Award-winning play by female creatives to debut at Lyric Hammersmith

Kick is a female-led, new play that will be headlining the Evolution Festival at the Lyric Hammersmith next week.

The play won the 2021 Bill Cashmore Award, which offers a group of young creatives the support, funding and theatre space to turn their idea into a piece of art.

Written by Martha Watson-Allpress, 28, directed by Yasmin Hafesji, 27, with set-design by Xinping Wang, 24, it follows two sisters, Kate and Laura, who fall pregnant at the same time.

However, one sister opts to terminate her pregnancy while the other chooses to keep the baby. The production seeks to explore the tension surrounding abortion.

Young Creatives: Martha Watson-Allpress, Xinping Wang and Yasmin Hafesji

Watson-Allpress grew up Lancashire and now lives in Peckham. She explained that the topic of abortion intrigued her creatively because of its sensitivity.

She said: “I can’t really recall a time when female autonomy hasn’t been a public discussion just clad by male voices. When I was going into the first re-draft there was this huge conversation happening about Poland criminalising abortion.

“It felt important for this to be a conversation to be had by women, and I wanted part of that conversation to be, ‘abortion is just a really normal self-care choice’. That it isn’t this big moment in one in four women’s lives, it is just a choice that you make.”

In Kick the women experience a rollercoaster of emotions, from devastation to euphoria and back again.

Watson-Allpress explained that football came to her as a way of making these internal feelings visible to audiences.

She said: “I don’t know where else you experience that kind of emotional ride other than when you’re watching a 90 minute football match. You’re really cheering and excited at one point and then your life is over in another.”

Watson-Allpress said she hopes that audiences will find the performance funny and also leave with a better understanding of the reasons behind abortions.

She said: “If people can leave seeing that the character who has an abortion is fine and they made the right choice for them then that would be great. I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished my job.”

The Home of Evolution Festival: The Lyric Hammersmith Credit: David Tett

Kick is part of Evolution Festival at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre from 1 – 4 March.

Related Articles