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Dublin, Ep. 7

March 28, 2012 — Before a packed house at The Workman's Club, literary magic was made on repeat, but, alas, there could only be one champion. And after a sudden-death Literary Pictionary kapow, it was poetic heartthrob Sean Mahoney who outdueled Poetry Chicks Collective virtuoso Abby Oliveira by a closer-than-it-appeared score of 3-2, to win Mahoney the LDM Dublin, Ep. 7 title. 

The business of the evening kicked off in customary style, led by Brownbread Mixtape supremo (and former LDM Flatlake Festival, Ep. 1 champ) Kalle Ryan who had the audience in the palm of his hand with his one-poem performance on the theme of cool. Bruce Willis, Werner Herzog and Cab Calloway all made the list, and this might be the only time you’ll ever see those names together. He was followed by the amazing Oliveira who tugged every heart string in the room with her harrowing and powerful end-of-innocence piece on roots, difference and being the bigger person.

The spotlight then turned to our all-star trio of judges: The Tenderloin author and Your Bad Self creator John Butler on literary merit; celebrated YouTuber Clare Cullen on performance; and broadcaster, comedian and Irish mammy Colm O'Regan on intangibles. After a little coaxing by host and LDM creator Todd Zuniga, the judges professed themselves smitten by Oliveira, and she progressed to the final.

Round two kicked off like a thunderclap as Mahoney tore up the stage with a soul-baring piece on lost love which lingered long after the performance, delivered effortlessly to a rapt crowd. And in the last performance of the night, Deirdre Sullivan had the room in giggles with her tales of William the guinea pig-harlot-spy at his Walter Mitty best, and she also satisfied the audience’s blood lust by going over the seven-minute time limit and taking a Velcro dart to the elbow.

The judges were again called upon to perform a seemingly impossible task, but in the end it was Sean Mahoney’s isolation in front of the footlights which clinched his way to the final.

Six lickety split rounds of Literary Pictionary made up the finale, where audience members recreated the literary canon in pictorial form, and the hapless contestants tried to pluck the right answer out of the white noise in the room.  After a false start (an unguessable Skippy Dies), it was fast and furious, as 1984 was followed by Midnight’s Children, with both finalists on level pegging. A point apiece for Slaughterhouse 5 and The Grapes of Wrath led to a tie-break situation and the final drawing.

As the right answer was shouted by everybody in the room except the contestants, the crescendo must surely have caused structural damage to the venue, but it was Sean Mahoney who just got in with The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas to claim victory by a 3-2 margin, and secure his place in the LDM Pantheon, becoming only the second-ever two-time LDM winner (alongside Andrew Lam). 

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