Sexually suggestive material and swear words drew gasps from foster parents and children in the audience of a Christmas play arranged by Child Youth and Family.
Wellington children living in CYF care were given a free performance of An Adagio Christmas at the Downstage theatre at the weekend.
One hundred and 32 children aged between six and 17 were watching when one character called another by an obscenity and told them a situation was "B-S".
Another character referred to losing one's virginity and mimed a slap-stick style orgasm.
Child Youth and Family deputy chief executive Ray Smith was at the performance: while he was taken aback at some of the content, he says all situations can't be censored.
Downstage Theatre says it left in the adult themes because it didn't want to be condescending to children. Director Hilary Beaton says the use of the "f-word" was intentional.