It Was 40 Years Ago Today

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Winner of the David Bradby TaPRA Award for Research in International Theatre and Performance 2011.

postcard project


If you have any information on performance in Wales that could be of use to the project, please get in touch!

Whether you are an artist who has made performance work in Wales, or an audience member who once witnessed a performance (voluntarily or involuntarily!), we would be pleased to hear from you.
Any material will be of interest - from actual pieces of documentation to vague memories of events caught out of the corner of one's eye.


Project Director:
Heike Roms
Research Assistant (2009-2011):
Rebecca Edwards
Dept Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Aberystwyth University

Professor Heike Roms
Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies
Aberystwyth University
Parry-Williams Building, Penglais Campus
Aberystwyth SY23 3AJ, UK
phone: (+44) 1970 - 621911 (direct)
departmental secretariat: (+44) 1970 - 622828
fax: (+44) 1970 - 622831

Steering Committee:
David Alston, Arts Council of Wales
Ifor Davies, Cardiff
Sioned Davies, Cardiff University
Arwel Jones, The National Library of Wales
Adrian Kear, Aberystwyth University
Mike Pearson, Aberystwyth University
André Stitt, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

Funded by:

AHRC logo with link to website

Each year the AHRC provides funding from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. Only applications of the highest quality and excellence are funded and the range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. For further information on the AHRC, please see our website

Aberystwyth University Logo and link to website

Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved
All content within this web site is protected by copyright pursuant to international conventions, and other copyright laws as a collective work and/or compilation. No part of this web site including text, coding, layout and graphics may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form without the prior written permission of 'What's Welsh for performance?'.

Images on this site are reproduced for the purposes of research and study only. Whilst every effort has been made to trace the Copyright holders, we would be grateful for any information concerning Copyright of the images and we will withdraw them immediately on Copyright holder's request.

What's Welsh for Performance? Beth yw 'performance' yn Gymraeg?

"It was forty years ago today...":
Locating the early history of performance art in Wales

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Introduction to the database

The Arts and Humanities Research Council AHRC-funded “It was forty years ago today”: Locating the Early History of Performance Art in Wales 1965-1979” Database is an online searchable resource containing as complete a record as is possible of performance art events in Wales from 1965 to 1979. It went online in March 2011. The database’s remit covers performance art along with experimental theatre and dance, installation art, sonic art and performance poetry where these works display strong affinities with the aesthetics of performance art. The database records all performance work that has taken place within the geographic borders of Wales during the period of its remit, including performances made in Wales by artists from outside of Wales.

Containing details of more than 600 events, the database combines: a record of factual details (names of artists, titles of works, dates and venues), sample documentation and a comprehensive index of available documentary materials (photographic records, audio-visual documentation, publications, ephemera, oral history). The index also provides a full list of the locations for all documentary materials, including institutional archives and private archive collections.
The off-line version of the database also contains comprehensive discursive material in relation to each event, including extracts from artists’ accounts and reviews. Due to copyright restrictions, this material is currently not available online, but extracts can be requested by contacting the research project.

The database is designed to permit online searches across all materials, including the index of documentary materials.


Collecting data for the “It was forty years ago today”: Locating the Early History of Performance Art in Wales 1965-1979” Database has followed two principal approaches:


  • a) to make the record as complete as possible the Database has undertaken extensive ‘field’ research, including interviews with practitioners about their past work and archival research into all available extant material and publications.

  • b) to make the database as correct as possible the Database has cross-referenced all new entries and noted additional information as appropriate; misspellings have been corrected. The main sources for the content are listed under ‘traces’ to allow for verification


Enter database - click here!