Vault preview: The Kick Inside

Writer/performer Kerensa Diball brings her show The Kick Inside to Vault Festival next month.

The Kick Inside is about my decision not to have children and how society, my family, my friends, and myself have received this.

This is not a show about indecision; this is a show about how a decision is received. It is my story but also many people’s stories.”

Kerensa chatted with us as we explored more about this poignant and celebratory show.

Where: Cage at The Vaults.

When: 14-19 Feb

Ticket link:

Promotional image for The Kick Inside

What’s the best thing about being part of a festival like Vault?

The sense of community and gorgeous support between artists in the festival. I have been blown away by the generosity and open communication between artists.

As someone who has just moved here from Melbourne, Australia, a big reason to do the festival was to connect with peers and other artists and that has definitely happened.

The other great thing about Vault is the energy! It’s so much fun. A real burst of colour and glitter in the middle of a grey winter.

Your show is about being childless or childfree – where did the inspiration for it come from?

My work is autobiographical and comes from things I’m experiencing in my own life and can only assume many other people are experiencing too.

You reach a certain age (particularly as a woman) and the most persistent question that is plaguing every part of your life is if you’re going to have children.

It’s everywhere, all social situations, and professional, medical, the most surprising of places – it’s there, and the assumption is that you will.

I was undecided and gave myself to 35yo to decide and this show helped me. I grilled myself, all my friends, everyone around me to try and work out how I truly felt.

I also wanted to understand where these feelings of pressure, expectations and fear were coming from.

I ended up deciding I didn’t want them, but it could have gone either way – sorry, Mum!

Your blurb mentions absurd humour and bad dancing! I’m intrigued. Tell me more!

Yes! I wish I could say it has good dancing but unfortunately I’m no triple threat. It may also involve some bad singing too! Ha.

Thankfully there’s some very good live music to accompany my bad dancing and singing. My real-life partner underscores the show with live music, supports my journey and shares his perspective.

It’s a rare opportunity to hear both sides of the story. I think the pressure invades women with uterus’s life a lot more but I think it’s important to hear both sides of the story.  

Regarding the absurd humour- it’s definitely a bit kooky! I think it’s such an absurd situation to find yourself in that it needs some absurd comedy to understand it.

Promotional photo for The Kick Inside

Do you think that there is still a lot of pressure to ‘continue the line’ from older generations? 

In short answer-yes. I think it comes from the idea that your life has meaning if you are remembered and that usually comes from family.

It is based on the assumption that family is blood relatives but in my mind, chosen family is as real and sometimes stronger and more meaningful than blood family.

I’m lucky to have a beautiful family that I love. I’m also lucky to have amazing friends/chosen family that are so important to me and have helped me through all sorts of life situations and I believe we’ll look after each other into old age.

I also think bloodline pressure is an instinctual thing to keep the human race alive. However, if the human race is to survive, our instincts need to shift! But that’s a conversation for the show!

What would you say makes your show a must-see at Vault?

The Kick Inside is ultimately a celebration in buggering off all those expectations and unsolicited advice and forging your own glorious path, whatever that may be!

That could mean bad dancing and singing, weird humour and kooky perspectives and that’s great! I’ve been lucky enough to work with the amazing Bryony Kimmings, she’s truly phenomenal and has helped whip this show into shape.

It’s a very personal show for me as I’ve been working on it for a few years now and I think it’ll resonate with a lot of people.

There is a lot of me in this show but there’s also a lot of other peoples experiences too. It’s personal, heartfelt and honest as well as being loads of fun. Come! Join the conversation.