IT is an eye-catching image aimed at summing up the experiences of a wife whose husband changed gender.

But theatre bosses are refusing to display a poster of a man in women’s underwear in their window – even though it promotes a musical they are to stage.

The image shows a man and woman wearing women’s lingerie. But The Point in Eastleigh instead chose a poster featuring a fullyclothed female actor to advertise the play – claiming it is “more suitable for the venue”.

The decision has been described as an “over reaction”

by the director of the musical, which is called Ah Men.

Lynne Paris wrote the play based on her own experiences after learning that her husband – a public servant working in Hampshire – wanted to become a woman.

She said: “They must think it is too provocative for people in Eastleigh.

“It’s not like the people in the picture are showing anything they should not be showing. I can’t see why anyone should feel this is offensive.”

Lynne, who hopes the play will help other women and children in the same situation, said a council-run venue in Guildford displayed the poster without any complaints and added: “I would have thought Eastleigh would have been an easy audience because I know how many transsexuals and transvestites are on the south coast.

Relevant “The actors are not happy that we are having to change the poster. The graphic is very relevant to the storyline. I think that The Point are over-reacting.”

Sections from the show will be used at the end of Eastleigh’s Mardi Gras Festival, which is organised by Chris Thomas, with the cast due to perform a number of “family friendly”

songs as a grand finale to the two-day extravaganza in September.

“I don’t have a problem with the poster in any way,” Mr Thomas said.

“The mardi gras is designed to appeal to everyone from one to 100 regardless of race, gender or anything else.”

Bosses at The Point say they used an alternative image in agreement with the play’s producers. Artistic director Owen Calvert- Lyons said: “As a venue with a large programme of family events and workshops we felt that the company’s alternative poster image was more suitable for the venue.

“This was agreed with the company and the posters were subsequently put up in the main foyer and window display area.”

The musical will be performed on September 15.