The popular live game show, Werewolf: Live, has recently undergone a dramatic transformation. Contestants this year are the Fringe’s own comics, rather than members of the audience (as had been the case in previous years).
It’s a truly refreshing palate cleanser from all of the straight stand-up, but audience members are still treated to their comedy fix. This evening in particular there are seven comics taking to the stage: John-Luke Roberts, Nathan Roberts, Andy Field, Cam Spence, Eshaan Akbar, Stevie Martin and Adam Rowe.
Front man Jon Gracey revs up the suspense of the game, whilst also reminding us just how ridiculous the whole concept is. Amongst this group of seemingly innocent villagers lie two hungry werewolves, who will be picking off the villagers one by one until they are found out, or until there are no longer enough villagers left to stop them.
This is a game where emotions run high. Stevie’s extreme exasperation at being called out despite not being a wolf, and Eshaan’s disappointment about being a villager for the sixth time are particular highlights. That’s not forgetting John-Luke’s interesting tactic of randomly calling out someone from the start, and then sitting quietly and stroking his moustache for the rest of the round.
A huge bonus is that the comics really know what they are doing. They know the concept so well that they are able to develop tactics and use their previous experiences to inform their play. They’ve also built such a strong rapport that their interactions begin to shed light on their relationships off stage, adding an interesting social element to the play.
With three games per show, the audience are able to really immerse themselves in this sinister fantasy world. The only problem is, an hour simply doesn’t feel like enough. Catch Werewolf at Underbelly, Bristo Square at 9.05pm throughout August.