Storming back into town with their (nothing short of) triumphant piece of cabaret, Mothers Ruin are Maeve Marsden and Libby Wood. It traces the history of one of histories more notorious liquors back to it roots, through times of prohibition and protest. Make no mistake, this show packs it in, featuring an incredible eye for detail and songs that are here rebirthed in a salubrious and untoward fashion. TAGG once again spoke with the trio (well one half of) ahead of their second coming, this time at Map57 in the custom built space The Box down on the St Kilda Foreshore.
Maeve, Since it’s inception at Slide Bar, and through it’s further development and presentations, how has this work grown?
Oh gosh, it’s grown so much. We’ve added songs, changed the script, added stories, shifted focus on some sections. The beauty of performing cabaret is that it’s adaptable and it grows with us as we tour our work. We’ve also performed the show now in so many contexts – in a spiegeltent or two, distilleries, bars, theatres and so on. We are so comfortable with the material, it’s just a joy to go to work.
Has it started to feel at all stale to you both, given it’s continuing life and be honest now, are you sick of each other yet?
Haha! No, we aren’t sick of each other. It doesn’t feel stale because we let it adapt with us over time. Also, the stories are meaningful to us and we love these characters. We find new things in the words and music all the time. We are also currently rehearsing with a different pianist, Tom Dickins; he brings a different energy and character so the show changes again. Libby and I are also lucky to have a friendship that is focused on creative collaboration; we became friends because we love working with each other, rather than the other way around. And we get breaks from each other when we’re not on tour!
What do you think it is about the show that people just love so god damn much?
People love gin? I mean, obviously gin is popular right now and people love to learn about the things they are interested in. Also, and this is an odd concept to explain, but I think people enjoy the effort of the show. Sometimes, in the search of ‘cool’ performers aim to be blasé and detached. There’s none of that with us. Our passion and work ethic is really evident and I think people appreciate the effort that has gone into the research, the storytelling, the musical arrangements. It’s also silly and fun and we aren’t the worst singers…
What should audiences expect of this new season of work, taking it from the butterfly club to this new venue?
The show has matured, I think. We’ve really relaxed into the story telling and we’re super comfortable with the material. The venue at Map 57 is bigger as well so there’ll be the energy of a bigger crowd.
What have been some of the more bizarre comments you have heard in response to the performance?
Reviewers sometimes comment on our appearance in weird ways, finding odd ways to let potential audiences know that we’re fat. “Buxom,” “physically fulsome” etc. A lot of audience members want to tell us their own gin stories but we love that.
Do you still love gin, are you still throwing them back like there is no tomorrow?
Um, yes. If anything, performing this show makes us love gin more. People want us to try the new gin they just tasted, audience members bring us their home made sloe gin, distilleries invite us to tour their facilities and try their creative blends, bars offer us their best cocktails. This is a dream job for a gin lover!
So folks, it maybe winter, but shake of those blues, and head down South for a night that will be decidedly gin soaked, but so very very fabulous. For more info or to book your tickets click here