Sex Cells, but it also causes concern in small community

Elicia-May Hitchcock, performs in "Sex Cells" play, said some people had the wrong idea around what the show was about.
SIMON O'CONNOR/STUFF

Elicia-May Hitchcock, performs in "Sex Cells" play, said some people had the wrong idea around what the show was about.

It's a play with a name that a century ago would have raised the ire of many; "Sex Cells".

But two large pink signs placed around the central Taranaki town of Stratford announcing the upcoming opening of Stratford on Stage's latest work have only raised one solitary, albeit strong, complaint.

The posters situated at the entrance to the town and outside the society's theatre feature the show's title, a pair of bright red lips and other details of when the show it on.

Director Tracey Blake said while the show did have sex in the title and featured adult toys on stage, it was more focused on the friendship and mishaps between four women.

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"We have stressed the play is suitable for mature audiences only and does have content that may offend," she said.

But Hilary Kieft, who has been outspoken on family issues in the past, said she wasn't happy with the sign outside the theatre being placed down the road from a primary school and opposite two churches.

"I feel that they can advertise but they can advertise somewhere else, not in front of a school, within walking distance of a school," she said.

"Our little five-year-olds and six-year-olds and other kids going past, they see enough on television, let alone on our streets.

On a Facebook post put up a few weeks ago, Kieft threatened to cut the signs down with a chainsaw and was unapologetic about it.

"It's about protecting our families and it's about protecting our children and if people don't like it, tough."

But others talked to on the streets of Stratford said they didn't have a problem with the way the play was advertised and Elicia-May Hitchcock, who plays one of the main characters in the show, said some people had the wrong idea about what it covered.

"The whole sex toy shop things is more of a back drop and what they talk about is different," she said.

John Mattock, the pastor at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church across the road from the theatre, hadn't really noticed the sign and said they were allowed to put up what they wanted, as long as he was allowed to put up his religious signs.

 - Stuff

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