Hard To Be Soft: A Belfast Prayer
Oona Doherty and Prime Cut Productions
Oona Doherty is a dance artist based in Northern Ireland. Though relatively new on the choreography scene, she’s developed a mature choreographic voice. Her work features sparse, powerful movement with a socially conscious edge. As a dancer, she worked with Dutch company T.R.A.S.H., whose punk, art and physical theatre influences made a great impact on her. Doherty has been on associate artist schemes at The MAC Belfast and Lyon’s Maison de la Danse, and she is a Reveal Artist with Prime Cut Productions. Her solo work Hope Hunt won a Total Theatre award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017.
Hard To Be Soft: A Belfast Prayer looks behind the masks of violence and machismo to the inner lives of Belfast hard men and strong women. Featuring professionals and non-professionals, it presents solos from Doherty herself, a warrior-like hip hop dance group, and a choreographed wrestling match for a male duet. Using rich, sometimes unsettling imagery from Belfast street life and religious ritual, and set inside a massive, gleaming cage, it contrasts shocking power with meditative stillness. It has been performed in Belfast, Dublin, Paris, Berlin and Lyon.
Hard To Be Soft is in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh International Festival.
In the press
"A prayer of hope, of petition, or a prayer unanswered, this is a thought provoking and often mesmerising production." The Arts Review
"Choreography seeking the expanse of a city, the difficulties of contemporary life are acknowledged but the city, never condemned, is affectionately loved." Exeunt
DesignerSet and LX Designer: Ciaran Bagnall, Sound and Composition: David Holmes
Number of people on stage13
Number of people in touring company6
9m x 8m white aluminium & steel “cage”. The cage is 6m tall, with 3m drifts. Generally require 10m height clearance.
Touring AvailabilityFrom September 2019
Scale of venueMiddle-scale (capacity 400-850)
Minimum performance space9m x 8m
Text-basedLight (very little or no text)
VenueThe Lyceum, Grindlay St, Edinburgh, EH3 9AX
Production dates21–24 AUGUST
Contact for touring
Una NicEoin, Prime Cut Productions, firstname.lastname@example.org
Available on request and will always be tailored to the particular venue/location of the presentation.
Oona Doherty and Prime Cut are also touring Lady Magma in 2019-20.