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Nic Sampson: Marathon, 1904

Pleasance Courtyard ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

August 10, 2022 at 3:40:00 PM

When you watch a comic show at the Edinburgh Fringe fairly often you will think to yourself you're being fed a tall story but that you don't mind as it's really funny or entertaining. When watching Nic Sampson: Marathon 1904 you'll think that the story can't possibly be true. However, this story is - in the most part - completely true, the saying that sometimes 'truth is stranger than fiction' has probably never been more apt when used to describe a show at the Fringe!

Sampson tells the story of the 1904 Olympic Marathon, set in St Louis and almost an afterthought to accompany the World's Fair of the same year in the city. Without spoiling the story too much we find the organisation is chaotic, the roads unsuitable, runners on drugs and booze and wild animals chasing runners off the course.

Sampson is engaging and is an excellent story-teller, using humour to impart what was in reality utter lunacy and near life-threatening to many of the competitors. He brings character to a few of the runners, but also to socialite Alice Roosevelt, race organiser James Sullivan and (with help from the audience) Hicks' father back in Birmingham. It's a physical show for Sampson and I was impressed enough with his performance, but even more so when learning that he had not long recovered from Covid when performing the show.

There aren't many shows at the Fringe where you'll laugh and learn at the same time but this is certainly one of those shows, time flies by and feels more like a sprint than a marathon. Sampson was new to me - although he does have history as a writer and performer in New Zealand and the UK (and he's been a Power Ranger!!!) but I'll be keeping an eye on him in the future, his career at the Fringe will surely run and run.

Reviews by Teens

Nic Sampson: Marathon 1904 is a show about the 1904 marathon in St Louis, Missouri. The show mainly focused on three of the runners, Thomas Hicks (a British athlete), Fred Lorz (an American) and Felix Carvajal (a Cuban who wasn't even a runner, but still competed anyway).

The show told the story in an interesting but hilarious way, with both acting, storytelling and even a little crowd interaction. There were many, many problems with how the marathon was run, although I

won't spoil too much in case you go and see this show (and if you don't there is lots of less funny information on the internet too if you want to know more about it).

Overall, I would say this was a very exciting show to watch and I would definitely recommend this to anybody, even if you aren't a fan of sports.

Nic Sampson: Marathon, 1904
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