Hard to be Soft: A Belfast Prayer - Edinburgh International Festival

Prime Cut Productions / Oona Doherty

Aggression. Sensuality. Vulnerability. Hard to Be Soft is a dance prayer about — and for — the people of Belfast. Created by Belfast-based choreographer and dancer Oona Doherty, with driving music by DJ David Holmes (Killing Eve, Ocean’s Eleven, Hunger), Hard to Be Soft looks behind the masks of violence and machismo to the inner lives of Belfast hard men and strong women.

Cast in four episodes, Hard to Be Soft features 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.

Oona Doherty is a multi-award-winning choreographer who creates intense, compelling works that appeal for societal change. Hard to Be Soft is a physical prayer celebrating all that we have and an invocation for what we are missing.

Part of You Are Here

Book through the International Festival here

Cast and Credits

Oona Doherty Choreographer & Director
David Holmes Music
Ciaran Bagnall Set & Lighting Designer
Jack Phelan Projections
Luca Truffarelli Video & Photography

Episodes I & IV Oona Doherty
Episode II The Sugar Army
Episode III John Scott & Sam Finnegan

Supported by
Culture Ireland
Sponsored by
Edinburgh Gin

Dates, Times & Prices

21, 24 Aug 8pm
22, 23 Aug 4pm

£20 — £25 (fees apply)

Running Time
50mins approx. (no interval)

Book tickets through the International Festival here


£20 — £25 (fees apply)

Book tickets through the International Festival here