Words by Lucy Mounfield / Pics by Patrick Boland
Running from Thursday 31st August to Sunday 3rd September, Mother’s Ruin: A Cabaret about Gin will tipsily explore the history of gin through a unique brand of story-telling, song and drinking the good stuff itself (with tonic) at The Old Joint Stock’s intimate theatre. The Old Joint Stock seems the perfect choice for Mother’s Ruin with the theatre above the pub.
Created and performed by Maeve Marsden and Libby Wood, Mother’s Ruin is coming straight from the Edinburgh Festival and London’s Underbelly Festival – pausing their run in Birmingham, before heading back on the festival tour circuit with Cabaret in the Glen on October 19th. Nominated for Best Cabaret (Fringe World Festival ) and Best Writing (Green Room Awards), Mother’s Ruin is a 60min cabaret, loosely blending a historical narrative with the hysterical happenings of two women who love drinking all things gin.
Beginning the story with 18th Century vaudeville London, Mother’s Ruin sings and drinks through the next 200 years of prohibition, New York speakeasies, the Australian bush, the jungles of Peru and a trip to India. Gin has had a rocky history – closely tied to colonization and women’s rights – which makes the renaissance of gin in recent years all the more interesting.
Throughout these stories Marsden and Wood weave in gin recipes, recount the origins to some of the world’s most famous cocktails, and give away tips on how to drink the spirit. With a gin researcher as part of the production team (Elly Baxter aka The Gintress), Mother’s Ruin takes the story of gin drinking quite seriously, mixing feminism and history to re-tell the story of this dubious tipple.
When I think of a cabaret nightclub, I picture a dark cavernous room with jazz music being played by a pianist at the stage; I think of people sitting elegantly, tapping their fingers rhythmically on the small round table they occupy, drinking gin with ice, a twist of orange, and a splash of tonic water. Gin, cabaret and music go hand in hand, so it’s no surprise that Mother’s Ruin combines all three.
And if all this gin musing makes you thirsty, don’t fret as each ticket holder to Mother’s Ruin will be given a free glass of gin and tonic. During the UK tour of the show, the gin of choice has been Four Pillars Gin – an Australian boutique spirit, made with oranges and botanicals native to Australia and served with Fever Tree Tonic.
And if, like me, you couldn’t tell a boutique booze from supermarket schnapps don’t worry because Meave Marsden and Libby Wood do – facts I’m sure they will reveal to us whilst singing and drinking the night away.
‘I’ve Drunk Every Gin’ – from Mother’s Ruin: A Cabaret about Gin
For more on Mother’s Ruin: A Cabaret about Gin, visit www.mothersruincabaret.com
For more from The Old Joint Stock, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.oldjointstock.co.uk