London Performance Now: Maya Ostrowska on A Small Gathering

A Small Gathering | Home (Manchester)

Image: Manchester Home, A Small Gathering

A Small Gathering, created by Charli Dubery, Deborah Pugh, George Mann, Nir Paldi & Sam Halmarack, is described as ‘A triptych of shorts served 2m apart’.

The character we meet in the first short is Mr Pink, whose performance is nothing short of utterly bizarre. Illumined by dramatic lighting, he makes peculiarly comical facial expressions and gestures. After a sequence of shaving and applying lipstick, he attempts to go outside but due to COVID, he cannot. His nemesis (one more threatening than a global pandemic,apparently) is a small cupboard, which threatens him throughout an obscene dance he performs on his sofa. It reflects the madness that comes as a side effect of quarantine. It’s worth watching just for its humorous aspect alone.

The second short, titled Rewilding was undoubtedly inspired by the nation’s, and in-fact the world’s, phase of hoarding toilet paper and panic buying. A woman trying to muster up the courage to leave her canal boat to go food shopping. Humour is also at the forefront of this short, at one point she tapes up her window excessively, adding various ´keep away´ notes,finally settling on ‘just fuck off’. She also battles a toilet paper monster so there’s that.
Cynthia’s party is the last of the three shorts and definitely wins the prize for being the creepiest of the three. If you don’t like porcelain dolls with missing eyeballs you might want to skip this one. It depicts a quarantine tea party where only one of the guests is human. That doesn’t last for long, as we see a horrifying, though well edited sequence of a woman slowly turning into a doll. What a fun tea party.

These shorts are highly entertaining and a vividly portrayal of descending into madness – a state I think we can all relate to in some capacity, due to the times we are currently living in.

This post is part of London Performance Now Series. Read more about the series here

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All Things SED Editor

I am the Web and Marketing Administrator in the School of English and Drama. Amongst my various roles, I run the School's website ( and its Twitter feed (@QMULsed). I also manage the running of the School's Open Days and draft promotional materials.

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