Literary Death Match at Gorilla: A writerly fight

Verity Williams

The highly-acclaimed Literary Death Match has been to over 50 cities worldwide – now, for the first time, this wordy show-down is coming to Manchester, in partnership with our very own Bad Language.

Voiceover, to cheering crowds:

“And now, coming to Manchester from Los Angeles for the first time ever, it’s “the most entertaining reading series ever” (LA Times); “the new world of literary night where entertainment is king” (The Independent); a writing event with “a rare, anarchic energy” (New Yorker) – it’s Literarrrrry Deeeaaath Maaaatch…”

Presented by Bad Language, Literary Death Match and Picador, it’s fight night at Gorilla on Friday 22 April. There will be an energetic crowd and three all-star judges – but in place of two fighters, there will a live performances from two pairs of writers.

“The most entertaining reading series ever” – LA Times

Each of the four writers will read their own work for seven minutes or less; in round one, Sarah Butler (who has been published in 15 countries) will take on Trevor Byrne (winner of Book of the Year in the Guardian and The Irish Times), while the Dylan Thomas Prize-longlisted Emma Chapman squares up to singer and poet Keisha Thompson (who has performed at international poetry festivals) in round two.

[mini_cta override=”BOOK NOW”/]

Each will receive comedic commentary from Joe Stretch (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, who will be assessing literary merit), Rebecca England (writer, actor and cast member in Murder, Inc., who will be covering performance) and Laughter Lounge Award-winning comedian Harriet Dyer (who will be eyeing up intangibles).

The two winners will then compete in the thrilling finale, a vaguely-literary game to decide the ultimate winner; imagine a spirited game of Pin the Moustache on Hemingway, or a literary spelling bee, perhaps. Ultimately, only one will be crowned champion by Literary Death Match’s creator, Adrian Todd Zuniga. It’s Literary Death Match’s 10 year anniversary, so get ready for the party – it’s going to be eloquently unruly.

Culture Guides

The Ocean at the End of The Lane at the lowry


It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Manchester is bursting with fun, family activities to keep the kids entertained in the run up to Christmas!

Poet Helen Mort. Photo by Jan Bella


There’s live literature and book-buying opportunities a-plenty as November unfolds and Manchester – celebrating five years as a UNESCO city of Literature – and the wider North region welcomes some great writers, both in real life and online.


The festive season is here, and whether you want to escape it or embrace it, we’ve got you covered.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Alongside radical sci-fi adaptations and free arts festivals, we take a look at some of the Christmas shows happening in the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North for autumn.

Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022


Classic pre-Code cinema, the Artist Film Weekender and the music of John Williams are amongst our highlights this month.


Pause in the hustle and bustle of festive prep to take in some inspiration from this month’s top exhibitions.

Tours and Activities

We’re deep into Autumn now but don’t let that stop you from finding a new tour or activity to get stuck into.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty at The Lowry
Dance Until 26 November 2022, from £17.00

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty at The Lowry

Compass Festival 2022
Activity Until 27 November 2022, FREE

Compass Festival 2022

sunny bank mills
Activity Until 27 November 2022, from £2.00

Sunny Bank Mills Christmas Art & Makers Market

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Visual Arts Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Graffiti at Zap Graffiti

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £15

Embroidery with Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £59

Making silver stacker rings at The Old Granary

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £60

Glass fusing at Glassmonkey Studio

Textile taxidermy
Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £80

Textile taxidermy with Jaki Bogg at Craven Arts Studios