A drag queen theatre show aimed at children sparked huge protests outside the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon, as a far-right group Patriotic Alternative and LGBTQ+ supporters both took to the streets to share their opposing views.

The theatre show is aimed at parents and children and involves a storytelling drag performer reading exciting and imaginative storybooks to youngsters.

A planned protest against the show saw members of Patriotic Alternative gather outside the theatre doors to demand that the show be stopped as it was ‘inappropriate’ and ‘too sexualised’ for children.

"A drag queen by its very nature is a hyper-sexualised caricature of a woman which is not only insulting to women but isn't appropriate for children to be exposed to,” said protestor Aaron Spreadbury.

Swindon Advertiser: Aaron Spreadbury was protesting against the drag queen show.Aaron Spreadbury was protesting against the drag queen show. (Image: Newsquest)

The anti-drag queen protestors had already received heavy criticism after posting unsolicited leaflets stating 'Stop Drag Story Hour' and 'Protect Our Children' through letterboxes earlier in the week. 

But the 20 or so protestors were vastly outnumbered by the mass of Swindon Pride and LGBTQ+ supporters who hosted their own counter-protest outside the theatre to ‘drown out the hate’.

Supporters of the drag queen show came out in force with loud music, bubbles, rainbow flags and chants to make it clear to Swindon that they were there loud and proud.

The two protest groups had to be separated by dozens of police officers who attended the scene.

At one point, officers yelled out to 'move back' as protestors pushed and shoved to clear a path for families getting into the theatre.

Swindon Advertiser: Dozens of officers were policing the event.Dozens of officers were policing the event. (Image: Dave Cox)

"Swindon has shown its best front today with this turnout,” said Coral, a protestor who had come over from Oxford specifically to attend.

"I think it's an amazing representation for children to have,” added Hollie, who takes her child to Drag Queen Story Hour every year.

"If people are so bothered about people dressing up then where were they during the Christmas pantos when the theatre was full of pantomime dames?

Swindon Advertiser: Hollie attends the show with her child every year.Hollie attends the show with her child every year. (Image: Dave Cox)

"Dressing up and gender expression has been a part of the theatre since Shakespeare's times and LGBT people have always been represented in theatres.

"I went last year with my child and the books they read were about goats and dinosaur poo, it's hardly pushing an LGBT agenda is it?”

"Swindon is a very diverse community and it should stay that way. We need acceptance and understanding, not hate,” added counter protestor Rob Gray.