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Parents outraged over lesbian kissing scene in performance of Romeo and Juliet at Sydney high school

Parents are outraged by all-female ‘SHEkespeare’ version of Romeo and Juliet, amid claims kids were ‘disturbed’ by actresses kissing

  • All-female production of Romeo and Juliet sparks outrage from parents
  • Play at Campbelltown Performing Arts School with ‘passionate’ kiss
  • Mark Latham says parents complained to him about the display
  • The Ministry of Education rejected his claims, saying that parents consented

An all-female production of Romeo and Juliet sparked outrage among some parents after the two starring actors shared a “passionate” kiss in front of students.

At Dire Theater Company’s performance at Campbelltown Performing Arts High last week, a woman played Romeo in an “all-female, modern interpretation” of “SHEkespeare.”

MP Mark Latham, who raised the issue in NSW Parliament, claims students in their 8s to 10s were shocked by the play, which was advertised as having an all-female cast.

“There’s a passionate kiss scene on stage,” Mr. Latham said. “Some guys were screaming, others were upset, some girls were upset.

“The parents are very angry about the note that went out and that nothing was said about it. The kids came home and said two women were kissing.’

An all-female production of Romeo and Juliet sparked outrage among parents after the two lead actors shared a 'passionate' kiss in front of shocked students

An all-female production of Romeo and Juliet sparked outrage among parents after the two lead actors shared a ‘passionate’ kiss in front of shocked students

At Dire Theater Company's performance at Campbelltown Performing Arts High last week, a woman played Romeo in an 'all-female, modern interpretation' of 'SHEkespeare'

At Dire Theater Company’s performance at Campbelltown Performing Arts High last week, a woman played Romeo in an ‘all-female, modern interpretation’ of ‘SHEkespeare’

Mr Latham then claimed that there were religious families of different beliefs who did not believe in same-sex relationships and said the school had never asked permission to show the performance.

“It’s inappropriate, this shouldn’t happen in front of 13 and 14 year olds unless you have parental consent. Some of these kids haven’t even reached adolescence yet,” he said.

“There are Christian, Hindu, Muslim and socially conservative parents in the Campbelltown community who have different views and have not been given the opportunity to opt out.”

Education Secretary Sarah Mitchell rejected his claims, saying that parents had given children full permission to attend and that the reports were “consistent with Department of Education policy on controversial issues in schools.”

“The actors’ exchanges of affection during the play were deemed appropriate for the script,” said Ms. Mitchell.

The education minister says no parents have complained to the school.

Education Secretary Sarah Mitchell rejected his claims, saying parents had given children full permission to attend the women-only play

Education Secretary Sarah Mitchell rejected his claims, saying parents had given children full permission to attend the women-only play

Dire Theater Company visits schools across the state and hosts a “Shakespeare in Schools” workshop to modernize the stories.

The company’s Artistic Director Adam O’Brien told the Telegraph that they had never received any complaints about the play’s interpretation before.

“In the past, only men were allowed to perform – Juliet is said to have been performed by a man 400 years ago,” he said.

“I would think it would be reasonably understood that Romeo and Juliet would have scenes of affection on stage.

“It would be naive to expect the world’s greatest love story to omit anything from love.”

Campbelltown Performing Arts High has been contacted for comment.

A spokesperson for NSW Education told the Daily Mail Australia that there is no connection to gender, sexuality or gender fluidity in the play, and the cast’s interactions were all in line with the play’s well-known narrative.

“A performance of Romeo and Juliet by an outside theater company was held at Campbelltown Performing Arts High School as part of the routine curriculum that explored Shakespeare for students in their 8s, 9s and 10s,” the spokesperson said.

Attendance was optional, and in line with Department of Education policy on controversial issues in schools, parents who did not want their child to attend could opt out. Teachers were present at the performance to supervise.’

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