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.

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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.

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