I started by doing a staggered run-through, to allow time for the stories to settle and for me to connect with the material again. It's easy to disassociate yourself from what you're saying, particularly when there's no-one to say it to; if you run the material too often in this way, you get used to saying it quickly, and end up doing the same thing in front of an audience. I have a habit of disconnecting, particularly when I've been doing something for a while, so I want to keep this in check.
It's frustrating having to work without an outside eye. I had discussed the possibility of a friend directing it for me, who'd been present at all of my Brighton shows and gave excellent feedback, but this didn't happen. It's a shame, as he was the right person for the job, with an opinion I trust. I'm fully aware that working without a director isn't the way to do it. It forces me to rely on my own judgement - and everyone needs a little nurturing and steering once in a while. This is something I'll address next time I do a show alone.
This slow, staggered rehearsal definitely helped. I did another run immediately afterwards, addressing the changes I'd made in the previous one, while still trying not to rush. The show came in at about fifty minutes, which is pretty much how I want it - but there's more to keep in check. Still, it's not a bad place to be at this stage, with another week left to tighten it.