Cards Against Humanity is described by its creators as "a party game for horrible people". Black cards are drawn, providing a question to be answered or a statement to be completed. Randomly drawn white cards act as the punch lines. It’s usually hilarious and often entirely wrong. Those who decide to theme their Fringe show in such a way are probably a bunch of jerks.
My favourite kind of bunch.
Attending Improv Against Humanity should be as though all your black card turns have come at once. In reality, while entertaining, the format seemed like perhaps too much of a good thing.
The method of audience participation in choosing white cards to match the black ones was a lot of fun; however, four black cards were used for the whole show, which caused there to be too much going on. Long-form improv benefits from drawing together underlying themes, based on one core concept, over an hour set. This show didn’t come together in such a satisfying manner, and it felt as though they were forcing the themes to connect in slightly disappointing ways. It would almost be worth only drawing one black card, or maybe two at most, so as to better focus the direction of the show.
The players themselves were quite competent, though sometimes their attention wavered, or dead scenes were allowed to continue for slightly too long. The joy and trepidation of improv is that each session is different and, while their opening night didn’t entirely resonate with me, there is definitely potential with the players, the show and the format, which will hopefully progress positively as their run continues.
For show times and to book tickets, see the Fringe guide.