THE FLIPSIDE OF THE #METOO MOVEMENT

Yes. No. Maybe.

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If you like thought provoking theatre that will give you lots to talk about after the show, then Raymond-Kym Suttle’s new play, ‘Yes. No. Maybe.’ will give you plenty to discuss.

Suttle has come a long way to take part in the Hollywood Fringe Festival. He was born in Zimbabwe, left at 16 to finish his schooling in South Africa, then did his Drama Degree at the University of Cape Town, got hired by the Loft Theatre Company in Durban for 2 years before moving to London where he got his MA in Dance Studies and lived for 23 years before moving to LA 5 years ago.

He’s got over 80 full length stage productions on his resum√©, of which, about 20 are his own productions which include dramatic plays, comedies, satirical musical revues, Physical Theatre, Dance Theatre pieces (combining movement & text) and contemporary dance. He’s also taught at the Actors Centre in London for over a decade. ‘Yes. No. Maybe.’ will incorporate elements of dance as part of the narrative.

Clearly the #MeToo movement is well overdue. For far too long women have been objectified and treated as either merely something sexually desirable to be taken advantage of, or, as not attractive enough to fit that category.

To a lesser extent, men are also objectified. Any man who isn’t blessed with fashion model good looks is led to believe that they’re ‘not leading man material’, as if good looks and a killer body are what it takes to be a great actor.

“Yes. No. Maybe.” looks at the other side of the sexual misconduct of those in power. It may not be a popular observation but whilst there are many stories of powerful movie moguls, director, actors and others abusing their power and harassing or coercing actors (and others) into having sex in the hopes that doing so will benefit their careers, there are undeniably a lot of people who ARE freely using their seductive prowess to get what they want. Raymond-Kym Suttle has first hand knowledge of people who have dated or married someone simply to advance their careers, whilst privately confessing they hate having sex with their partner but they do it for the financial security, the status, the connections and the fast-track route to getting cast.

“Yes. No. Maybe.” was initially inspired by the premise of the movie ‘Indecent Proposal’. Suttle thought it would be interesting to consider what would have happened if the older man had offered to pay $1 million to sleep with the husband.

However, owing to the convergence of two factors, the storyline veered off in another direction. 1) Suttle performs as his male burlesque persona Major Suttle-Tease: a combination of stand-up comedy, singing, dance, acrobatics, socio-political commentary and clothing removal. He often meets male/female couples who have a very fluid approach to sexuality and fidelity. There are many women who enjoy seeing their male partners making out with another man. And 2), upon questioning straight men as to whether or not they would sleep with another man for a million dollars, the answers varied according to things like the man’s age, relationship status, whether or not he had children, cultural background and religion (though admittedly the bulk of men questioned thus far have been Judeo/Christian or atheists). The bulk of the men asked: what would that entail? Which is neither an outright yes or an absolute no.

Which led Suttle to start questioning women as to how they’d feel about their male partner sleeping with another man if they knew they’d benefit financially from it. Again, the responses were heavily influenced by age. The older the women are, the more likely they are to say they’d have no problem with it as long as he didn’t.

As part of this production Suttle intends to do audience surveys to see what people say before the show and then re-polled after the show to see if anyone has changed their mind.

‘Yes. No. Maybe.’ is on at The Complex, Flight Theatre, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038