Nic Sampson: “Marathon, 1904,” at Edinburgh Fringe 2022

*** (out of 5)

Marathons: Famously not sprints.

The 1904 Olympic Marathon was rather infamous, yet might have been all but lost to history, if not for Wikipedia and folks like Nic Sampson to keep the events fresh in the memories for a new generation. As Sampson reminds us, the very act of getting to St. Louis was an adventure back then. So only 32 athletes from around the world made the trek there. How did only 14 of those runners manage to finish the race? Everything about that race was a bit of a mess. Disorganized from the start. I’m talking about the marathon itself, although truth be told, when Sampson isn’t physically reenacting the race, his retelling of it gets a bit messy, too. Sampson gives off a sense of a younger, redheaded Jason Sudeikis with a Kiwi accent, so the New Zealand comedian possesses the same physicality and likability. So I firmly believe, that given more of a chance to run, that in another 26.2 days or 26.2 weeks, that Sampson’s re-staging of the 1904 Olympic Marathon will be more worthy of a gold medal than the bronze in the future. It just wasn’t there yet when I saw the show in its first week at the Fringe.

Nic Sampson: Marathon, 1904 runs through Aug. 28, 2022, at Pleasance Courtyard (Cellar).

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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