For several years, the collège Max Jacob in Quimper, Brittany, has held an end-of-term show for students, parents and teachers. Entertainment this year was provided by an Italian street theatre company, the Tony Clifton Circus.
The show, called “Christmas Forever”, was probably not what the organisers had envisaged. As pupils, some as young as 11, sat cross-legged in the playground, packs of cigarettes were thrown out to them, according to local paper Le Télégramme. There were also jokes about Islamic terrorists, a naked actor, a blow-up sex doll and a drunk Father Christmas.
The principal of the college, Jean-Pierre Josse, quickly stepped in as things got out of hand. He told AFP that the performance was “surreal” and “very bad taste” and that the audience of 650 pupils were “horrified”. “This was unforgivable and they did not adapt their performance to an audience of 11 year olds”.
The theatre troupe was scheduled to make other performances in the town this weekend but these were quickly cancelled after the controversy.