Sex play 'for children aged 5+' sparks outrage from 'horrified' parents

The Family Sex Show is “an alternative to porn” and includes full-frontal adult nudity and stories about sexual pleasure based on the performers’ own experiences

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A sex play advertised for families and “children aged 5+” is touring theatres across the UK, leaving “horrified” parents outraged.

“The Family Sex Show” is described by Cambridge-based theatre company ThisEgg, as “an alternative to porn” and includes full-frontal adult nudity and stories about sexual pleasure based on the performers’ own experiences.

The company, who claim sexual development and behaviour in children starts from birth, will also explore functions, boundaries, consent and queerness using songs and movement.

A petition, “scrap the Family Sex Show”, has started online and has already garnered over 23,000 signatures.

The Family Sex Show cast
The Family Sex Show cast
The Family Sex Show cast
The Family Sex Show cast

The petition reads: “Children should not be de-desensitised to the sight of naked adult bodies or introduced to topics surrounding adult sexual pleasure which this production promotes and celebrates.

“This is nothing more than a blatant and extremely concerning attempt to sexualise children prematurely and is abusive. The show aims to break down children’s natural boundaries and expose them to content they are not sufficiently mature enough to handle.”

It adds that the explicit show is funded by the Arts Council, which is in turn funded by taxpayers and National Lottery money.

Susan Glaholm expressed her concerns on social media
Susan Glaholm expressed her concerns on social media

Political activist and actor Laurence Fox encouraged followers on Twitter to sign the petition, saying: “It's wrong for five-year-old children to watch naked strangers on stage. Take them to the Lion King instead.”

Susan Glaholm, a social worker in mental health and child protection, also expressed her concerns, noting: “I am compelled to say there is something seriously wrong in our society and culture if we accept that this is appropriate for young children to experience.”

Fleur Elizabeth added: “A five-year-old cannot consent to seeing naked adults. Cyber-flashing has just become a crime and you want to flash young children?”

But some parents were open to the show, including one Mumsnet user who said: “It’s not getting beamed directly into kids’ brains so get a grip.

“It’s up to the parent, it’s got to beat the old Family Circle booklet I was shown. If you’re worried go and see it first, if it’s inappropriate no parent will go.”

A spokesperson for ThisEgg said: “The Family Sex Show is a theatre show which opens up conversations around relationships. The show is being created with input and guidance from educational and safeguarding specialists.

“It is with an enormous sense of responsibility, compassion and caution towards young people and their parents that we consider this an important piece of theatre."

The Family Sex Show will be performed at the Bristol’s Factory Theatre in Southville from May 5-8 in partnership with the School of Sexuality Education.