The latest addition to our Encounters Unknown series of digital work for lockdown is a short film by our youngest division, The Mighty New. When the group made their first piece of work of the pandemic last March, there was an element of novelty about the conditions – they were able to play with ‘social distancing’ almost as if it were a rule made up for a game or an improvisational challenge. After months of disruption to their lives, families and friendships, and facing a winter of uncertainty, their work has taken on a steelier edge. It still takes pleasure in the absurdities of our new modes of interaction and separation, but above all it evinces a determined optimism and a sense of much-needed agency at a time when many people feel powerless.

Here come The Mighty New, sweeping up the wreckage of 2020, to leave the stage fresh for our dreams tomorrow…


Looking Sideways: From the Future was made in response to the collective feelings of The Mighty New during this strange year - the year of the pandemic. I see their bodies moving in the space, and I see their movement as an anthem for our determined youth. Our Mighty New members have been searching for, finding, and feeling defiance. Defiance towards who they are, who they may become and how their dreams may still manifest themselves. In my view, despite this new regime of rules that they have all had to abide by, they have still felt, thought about, and understood what liberty means to them.” Catherine Bennett

  • Film and Movement Direction by Catherine Bennett and the children of The Mighty New
  • Costumes and masks by Menna Buss
  • Video and Editing by Victoria Boobyer
  • With thanks to the parents and children of The Mighty New, Glynn Vivian Gallery, and Catrin Webster.
  • Words are from 'The Sweeper of Dreams' from Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman.

In other news, we were unable before Christmas to welcome a live audience into our special adaptation of Catherine Fisher’s winter story The Clockwork Crow – a family adventure designed for people to explore in their extended households or bubbles. During the current lockdown we are preserving the magical world we made, in anticipation of better times and fewer restrictions – as the winter draws to a close we hope there will be time to invite you to join Seren on the station platform and be drawn into her adventures at Plas y Fran. You can sign up here to be the first to hear when the train is about to depart!