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Music, laughter and a splash of gin

PUBLISHED: 14:30 20 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:43 20 May 2019

Mother's Ruin will be at the Adnams Spiegeltent on May 22-23.

Mother's Ruin will be at the Adnams Spiegeltent on May 22-23.

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After popular runs at several festivals, including the Edinburgh Fringe, Mother's Ruin comes to the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2019.

Copper House is Adnam's flagship gin brand. Picture: Nick ButcherCopper House is Adnam's flagship gin brand. Picture: Nick Butcher

It's very appropriate that Mother's Ruin, a raucous and hilarious cabaret coming to the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2019, was formulated over a couple of gin and tonics.

Australian natives, Maeve Marsden and Libby Wood, both lovers of the popular tipple, had been performing together as part of a larger all-female cabaret when the idea for Mother's Ruin began to flourish.

"Our friend Elly Baxter, who is a gin blogger going by the name The Ginstress, was telling us all these stories about the history of gin and, after a few G&Ts we realised there was a show there," says Maeve.

The show, which the duo has been performing since June 2016, is equal parts historical and hysterical. Exploring the history of gin, from 18th century London to the jungles of Peru, with a little bit of music thrown into the mix, it's a madcap hour of entertainment.

Adnam's Suffolk based distillery produces their award-winning gins. Picture: AdnamsAdnam's Suffolk based distillery produces their award-winning gins. Picture: Adnams

It's not all brightly coloured mixers and drunken laughter however, there's a sober side to the show.

"You can't do a show about alcohol without the dark bits. For centuries gin has been stereotyped as a female drink, so there are these more serious elements in the show as well," says Maeve.

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Maeve and Libby have never performed in East Anglia before, so the show will provide them with the perfect opportunity to sample tipples from one of the region's most beloved producers, Adnams, which conveniently sponsors the Spiegeltent in which Mother's Ruin is being performed.

The explosion of gin popularity over the last half a decade in particular has seen countless gin distilleries popping up: "Producing gin is relatively easy, and the steps required to become a distiller have lessened in recent years, which has massively helped the market," says John McCarthy, head distiller at Adnams.

Adnams offers a wide variety of gins, from the international award-winning flagship Copper House gin, to more seasonal flavours that change every few months.

"Our current seasonal gin is an orange and sea buckthorn, which is an intensely fruity gin," says John.

Adnams has a unusual gin producing process: "Unlike most distillers we make our own vodka base which is distilled with various flavours and botanicals to make gin.

"Many of the big players in the gin market buy their base, whereas we make it all in house. This allows us to perfect every step of production," explains John.

Luckily for Maeve and Libby they're performing at the Adnams Spiegeltent so will undoubtedly have a chance to sample Adnams' range to quell any pre-show nerves.

The big question is, of course, what gin does the expert recommend: "I'm very patriotic about my gin so, I'd have to say my favourite gin would be Four Pillars from back home in Australia. They're doing some very interesting things with flavours," says Maeve.

Mother's Ruin will be at the Adnams Spiegeltent on May 22 and May 23, get tickets here: nnfestival.org.uk

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