A theater performance that promised to reinvent sex education by discussing the issue frankly and openly with audiences as young as five years old has been canceled after ‘violent threats’ were made against its organisers.
The Family Sex Show was scheduled to film this spring, but was pulled from the venue after what its creators called a series of “violent and unlawful threats and abuse” were directed at the company and the venue by “a small group of people with extremist views”.
The show had been in development by Josie Dale-Jones since 2017 and promised to confront topics such as boundaries, sex, relationships and masturbation in a family-oriented production that included nudity.
After the show was announced and news of its content started circulating online, a petition was started claiming the production was “completely inappropriate and is a blatant attempt to sexualize children and break down their natural boundaries.”
ThisEgg, the company behind the production, said in a statement that audiences were given information about the content before booking, so they could make an “informed decision” about the show.
one online commentary piece for The Critic magazine claimed that The Family Sex Show could lead to inappropriate conversations between children and adults about sex and “creates a chasm, no, a canyon, for predators to enter”.
The Guardian understands that threatening and abusive calls and communications were sent to venues hosting the show and to ThisEgg, leading to the April 14 cancellation of the performances.
The show was due to visit the Tobacco Factory in Bristol and the Norfolk & Norwich Festival in May, but there is only an invitational date left in Bath, ‘ahead of subsequent public performances in the future’.
Produced in collaboration with Frank sex education and the School of Sex Education, the production reportedly offered free family workshops before performances, which included sex educators available to answer questions. There was also a spin-off podcast.
The society added that it would have offered “safe and positive learning for children, young people and caregivers about rights, bodies, sex and relationships, advised by specialists in protection and education”.
His statement read: “We believe what has happened reflects structural and societal attitudes towards relationships and sex education as well as art, culture and who is allowed to create and what we are allowed to do with. engage us in the UK.”
In an interview with the Guardian in early March, Dale-Jones raised the possibility of a backlash. “We know we’ll have people who don’t want this to happen,” she said. “There aren’t many of them, but they are shouting very loudly. The main thing is to take care of the company, the places, their staff and the public.
ThisEgg said its creative team would continue to work on the shows so it was “ready for a while, maybe it could meet an audience.” He also apologized to those who had purchased tickets and said he wanted to respond to “events of the past few weeks”. “Removing works that celebrate freedom of expression from stages cannot be the solution,” he added.