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Wilderness Festival, Ep. 1

August 12, 2012 – In its first visit to the serene Wilderness Festival, Literary Death Match made them wild in a hot hurry, in an electric showcase that saw host Suzanne Azzopardi hand a well-earned gold medal to Femi Martin after a stunning display of instantaneous anagram-solving.

The afternoon began in sweltering heat and in front of a packed tent with novelist David Whitehouse reading a moving new tale of an amputee plumber living in a town of atomic scientists. He was followed by Femi Martin, who delivered an impassioned piece of flash fiction (fiction that happens in a flash, as opposed to novels of burlesque), about the flashbacks of a relationship perceived at the moment of its break-up. Judges Katy Guest and Rick Edwards weighed matters seriously while a drunken Bruno Vincent wildly blamed the cosmos for his own shortcomings. Perhaps it was that Martin performed from memory that she went through from these two excellent readers.  

Round two began straight away with Marie Philips reading hilarious excerpts from her Fifty Shelves of Grey, a journey through the erotic versions of famous novels. It was not just the heat which made the crowd mop their brow as they were treated to pornolicious treatments of the Da Vinci Code and Three Men in a Boat – it was because they were very funny too. She was followed by Pete Brown who read one of the many bril;liant anecdotes from his round-the-world journey of beer drinking, Three Sheets to the Wind. He had assistance from audience member Katie, whose Irish accent (necessary for the piece) proved impeccable, while Brown's lay somewhere between the fishing villages of Panama and Iapetus, the seventh moon of Saturn. Guest and Edwards furrowed their brows (while Bruno sprawled and burped senselessly) and Philips was admitted to the final.

Could the excitement get any higher? Fair reader, of course it could. The finale was as intense as it was brief, for Martin and Philips squared up for a game of author anagrams with audience participation and a huge amount of shouting, as is de rigueur. Philips was merely very quick at guessing her anagrams, but Martin was the fastest gun in town, getting the answer (‘Tolkien’) in a sudden death play-off faster than you can say drums, drums in the deep! The orks are coming! We must away, into the wilderness!

Join us August 16 in London and (be)friend us on Facebook!

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