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The front of the historic Theatre Royal building, Bath, Somerset, England, UK built 1805

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A new sex education theatre show that’s scheduled to make its debut in Bath, UK next month, is garnering criticism for featuring “non-sexual nudity” and topics concerning queerness and pleasure in its production aimed at children as young as five.

The Family Sex Show, commissioned by the production company ThisEgg, is a performance centered on the painfully “AWKWARD subject of sex,” according to the production’s website. The show also explores mature topics regarding “boundaries, consent, pleasure, sex, gender, and relationships.” Parents are encouraged to bring their children to see the 60-minute performance with the hope of educating youngsters about the sexual development process and the importance of “celebrating difference, equality, and liberation.”  The show was created in partnership with the School of Sexuality Education’s age-appropriate Relationships and Sex Education curriculum.

In one part of the performance, characters in the play strip down nude.

“For some people, that’s taking off all of their clothes and being completely naked. For other people, that means taking off bottoms but leaving underwear on, for others, it’s not taking anything off at all,” the producers note. “This moment lasts approximately 5 minutes.”

A number of parents in Bath have created a petition urging for The Family Sex Show to be scrapped from the city’s Theatre Royal schedule in May. The petition has already received 409 signatures, just 91 signatures short of its 500 target goal. Some parents are planning to organize a protest outside of the establishment if the program continues, the Daily Mail UK reported. Uproar against the theatre production initially sparked on Mumsnet, a popular social media platform for parents.

“I cannot imagine bringing a five-year-old child to a theatre where people will tell her/him about sex and show their naked bodies to her/him. Am I the crazy one?” wrote one user.

Another concerned parent commented:

This is not sex education. It is not in line with the [national] curriculum…They have not worked with any major education charity on this show. If you think grown adults getting naked to talk about sexual pleasure to 5-year-olds is ‘education’ I suggest you think again!”

During a recent BBC Radio Bristol show, some parents called in anonymously to express their support of The Family Sex Show’s subject matter.

“If I went there with my children they would laugh the whole time and put their hands over their eyes and then say to me, ‘why on earth did you bring me here,” one caller said, according to BBC News.

Josie Dale-Jones, a representative from ThisEgg, released a statement following the backlash:

‘We wanted to make something that came at the topics of relationships and sex in a light way. In a way that would open conversations and encourage people to ask questions to allow for that space of vulnerability and not knowing and making mistakes we hope the show adds to the more creative or alternative relationships and sex education that is out there at the moment in all different forms and we really wanted to make the show that we wish we’d had when we were younger and part of our adult selves feel like they need now. And mostly if we know our bodies we know our rights.”

 

The Family Sex Show will begin its UK tour in Bristol on May 5.

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