Spotlight on.. Clare Beloved

Clare Beloved is an artist, poet and community leader from Liverpool. After her wife died she travelled to San Francisco, Provincetown and a little magical Island in Greece where she hung out with some fishermen and tried to heal her broken heart … she has woven both her and her wifes words together into delicious stories with her play ‘A very Lesbian Love Story’. It is a big gorgeous, touching, funny, irreverent and moving look at falling in love, loss and grief and what happens afterwards on the journey to survive after the love of your life has died.

Clare will be joining us with a performance and workshop for Margate Pride Festival 2024 and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her. We caught up with her ahead her visit..

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background in theatre and with workshops?  

I have always created. Since I was a little girl. As a way of processing stuff that was happening in my life and because I love seeing what’s in my imagination become real. I am an artist, poet and therapist and I have worked in communities across the UK developing collaborative large scale arts projects for 30 years. 

I also teach a year long programme called fairytale medicine and love stories of any kind but especially love hearing people’s incredible stories from their own lives. We all have a bundle of stories that can connect and inspire others. Sometimes we just don’t realise the power and magic in our own lives. 

Can you talk about the concept of  ‘A very Lesbian Love Story’?

A Very Lesbian Love Story is an irreverent, touching, funny and heartwarming night where I share some magical stories which weave together ideas of big love – grief – community – exes  – finding home and how to make sense of life after loss… 

My wife Sandra, who I worked closely with, was a poet and artist who died in 2021. 

We had both written about our gorgeous love story and our journey together.

When she was dying in the hospice, she asked me to hire a big theatre and share our story to raise money for the nurses who were looking after her. After she died I collated her beautiful words and mine and also wrote about my journey to survive and find a new life. We ended up raising thousands to build a new staff room at Marie Curie Hospice in Liverpool and the play took place in a sold out theatre in Liverpool on Valentines Day 2022. 

Although I’d performed poetry before on stage and am used to facilitating big groups and creating stuff on a large scale, I’d never produced or hired a theatre to put on a play before. Two amazing actresses; Leanne Best and Yolanda Kettle, played me and Sandra and the soundtrack was by Alexia Chellun. This time it will just be me on stage because the actresses are busy in shows in London. 

The original play / stories have been adapted and expanded because my story was just beginning and I am now close to finishing the book about my life with Sandra and the three years beyond her death. This is what I will be performing for you in Margate. It tells the story of me travelling to bring myself some solace and finding myself in Margate, Provincetown USA and a tiny magical Island in Greece where it was just me and some fabulous fishermen one winter. It explores questions like  : What will happen to my stuff when I die? What will all my butch mates do with all my fabulous dresses? What is Widows Fire and what the hell do you do about it? 

There is sadness because it’s a typical lesbian love story where one of the characters tragically dies, but it’s woven with our Liverpool humour and lots of juicy, funny moments too. 

I love creating warm, welcoming magical community spaces and offering a chance to connect through story and I hope we can make the evening a gorgeous night to remember.  Everyone is welcome! It might be a lesbian love story, but there’s something for everyone to relate to.

You speak so bravely and honestly about your story. How did you find yourself able to work with your grief creatively?

I come from a family who function by not showing emotion or expressing how they feel and don’t like anything said in public. I am like their worst nightmare and seem to have got all the big emotional creative expression genes.  I don’t know how not to be honest and I’m very public about my life because I love to write and to share. I found grief very lonely and isolating and it was hard to find others who had been through similar situations who had shared their own stories. I didn’t want to read grief self-help books – I find lots of them are patronising and make too many generalisations and give advice which I didn’t find helpful. Writing, painting, creating, developing the play and the book were ways of connecting with people without being overwhelmed. It was a place I could keep Sandras spirit and stories alive in a beautiful way.

Alongside the play, you’re also facilitating a workshop ‘A Thousand Little Stories’, could you tell us about that?

It’s a warm, welcoming space where people can gather, connect, meet new people and have a chance – if they want to – to share a story or two about someone who has died and remember them. I will read some stories and share. There will be some lovely creative opportunities to make something symbolic to either leave or take home with you. I usually bring emergency chocolate supplies. I always bring my big Boa of Gorgeousness that has accompanied me on all my workshops for years – it’s not a snake but a huge fabric wrap in rainbow colours that’s great for a comforting snuggle to have in or a selfie or two!

For anyone coming along to the workshop, what can they expect? Is there anything they need to know or prepare for?

You are very welcome whether you want to fully join in or just be in the space and listen and chill. There will be no pressure and lots of space to just do what feels right in the moment.  If you have an object that reminds you of the person who has died or has a story attached to it – you are welcome to bring that with you to show us. My workshops are described as gorgeous, healing spaces, irreverent, belly laughter filled and a space where tears and stories are very welcome.

– You’re also an Artist. Can you talk about your work and where we can see it?

Some of my art work will be at ARK during the Pride Arts Trail. I’d love as many people as possible to come and visit. 

I paint big juicy goddesses and mermaids and my work is colourful, bright and woven with symbolism and story.

You can see more online on my website. You can also find my poetry, delicious fabrics that I make, creative retreats I run in Greece and Cornwall and more about Sandras legacy there.



– Where does your work take you next? 

I am hoping to take the play on tour and develop it further. My book comes out later this year and I hope to create a divine little book tour in delicious places! Meanwhile I’m wobbling through life as best I can, like so many of us. Community is everything to me, so I like to think of us wobbling together – connected by a thread of stories and experiences.


I’ve only been once before after my wife died and I loved it. My close friend Olivia moved here from London a few years ago and so now I don’t need any excuses to visit. 

I love cold water swimming in the sea and I adored the tidal pool so I want a big sunrise swim in there. I discovered Haekals and I’m hooked on their yummy products so I want to go there again. I didn’t have much time so I only quickly visited some galleries and bookshops and I really want to do more of that. I can’t wait to explore the Pride Arts Trail and discover new artists work. I think I could easily fall in love with Margate and not want to go home.

To find out more about Clare Beloved, you can visit her website and find them on instagram @clarejasminebeloved


Join Clare for ‘A very Lesbian Love Story’.

Tuesday 6th August. 





And for the ‘A Thousand Tiny Stories’ grief workshop.

Wednesday 7th August.