Update: On Tuesday 19 April, the production company behind the Family Sex Show announced that the production will no longer go ahead in either Bristol or Norwich and would only be performed to a 'select invited audience' in Bath.
Sadly, it seems as though no lessons have been learned. The production company, Egg theatre company, stated that the withdrawal was thanks to 'illegal threats and abuse' from a small group of extremists, ignoring the 39,000 ordinary citizens who signed the petition in protest.
The company doubled down on their position by asking for support from venues that would still be happy to host them and directed the public to their website for material that supported the themes of their show. One of the pages of their website suggested that children might like to look up themes of animal masturbation on the internet and then draw pictures to represent their findings. Other suggestions were for children to make play-doh models of genitals.
The Family Sex Show website also published the lyrics of one of their songs, which explicitly encourages children to name and touch their and each others' sexual organs for pleasure.
CitizenGO does not condone and is not responsible for any threats of abuse, however we remain dismayed by the attitude of the production company and alarmed by their total disregard when it comes to the safeguarding of children. It appears that no safeguarding checks have been carried out on the adults who proposed to strip naked in front of children before talking to them about sex. The Family Sex Show has yet to cite the names of the supposed 'experts in safeguarding' who were supposedly consulted when the show was originally devised.
The BBC and Guardian have both reported on the cancellation, claiming that this is due to threats and abuse and making no mention of the highly sexualised content or reason for the widespread public outrage.
The petition remains open for signatures so that the public can continue to register their opposition. We will continue to monitor the situation and will not hesitate to raise our voices in protest if this show attempts to continue to market itself to children.
Serious questions need to be asked about why this production was allowed to be funded in the first place.
A sexually explicit show funded by the Arts Council, which is in turn funded by taxpayers and National Lottery money, is currently touring various UK theatres.
The show, which is billed as an alternative to porn, is incredibly titled ‘The family sex show’ features full-frontal nudity and is marketed at families and children as young as five. 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.
The producer of the Family Sex show claims that it imagines a future without sexual shame and aims to make it easier for anyone of any age to talk about the ‘tricky sticky topics’ of gender, masturbation, boundaries and relationships. All of the performances are based on the actors' own personal experiences of sexual relationships. Photographs of the production feature adults simulating various sex acts. The Family Show website contains a glossary of terms that they want young children to become acquainted with and includes definitions of 'BDSM', 'frottage', 'hand job' and 'squirting'.
The show even comes with a content warning but is at the same time aiming to attract families and children! The advertising for the show mentions that performers will take off as many clothes as they are comfortable with, but not once is there any suggestion or reflection of the feelings of their young audience. The marketing material discusses equipping children with the language to be able to choose to talk about sexual relationships.
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. There is no difference between taking children to the Family Sex Show and taking them to a seedy peep show or strip club! It raises precisely the same safeguarding concerns. Children who exhibit precocious sexual knowledge are at increased risk of sexual abuse and vulnerable to sexual predators.
It is a disgrace that taxpayers’ money has been spent on a production that scandalises and harms children and potentially places them at risk.
The Family Sex Show is a misnomer. Demand that theatres immediately scrap the production!
Why are we allowing the Family Sex Show (The Critic)
And now for a song about the clitoris (The Guardian)
Fury as theatre company stages naked show exploring 'sexuality, sexual pleasure and queerness' aimed at children as young as FIVE (Daily Mail)
The Family Show FAQ marketing.