Time is passing. That, we can rely on. Time flies, drags, suspends. Time heals, wears us down. We waste time, chase time, cherish time. It leaves its mark.

Cuckoo is a new visually striking and playful dance film from Candoco Dance Company, inspired by a bespoke prosthetic leg created by Sophie de Oliveira Barata of The Alternative Limb Project, for dancer Welly O’Brien. This unique limb is carved from cherry wood and features a working cuckoo clock and pendulum.

This short choreography for camera is a reflection on our changing experience of time passing, set to a poetic musical score by Jules Maxwell.

Cuckoo is co-produced by Sadler’s Wells and Candoco Dance Company and made in collaboration with The Alternative Limb Project.


Watch Cuckoo (do not share link to film)

Production details

Directed by

Charlotte Darbyshire and Sophie de Oliveira Barata


Welly O'Brien

Filmmaker and editor

Sarah Vaughan-Jones


Jules Maxwell

Production Manager

Phil Webb


Ellie Douglas-Allen

Audio Description

Caroline Burn

Stills Photographer

Becky Dann

With thanks to

Tate Modern

Co-produced by

Sadler's Wells and Candoco Dance Company

Wood Carver

Sam Rudman


Chris Parsons


Rory Thompson

Metal Worker

Sadie Clayton

With thanks to

John Downie and Bill Bruce