ArtSpace, Fri 10 Jun
Cabaret artists Maeve Marsden and Libby Wood are joined onstage by pianist/music director Jeremy Brennan for an hour of gin-soaked hilarity with a double shot of history thrown in for good measure. A genius idea for a start, this show takes an often irreverent look at the history of gin, the liquor historically linked with the ‘ruination’ of society, women, and incidentally the on-stage drink of choice for cabaret performers!
The girls’ research is impeccable (kudos to Elly Baxter, aka “The Ginstress” for her partnership) as they weave a historical narrative that moves between 18th Century London, prohibition-era USA, colonial Peru and the Australian bush. With harmonies to die for, they share music from the likes of Amy Winehouse and Merle Haggard, with Peggy Lee’s Fever an absolute smash in the hands of some clever lyric changes and Libby Wood’s comic delivery – who knew Malaria could be so hilarious?
Other highlights included the delightful Brennan singing up a storm with Billy Joel’s Piano Man as the entire audience swayed and sang along. Marsden and Woods’ voices met in a perfect place in a mesmerising rendition of Hymn To Her (Always Carry On), providing a moment of bliss amongst the mayhem of rousing drinking songs including a loud and boozy Oom Pah Pah that had ‘em rollin’ in the aisles. Finally, the threesome pulled out the big guns for a crashing finale as they appropriated Lucky Starr’s Aussie anthem to deliver a manic, mind bending litany of brand names in I’ve Drunk Every Gin, Man. So infectious is their enthusiasm for the subject, it was impossible not to hanker for a tipple of the ole juniper juice oneself – so imagine the delight when patrons were handed vouchers for complimentary Four Pillars gin and tonics on their way out. Win!
Rosie van Heerde
Mother’s Ruin: A Cabaret About Gin continues at Artspace Gallery, Adelaide Festival Centre, at various times until Sun 12 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Image courtesy of Patrick Boland
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