August 9, 2022 Rhiannon Ingle

Q&A: Let Me Count the Ways

Presented by HER Productions & Ink & Curtain, Let Me Count the Ways is a spoken word solo show which draws on speculative and realist storytelling to explore love, care and intimacy.

It speaks directly to the experiences of other Black queer women, at how self-perception is shaped and changed by the communities we find ourselves within/without.

Initially inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43, Let Me Count the Ways was written as a way of exploring how we are shaped by our interpersonal relationships.

In this way, this is a solo show about isolation and connection, about intimacy and indifference. Set in a messy bedroom, the show is also about mental health and how relationships can both harm and heal, help and hinder recovery.

Check out what Maz Hedgehog, the writer/performer of Let Me Count the Ways, had to say about the upcoming production…

So, first things first, tell us a little more about your muse, Elizabeth Barret Browning, and how her work inspired Let Me Count the Ways.

Elizabeth Barret Browning was a 19th-century poet whose work I’ve always admired for being warm and sentimental without feeling shallow and saccharine. So when I wanted to put together a solo show about love, relationships and finding yourself, Barrett Browning’s work was what I reached for!

Why are storytelling and the relaying of lived experience so powerful and important for both ourselves and our community?

Storytelling is part of what makes us human. We’ve been telling stories about ourselves and each other for literally thousands of years. It’s how we figure out who we are and build community. So I’m just one small part of a long long tradition.

How important is the setting in reflecting one’s mental state? And do you think we can learn a lot about someone’s well-being from their environment?

We can learn about people’s well-being but not in a way that’s immediately obvious! For some people, being really clean is a sign that they’ve gone off the rails as much as mess can be. I think you need to know someone before you can judge their well-being from their environment. 

The show seems to play with contrast and juxtaposition a lot – how did you navigate such differing positions?

Juxtaposition is my comfort area with writing! If I stay in one mood for too long I get really bored so I hop to something else. The tricky bit is making sure it all feels cohesive. That’s come from having really fantastic first readers telling me when it’s going a bit off-piste. But also, having such a surreal and dreamy writing style means that a level of unreality can work!

What is one piece of advice you’d give to an audience member of Let Me Count the Ways?

It’s a show to be felt more than understood, so relax and let it wash over you!

If you’d like to come and see Let Me Count the Ways, be sure to grab tickets and come along to The Edge on Friday 7th & Saturday 8th October 2022 kicking off at 7:30 pm on both evenings.


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