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London, Ep. 53

October 6, 2015 — For what was the night of every single audience member's life (we're projecting here), Literary Death Match joined hands with the London Literature Festival for a Southbank Centre showcase that ended with Jami Attenberg outlasting co-finalist Inua Ellams in a wild Author Jumble finale by 14-12 to win her the LDM London, Ep. 53 crown. 

But before the finale was even a thought, the night kicked off with the dazzling Attenberg, author of Saint Mazie and The Middlesteins, who told the tale of talking to a friend about blokes that hit on dinner, sex and body waxing. Next up was the marvelous Sabrina Mahfouz, award-winning playwright, actor and author of The Clean Collection (plays and poems), who told a story of a girl going to a strip club for the first time and wanting to leave. 

The mic was then handed to the trio of all-star judges: Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love and Project Director of Quick ReadsRichard Gadd, actor behind EdFringe hit Waiting for Gaddot (now being filmed as a TV pilot); and Dane Baptiste, comedian, The Independents ‘Face to Watch’ in 2015, and Foster's Newcomer Award nominee. The trio cracked genius-wise in response to the two authors before making the night's first impossible decision, declaring Attenberg the night's first finalist. 

Then the night zipped into Round 2, led off Jem Roberts, comedian, performer and author of The Frood: The Authorised and Very Official History of Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, who read about two tribes gripped by terror who go to war, but and aren't sure what to do when they attack. Finally it was Inua Ellams, playwright, artist, internationally touring poet, and author of Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales, who reeled off a series of poems — one an ode to south London about lovers, liars, conjurors and thieves and others about stop-and-searches and walking the streets at night. 

The judges, again, were center stage, praising both authors work, along with oddball observations galore, before making the night's second impossible choice, naming Ellams the second finalist. 

Then LDM executive producer Suzanne Azzopardi took center stage, announcing the night's finale: Author Jumble, in which Attenberg and Ellams had to un-jumble the names of celebrated authors. It was a touch-and-go competition, but in the end, Attenberg triumped by a narrow score, winning both the Literary Death Match London, Ep. 53 and literary immortality to go with it.