Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017: Mother’s Ruin

It was a large boisterous crowd that gathered to see Mothers Ruin: A Cabaret about gin.  And it wasn’t just the complimentary glass of Australian gin that was creating a full house this evening, the audience were aware of the reputation of this performance, its originality, and, well,  its Saturday night why not revel in revelries about gin?

The performers are the Australian duo Maeve Marsden and Libby Wood.  Voices of angels spring from the devilishly spikey performers who combine the songs with some witty batter and deliver an interesting message about the early days of making gin and how it gained popularity over the ages.

But this isn’t some bawdy musical screaming at us to drink more gin (though there are a couple of songs opining us to do just that!) There is a sensitive side to the story as the ladies inform via spoken word and poignant verse about some of the tragedies of the early gin pioneers from the 1700’s.  Many females were involved in the illegal activity of distilling gin and their crimes when arrested were often harsher than their male counterparts thus many had truly tragic tales to tell.  Maeve and Libby told their stories with gentle compassion which really struck a chord.

As with any great show in any entertainment genre the ability to swing the atmosphere from the maudlin towards the hilarious is the key to a successful performance and the sight of these buxom  ladies bouncing simultaneously on the knees of a hitherto unsuspecting member of the audience whilst singing a version of the oom-pah-pa song is an image that had me bursting into laughter and will stay with me for a long time.

One should not forget the excellent musical accompaniment for these ladies.Tom Dickins provided piano and guitar back up and joined in the interplay with some banter of his own.  Comically he also provided a human beat box as the ladies rapped (and brilliantly added their own dance moves) to one of the songs performed this evening.

The standing ovation was well earned at the end, catch the show soon as tickets are deservedly selling fast.


Steve Heald – Writing is my passion, if you want me to write about your event contact me on steve_j_heald@hotmail.com

  • Mothers Ruin: A cabaret about gin, runs throughout August at the Edinburgh Fringe.



Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Image Credit: Edinburgh Fringe Festival