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

Baekdu Korean BBQ Restaurant

Food and Drink

Plan for July’s food and drink outings at some of the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.


Explore Hollywood history, queer rarities and squirm-inducing horror across the big screens of Manchester and the North this month.

Patron Mono by Carolina Caycedo, image depicts a figure standing in a room with a three channel video emitting a yellow light


From immersive playgrounds and mythological journeys to tackling injustice, this month is filled with fresh art to see all around the North.

Geronimo Festival 2022


Festivals, shows, museums, and much, much more – there’s plenty of summer fun to be had for families in Manchester and the North, whatever the weather. Here are our top picks.

Poet Caroline Bird


There’s plenty of sunshine-drenched reading to immerse yourself in from established names and emerging talent, poets and prose writers alike, both in real life as well as online.


From basement crawlers to stadium stars, there are some electric live acts heading our way this summer. Here are our top picks.

Theatre in Manchester


Eclectic theatre festivals, silly slapstick and dreamy outdoor shows, there’s lots of brilliant performances happening inside and outside over the summer.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Tours and Activities

Get out in the sun this month with tours and activities that will have you engaging positively with the climate, taking the plunge in Salford Quays and getting creative.