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HOPE HUNT & The Ascension into Lazarus 2015-2021
Hope Hunt is suitable for a range of venues; from prison, youth centres and community venues. Theatre, art and performance festivals outside and in. example of Previous Performance's :
2016 Hyde Bank Youth detention Centre Belfast
2018 Aberdeen Womens HMRC Prison
2019 Latitude Festival, Centre Pompedoui Brussels & Paris.
2020 Theatre festival Basel
2015-2016 Neil F Brown - Glasgow
2016-2019 Oona Doherty - Belfast
2019-2021 Sandrine 'Mufasa' lescourant - Paris
2020-2021 Sati Veyrunes - Grenoble
2015-2017 Rory Moore -Strength N.I.A - Derry
2017-2019 Luca Truffarelli - Italy
2019-2020 Joss Carter - London
Best Performer Dublin Tigre Fringe 2016
Total Theatre Award Edinburgh Fringe 2017
The Place Dance Award Edingburgh fringe 2017
(Re) connaissance Grenoble 1st Place Jury prize 1st Audiance prize 2017
Oona Doherty review – a swaggering, graceful ode to working-class men
4 out of 5 stars.
The Yard, London
In Hope Hunt and the Ascension Into Lazarus, the Northern Irish dancer embodies a group rarely explored in dance
Lyndsey Winship Tue 15 Oct 2019 The Guardian
Chameleonic physicality ... Oona Doherty in Hope Hunt and the Ascension Into Lazarus. Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian
Acar revs up outside the theatre and Oona Doherty tumbles out of the boot. She launches into the crowd, sizing up, greeting, prowling and spinning, leaving the audience taken aback and reeled in, shouting, “Get in the theatre!” as she runs off.
It’s the perfect introduction to Doherty’s stunning embodiment of a stratum of society rarely touched on in dance, the working-class male: specifically chavs, neds, smicks (depending on where you come from), often demonised, rarely sympathetic. But Doherty takes on her subjects not only with keen observation but, more importantly, with love.
This short solo, Hope Hunt and the Ascension Into Lazarus, is the precursor to Doherty’s Hard to Be Soft, which was rightly lauded at the Edinburgh festival this year. In fact, there’s direct crossover between the second half of this piece and the beginning of its follow-up, but both pieces are worth seeing.
It’s all in the details: the can of Red Stripe, joggers tucked into sports socks, the bin bag taped over the car’s back window. It’s in Doherty’s stance, pitched backwards, brow knitted, eyes narrowed, mouth sour. Edgy tics and a side-to-side swagger tied to a tightly wound centre, prone to bursts of over-friendliness or violence, confidence undercut by fear.
Doherty’s astute eye takes in varieties of European male, before landing in her hometown of Belfast. She belches up guttural calls, morphing from “scheisse” to “shellsuit” to a “Chelsea” football chant, and her chameleonic physicality follows suit. She’s an almost unexpectedly beautiful dancer of grace and precision, and her control over these contrasts is what elevates her work from mere impersonation. There’s reverence here, and humour; a massive talent and a hugely original voice.