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Nic Sampson: Marathon 1904 4**** - One4Review

Nic Sampson: Marathon 1904 4****

| On 10, Aug 2022

The marathon at the 1904 Olympic Games was a disaster for all sorts of reasons, but Mr Sampson has made the telling of its story into a success of a show. With some AV props, various characters – including Alice Roosevelt and runner Thomas Hicks – and Mr Sampson himself providing the narration, he expands what could be a bullet-point list of facts into a mildly-gripping story with empathetic fleshed-out characters and instils a desire to know what happens at the end.

Mr Sampson makes considered and judicious use of the audience, so avoid the very first row if that’s not your thing, but any deprecation is aimed at himself, not at his volunteers. He uses what his volunteers give him very well, incorporating it into the show even if it’s not quite what he might have been looking for.

This is a story about running, and Mr Sampson does an excellent job of embodying different runners’ styles, and equally impressively delivers a not-insignificant portion of the show while running on the spot. There’s some meta-narrative thrown in for fun as a framing device, which rounds everything off nicely and ties a bow on an engaging and informative package of a show.

Reviewed by Laura

Pleasance Courtyard
17:40 (not 15th)

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