Pornographic play sparks public outrage

A new play being staged by a Sydney's newly formed company has caused public outcry, as it portrays extreme sexual assault in the name of art.

The play has apparently blurred the line between art and pornography. The debut production from Workhorse Theatre Company includes jelly wrestling by scantily clad actresses, bondage, rape and killing scenes and an extreme sexual assault featuring the use of a grenade, all in a "black comedy" labelled "sickening" in some overseas reviews.

Workhorse co-founder and performer Troy Harrison has admitted that the work was chosen for its shock value and images of the more controversial scenes were deliberately used in the publicity material to garner attention.

"Yes, we were looking at another play but we wanted to start with much more of a bang, this being our first production, so we did choose this play because it is very confronting," quoted him as saying. The story revolves around a pair of ex-stripper sisters who go on a killing spree across America, taking pro-life activists as their victims.

It is believed to be inspired by the online world where increasingly extreme images are used for entertainment value. However, Collective Shout, an organisation that campaigns against the objectification and sexualisation of women in the media, has warned against the depiction of violence against women for entertainment's sake.

"Survivors of sexual assault or violence are often left traumatised as a result of abuse," a spokeswoman said. "Sexualised representations of violence against women trivialise and undermine the very real pain and trauma they endured," she added.

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