The Assassination of Robert Ford: Dirty Little Coward (Still Your Friend) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

The Assassination of Robert Ford

Still Your Friend’s production of The Assassination of Robert Ford: Dirty Little Coward premiered tonight at Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace  as part of the Toronto Fringe. It’s terrific. I predict that it’s going to be one of the hot tickets of this year’s Fringe so don’t delay. Buy your tickets now!

First things first – this isn’t a show about the mayor of Toronto. The Robert Ford in the title is the man who killed Jesse James. You probably recognize “dirty little coward” from the folk song Jesse James. The show is the story of  Ed O’Kelley, the man who killed Ford.

Adam Bailey wrote and directed the show and did both brilliantly. The script is smart, witty, and funny. The pacing of the show was perfect. The show is funny but not really a comedy; there are songs but it isn’t a musical; there are serious moments but sometimes it felt like a melodrama – in a good way.

Joel Lightman composed the music, and played the piano; he was playing ragtime before the show started and it was lovely. He showed great comic timing playing Robert Ford. He was good in the fight scene too. A renaissance man.

Geoff Mays as Ed O’Kelley played a man whose life didn’t work out the way he thought it would. There was suppressed anger as he told his story. I have no idea what a Missouri accent sounds like but Mays’ accent sounded like it could be Missourian and it never wavered.

Tyler Seguin was The Host, a dapper man. He was lovely, very appealing with his southern accent and his fancy hat.

The cast all seemed very comfortable in their roles.

The Assassination of Robert Ford is a seriously good production. I loved it.


The Assassination of Robert Ford: Dirty Little Coward plays at Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson Ave)

Show times
July 05 at 09:45 PM
July 06 at 12:00 PM
July 08 at 06:15 PM
July 09 at 12:15 PM
July 10 at 05:45 PM
July 12 at 11:00 PM

Tickets for all mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only. Advance tickets are $12, and can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West). Money-saving value packs are also available if you are going to at least five shows; see website for details

LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.

Photo of Geoff Mays, Tyler Seguin and Joel Lightman by Fee Gunn