Controversial 'sex' show scrapped from city festival after outcry

This Egg Residency

This Egg Residency - Credit: Archant

A show has been cancelled from a city festival this spring after a public backlash.

The Family Sex Show was scheduled to appear at arts venue The Garage as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival in May. 

But organisers say that after threats were made to performers they have been forced to ditch it. A festival spokeswoman said organisers stand by the "intention and processes in creating this show".

Many criticised the show for being unsuitable for children as young as five due to nudity within the performance. 

More than 38,000 people signed an online petition demanding theatres cancel the production created by performance company This Egg.

It stated: "Children should not be desensitised to the sight of naked adult bodies or introduced to topics surrounding adult sexual pleasure which this production promotes and celebrates." 

A banner for The Family Sex Show 

A banner for The Family Sex Show - Credit: This Egg

A spokeswoman for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival has since confirmed the show has been cancelled from all venues. 

She said: "The decision has been taken to cancel the performances of This Egg’s The Family Sex Show at The Garage, as part of Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

"In recent days there has been unacceptable threat and abuse directed at both the company and the venues hosting the tour by a small minority, and in order to ensure the safety of the performers, staff and audiences, the show will no longer play at this time at The Garage, as part of Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

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"We continue to believe in both the intention and processes in creating this show." 

The show was due to be taking place in Norwich from Monday, May 23 to Friday, May 27.

The Garage in Norwich has received funding from the Culture Recovery Fund.

The Garage in Norwich was going to host the show - Credit: Archant

The festival spokeswoman continued: "The Family Sex Show is a theatre show which opens up conversations around relationships offering safe and positive learning to children, young people and guardians about bodies and relationships, advised by safeguarding and educational specialists.

"Information regarding the content of the show was made available to bookers coming to see the production." 

A social media post by This Egg states there will be performances for an invited audience at The Egg, Theatre Royal Bath, ahead of subsequent public performances in the future.

It adds: "For audiences who booked, or wanted to come to the show, we are sorry. We hope you will be able to soon."