Alana Cook revels in the whimsy of Lucio Gray’s Aldo, part of the Drama Society’s MIFTA season 2018
Some of us broke students love to turn to supermarket store Aldi for a cheap food shop. But no one could love the store more than the protagonist of the latest Drama Society play, Aldo, written by Lucio Gray and directed by Emily Tandy.
Aldo (aptly named) is a wholesome, friendly, and slightly eccentric boy who works at the store, providing outstanding customer service all in the name of his love for Aldi. The story is a simple one: socially-awkward Aldo is crushed when the Aldi he works at closes down, but rather than be defeated he sets up his own (slightly shady) version of the shop, using left over stock, and with some help from the other ex-employees.
The cast was great and all had a chemistry which made their relationships with each other believable and enjoyable to watch. Roman Armstrong delivered a bright-eyed, bubbly, and strong performance as Aldo, bringing to life the character from the moment the audience arrived, greeting them and asking what they’d bought at the shop recently. There were also some great comedic moments, particularly from actors Lauren Ellis-Stretch as Sam the thief and Gary Gannon as Ben and other parts.
A notable laugh-out-loud moment was when Welsh Ellis-Stretch’s character met with Welsh Lego-loving lorry driver Arthur (played by Jordan Jones) and both actors, very seriously, began to have a conversation in Welsh, much to the confusion of Aldo. Something else of note was Mary’s (played by Chloe Wilson) unzipped fly for around half of the performance. I have no idea whether or not this was intentional, but nevertheless it provided some added entertainment that fitted the character well.
The play was minimalistic, with labelled cardboard boxes functioning as different objects, such as the aisles in the shop or a lorry. This was very effective in portraying the different settings whilst adding to the quirky vibe in the play.
The play’s ending was slightly odd, but sweet nonetheless. Overall, Aldo was a lovely, quirky, heart-warming, funny play that restored my faith in humanity somewhat. It also made me really want to buy some Stroopwafel.