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London, Ep. 5

May 5, 2010 — Literary Death Match London's 5th-ever episode at The Book Club — on 5/5, no less — was a brilliant affair that concluded with Popshot Magazine representative Helen Mort outdueling Stuart Evers (representing Wham! Bam! Story Slam!) in a British election-themed masterpiece/catastrophe to bring home the Literary Death Match crown. 

But before the final ballot was cast, the Picador Books-sponsored night kicked off with co-hosts Todd Zuniga and Pen Pusher Magazine's Anna Goodall bringing up the night's first readers in Evers and master scribe Tim Clare (representing Aisle16). Evers led off with tale about ex-sex in a Swindon hotel after having given up smoking, then Clare followed with a sharply comedic section from his memoir "We Can't All Be Astronauts" about the humiliation over trying out for a second-rate reality TV show. 

With the readings concluded, the mic was handed over to the team of all-star judges: Nick Hodgson (Kaiser Chiefs), journalist/filmmaker Tessa Mayes and comedian Terry Saunders. Mayes applauded Clare's use of the Scottish accent, then briefly attempted her own, while Hodgson lauded the believability of Clare's story before realizing it was true, then lauding the believability a second time. Evers piece had Saunders say he used Facebook, instead of hotels, to lure ex-lovers back into his life, instead opting for. After a short huddle, the judges announced their very difficult decision, choosing Evers to advance to the finals. 

After a booze-fueled intermission, Round 2 began with the lights lower, the crowd drunker, and Helen Mort leading off against singer/author Jim Bob (author of just-released Storage Stories). Mort performed three poems in her 7-minutes-or-less, one of which focused on a failed comedian who dressed in stainless steal. Jim Bob finished the evening with an excerpt from his new novel that featured people who actually followed a "Golf Sale" (with the pointy finger) sign. 

The judges were handed the microphone once again, with the Leeds-born Hodgson celebrating the intros by both writers before admitting he didn't like Sheffield, or Swindon, or...and after the judges deliberated, they announced Mort as the night's second finalist. 

Then came the harebrained finale: Election Obstacle Course! The finalists, Evers and Mort, were paired with volunteers from the crowd, and asked to then blindfoldedly complete three election-based tasks: 1. Pin a microphone on Labour Party leader Gordon Brown, 2. Save Graham Norton and Alan Carr from David Cameron's Conservative Party box (a box filled with wrapping paper and foam peanuts), 3. Vote for Liberal party's Nick Clegg by finding a hole in the ballot box that featured Clegg's picture. When the finale kicked off, Mort raced to a quick lead, but struggled to save Carr from the Conservatives, while Evers hunted for Norton in his dumped foam peanuts box. Then came the confusing finale to the finale, as both struggled to shove ballot cards into tiny non-sanctioned holes (with Evers actually saying, at one point, "I have no idea what I'm supposed to do!"). In the end, Mort was able to Vote Clegg first, and beat Evers by only a wee margin, making her London's fifth-ever Literary Death Match Champion.  



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Reader Comments (1)

Great night! Had a lot of fun - can't wait for LDM to be franchised to a regular London night. Only one suggestion - how about a holler-o-meter to record audience reaction? A Cowellisation, I know - but we want our shout! And thanks to Diana Renton for the photos ;-)

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeo Schulz

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