Six performances down, two to go.
This is the stage of the production when you're spending a lot of time with your fellow cast and crew members. And I mean a lot. In the week before opening night, the rehearsals usually come fast and furious - a weekend of full runs, followed by a line run, tech, and dress. And then into production... You're together most every day: at the theatre and then often afterwards, too, at the pub to wind down with that famous 'just the one'.
This is also the time when about seventy per cent of what you say to each other is a line, or modified line, from the play. And the directors can be pleased that everyone finally knows not only their own lines, but everyone else's too! And no wonder: after doing five performances in the space of forty-nine hours, we've pretty much been living and breathing nothing but the show. You can't help but become a little clique with it's own private language of in-jokes.
Having fun with the lines really does help you learn the show as a whole. The only thing you have to careful about is saying one of your modified lines on stage! Which I almost did once, but I don't think anyone noticed :P
And if you have to do an accent for a play, like we do, this is also the stage when you start speaking in your character's accent in the course of your everyday life.
After Saturday's performances, we spent the evening - and a reasonable chunk of the early morning - terrorising the other patrons of William K with teasers from the show: football and rugby songs, college antics, and mock insults in our Northern accents.
The bouncer was, however, pleased to see a group of people having such fun. Fortunately for us, we weren't doing a Russian play ;)