A family production of Cinderella on Ice featuring a gay romance has caused consternation among conservative groups in Melbourne Australia.

The show, performed by Olympic skaters from Russia’s Imperial Ice Stars and helmed by acclaimed artistic director Tony Mercer, includes an unconventional but subtle scene with a gay couple played by Andrei Benikov and Yuri Salimanov.

While some audience members said that they didn’t even notice the scene it has caused something of a kerfuffle in Melbourne.

The Australian Families Association said that the scene was inappropriate considering the family nature of the show, adding that children need to be ‘protected’. The topic has also been the subject of much debate on radio talk shows.

Mercer, who is credited with adding the same-sex scenario in the production, was unfazed by criticism telling Australian newspapers that, “I don’t think there is anything offensive about including a gay couple. You see them day in, day out on the street.”

The Australian Childhood Foundation agreed, commenting that “It’s helpful as a way of breaking down prejudices.”

The show, which has received generally positive reviews, ends its run in Melbourne on Sunday before continuing a tour of Australia and the rest of the world which is expected to last two years.

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