t turn back. We can only move forward”.

For the full festival line-up check out:

Women Like Us & Women Like That: Rainbow Film Festival 2016

Saturday 15th October 1.30pm Double Bill

Women Like Us (1989) & Women Like That (1991) – followed by a discussion with the Director Rosalind Pearson. UK. 55 mins & 30 mins

Women_Like_Us(1) First screened in 1989 as part of Channel 4’s groundbreaking TV series ‘Out on Tuesday’, these two documentaries explore and revisit the lives of older lesbians in the UK from different cultures, classes and backgrounds from the 1920s to that present day (1989). Their stories incorporate ideas about lesbianism, the changing image of lesbians, love and romance, the pressures that led some of them to marry and the later discovery of their lesbian identity with the subsequent coming out stories to their children.

Putting this in context, only 6 years earlier Channel 4 had launched ‘One in Five’, a weekly programme for the gay and lesbian communities which led to calls for Channel 4 to be scrapped! Women_Like_That

We have been trying to get hold of these 2 films: Women Like Us & Women Like That  for years so we are delighted to be able to screen them and welcome Director Rosalind Pearson to join us for a discussion, Chaired by Jane Traies. We hope other special guests will join us to update you 25 years on!

For the full rundown visit at The Old Market Hall Cinema, The Square, Shrewsbury

New acts at Aberration

{archived posts follow from previous events}

New acts

More fab performers at Aberration: Out for Summer

Aberration recently put out a call for new performers and we had a terrific response. We are delighted to have two new acts at Aberration Out for Summer on 27 May.


Leonie Campbell is a poetry slam winner and a student on the creative writing MA at Aber. She has won two ECWS poetry slams and been published in The Wait anthology and in Wales Within.

Jess Jones is a singer-songwriter based in Wales who plays melodic, emotional original ballads, and covers a wide range of pop and rock music. Come along and see Jess and Leonie perform at Aberration Out for Summer!

More info

Book through Aberystwyth Arts Centre



Aberration: Out for Summer




A hot night of Aberration music, theatre and spoken word with Tom Marshman, Kedma, Mike Parker, Helen Sandler and new acts! Champagne auction for Ugandan safe house for LGBT people. Event in English. Tickets on sale now at £7.50 from Aberystwyth Arts Centre.



{scroll down for English}

Bydd Tom Marshman yn cyflwyno detholiad o ei sioe newydd, Kings Cross Remix, fel gwaith ar y gweill. Gwau at ei gilydd o straeon y bobl a brofodd yn llaw gyntaf, mae sioe ‘un dyn’ Tom yn dathlu lleisiau aflafar o Lundain y 1980au.

Mae Tom yn artist perfformiad sy’n trawsnewid cyfrifon bob dydd i mewn i theatr. Mae gwaith blaenorol yn cynnwys ‘Move Over Darling’.

“Un o’r pethau mwyaf cyffrous am waith Marshman yw ei allu i ddewis pwnc sy’n ymddangos yn fach ac edrychwch drwy’r haenau i ddatgelu rhywbeth annisgwyl a dwys” – Big Issue

GWEITHDY Bydd Tom hefyd yn cynnal gweithdy cyn Aberration, am addasu cyfweliadau am sgript. Yn addas ar gyfer pawb, os ydych yn gwybod am theatr neu beidio. Chi jyst angen i fod hyd am gymryd rhan! Manylion.

KedmaMae Kedma yn leisydd proffesiynol o Aberystwyth sydd wedi graddio yn ddiweddar gyda Gradd Dosbarth Cyntaf Anrhydedd o Sefydliad Cerddoriaeth Fodern Prydain ac Iwerddon (BIMM) sy’n cael ei ystyried yn eang fel ysgol flaenllaw Ewrop ar gyfer cerddoriaeth gyfoes.

Mae hi bellach yn gweithio fel cerddor sesiwn gigio yn helaeth fel prif leisydd a chefnogaeth ar gyfer lleoliadau o fri, teledu, radio, llong fordaith ayyb. Yn fwyaf diweddar bu’n perfformio fel egwyddor ganwr yn ‘The Ballroom Bloomsbury’ ar gyfer lansiad y sioe arobryn “London Never Dies”ar gyfer y Clwb Cabaret Llundain. Yn lleol, efallai y byddwch yn adnabod hi o berfformiadau gyda “Elinor Powell’s Sgarmes”.

Mae ei llais yn gyfoethog ac yn llawn enaid ac mae ei pherfformiadau yn gwbl hudolus.


Mike Parker yn sôn am ei lyfr newydd, The Greasy Poll (Y Lolfa, Mai) –  y dyddiadur am ei ymgyrch rhwystro i gael ei ethol yn Aelod Seneddol dros Geredigion.

Fel Sais hoyw, nid oedd llenor Mike Parker y dewis amlwg fel ymgeisydd Plaid Cymru yn eu sedd targed o Geredigion yn yr etholiad cyffredinol 2015. Diolch i’r afluniadau gwarthus y wasg, daeth yr ymgyrch yn frwnt  fel un o’r gwaethaf yn hanes yr ardal; gan alw ar hiliaeth, homoffobia, creu Stormydd ar Twitter a chyfraniad gan yr heddlu. The Greasy Poll ydi dyddiadur “ddoniol, cyffrous a brawychus” (Patrick McGuiness) Mike o’r ymgyrch a’i gwersi ehangach ar sut mae ein system wleidyddol yn ein methu. Byddwch un o’r rhai cyntaf i glywed Mike yn darllen o gofiant doniol a ddeifiol.


Nid yw Helen Sandler yn un o’r tîm Aberration yn unig, mae hi hefyd yn awdur. Bydd Helen yn darllen i ni oddi wrth ei nofel nwydus newydd, ‘The Wishmistress’, am ddwy fenyw yn ceisio peidio â chael affêr.

HEFYD Ocsiwn Bwced Siampaen ar gyfer y tŷ diogel a gefnogwn yn Uganda ar gyfer pobl LHDT. Mae Bar Rummers wedi rhoddwyd yn garedig i ni magnwm o Siampaen. Byddwn yn arwerthu i ffwrdd mewn ffordd arbennig – cael gwybod mwy ar y noson a dod â rhywfaint o arian parod!

Ar ôl y digwyddiad aros i sipian coctels gyda’r artistiaid yn y bar Canolfan y Celfyddydau ac ar y teras.




Tom Marshman will present an extract from his new show, Kings Cross Remix, as a work in progress. Woven together from the stories of the people who experienced it first hand, Tom’s one-man show celebrates the raucous voices of 1980s London.

TomMarshmanWebXTom is a performance artist who transforms everyday accounts into theatre. Previous work includes the acclaimed Move Over Darling.

“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” – Big Issue

WORKSHOP Tom will also run a workshop before Aberration, about turning interviews into a script. Suitable for everyone, whether you know about theatre or not. You just need to be up for taking part! Details.

Mike Parker will read from and talk about his new book, The Greasy Poll (Y Lolfa, May) – the diary of his thwarted campaign to be elected as MP for Ceredigion last year.

As a gay Englishman and a writer, Mike was not the obvious choice for Plaid Cymru candidate. Thanks to the outrageous distortions of the press, the campaign became the filthiest in the area’s history, invoking racism, homophobia, Twitterstorms and police involvement.

GreasyPollWebThe Greasy Poll is Mike’s “funny, thrilling and terrifying” (Patrick McGuiness) diary of the campaign, and its wider lessons on how our political system is failing us. Be one of the first to hear Mike read from this hard-hitting and humorous memoir.

Kedma is a professional vocalist from Aberystwyth who has recently graduated with a First Class Honours Degree from The British & Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) which is widely regarded as Europe’s leading school for contemporary music.

She now works as a session musician gigging extensively as a lead and backing vocalist for prestigious venues, TV, radio, cruise ship etc. Most recently she performed as a principal vocalist at The Bloomsbury Ballroom for the launch of the award-winning show London Never Dies for The London Cabaret Club. Locally, you may recognise her from performances with Elinor Powell’s Sgarmes.

Her voice is rich and soulful and her performances are completely captivating.

Helen Sandler is not just one of the Aberration team, she’s also a writer. Helen will be reading to us from her sultry new novel, The Wishmistress, about two women trying not to have an affair.

PLUS Champagne Bucket Auction for the safe house we support in Uganda for LGBT people. Rummers Bar have kindly donated a magnum of champagne. We will be auctioning it off in a special way – find out more on the night and bring some cash!

After the event please stay to sip cocktails with the artists in the Arts Centre bar and on the terrace.


Aberration, 1st feb Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Photo by Daryl Ras Gdalya Jemmott