distilling hisory

A play on the genesis of gin by women by April de Angelis

Image: PBM.com

Gin Craze is a play set in the 18th century about the working-class women who created gin.

Via The Guardian

Through the play Gin Craze, April de Angelis tries to imagine the women who participated in the creation of this struggling alcohol in the city of London.

The main characters are Lydia, a pimp, and Mary, family servant. From the moment they meet, their journey into the world of gin begins. The play draws the vicissitudes of gin fashion from the perspective of the streets of London. Also in the play is novelist Henry Fielding, a magistrate who devoted all his energies to eradicating the practice of poor people drinking gin.

April de Angelis tells The Guardian: “The play became a musical when I started writing it. It seemed to me that these people would be singing. If you look at any image of *Hogarth you will find various sources of sound. The streets were full of noise. Lucy Rivers collaborated with me to write the lyrics and became the composer for Gin Craze. It has been a total joy to listen to the music she has written.”


Women vs. men

On the other hand, the play in addition to telling the genesis of this drink, focuses on how women who drink to excess are demonized. The play does it in a way that we see how men can get hooked on it. I mean, we have always seen in society how women who get drunk are singled out. While somehow it’s valorized in men. Now it’s likely that women who drink do so for obscure reasons. Whether it is the pain of being a woman, poverty, the economic market for alcohol, or the desire for pleasure.

The play tries to give a woman-centered look at this dark history.” adds April.

To read more about the play and discover the lyrics visit Gin Craze: the moral panic about ‘mother’s ruin’ still demonizes women.

Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.

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