Published: 05:04 GMT, 10 February 2016 | Updated: 14:04 GMT, 16 May 2016

An audience member has slammed a theatrical production as 'tasteless and very awkward' after a male clown performer allegedly simulated sex with her repeatedly on stage.

New Zealand woman Eva Tuala was among the crowd with her husband during the Cirque du Soleil's Quidam show at the Vector Arena Show in Auckland on the opening night last Friday.

The clown pulled members of the public on stage to participate in a bizarre scene, which saw Ms Tuala sprawled on stage with the performer allegedly simulating sexual positions on top of her.

Eva Tuala was among the crowd with her husband during the Cirque du Soleil's Quidam show (stock image)

'I was definitely not a willing 'volunteer'... I had to laugh it off, cause what else can one do when put centre stage. I was embarrassed for myself and my husband watching,' she told NZ Herald.

The clown in question was also said to have invited three male spectators on stage, during which he allegedly gestured to a young man to simulate sex with the woman.

Despite the strange action, the clown allegedly insisted that the pair had to follow through with the skit before they were allowed back to their seats.

Following the performance, Ms Tuala reportedly made a complaint with the show's organisers.

A Cirque du Soleil spokeswoman has confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that the promoters have received a complaint and 'are dealing with it'.

'We are in contact directly with the plaintiff and will not comment until the situation is resolved,' the Cirque du Soleil spokeswoman said.

The woman has slammed the show after she was allegedly manhandled by a male clown (stock image)

This comes after NZ Herald reviewer Janet McAllister said: 'On opening night, audience participation was in such poor taste as to be offensive: a male clown repeatedly simulated sex with a young woman "volunteer" after she'd fallen on the stage, and cajoled another "volunteer" to do the same,' she said.

NZ Stuff reviewer Siena Yates also agreed that the show's audience participation was 'inappropriate', saying the skit 'wasn't either jaw-droppingly impressive or flat out entertaining'.

'Most will cry femi-nazi at my next statement but it struck me as a little inappropriate,' she said. 

'First, the woman - in a tight red dress with an open bust - continuously had her dress pulled one way or another to cover her up. But it was when things got physical and she was being thrown around by the men on stage that it crossed a line.

'She played along well enough and seemed to laugh it off, but she looked visibly uncomfortable and I felt it.'

Several spectators, who attended the opening night, have taken to social media to express their opinions on the unusual scene, with some saying it was 'awkward' and 'embarrassing' (stock image)

Spectator Steve Vermeulen, who attended the opening night, said there were four volunteers brought on stage and among them were two main 'characters' - the lovers - a man and a woman.

'The scene required the two volunteers to act out a fake love scene and another would bust them,' Mr Vermeulen told Daily Mail Australia.

'As there were no words, it was hard for them to understand what was required. The performer got them to act out the scene based on his direction.

'It would've been considered cheeky but given the nature of the girl's attire the performer should definitely have understood the uncomfortable position he was placing the girl in and managed and modified the scenario better. 

'She didn't know what was happening, tried to go along as best as possible but was having a hard time to do so modestly. I could see her clearly ask the performer "do we have to do this again?" Still putting on a brave face but it was awkward for everyone for sure.

A Cirque du Soleil spokeswoman has confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that the promoters have received a complaint and 'are dealing with it' (stock image)

'I feel for the performer too, they had a job to do, some of the issues were around the two volunteers just having no clue as to what was required of them. 

'But yes, we were not the only ones saying "poor girl" when we saw it play out. He just needed to identify when things got weird earlier and finish it quickly, it sort of dragged unnecessarily.'

However, some have jumped to the show's defence, with one saying: 'It's all in good fun some people just don't have a sense of humour, I myself didn't think it was rude/sexual, just harmless fun. If you don't want to participate you can refuse, it's your choice.'

Cirque du Soleil has been watched by more than 155 million people in 300 cities across the globe after it was founded in 1984

Eva Tuala declined to comment when contacted by Daily Mail Australia.



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