thenthen - promotional photo #1Playwright Kyle Capstick had a lot of great ideas for a new play- a glimpse into the personal stakes of a small theatre company as the life-and-death stakes of WWII loom ever-more-noisily large, an examination of grief and the way we carry on, a poetic contemplation of what makes a kiss more than just an action, a window into adult sadness through the eyes of an innocent, and, perhaps most intriguingly, an empathetic take on the pressures placed on the classical leading man and the internal and external consequences of his finding himself drawn not to Juliet but to Balthazar. The trouble with Capstick’s quaint but ambitious work then, then. (currently playing at the Majlis Art Garden by way of The Messy Kween Collective) is that he decided to explore all those ideas at the same time.

The result is an intermittently stirring but generally hyperactive play that takes too many sojourns away from whichever of the many story elements you’re most invested in. Director Evan Harkai’s literal direction doesn’t help (though beautifully felt performances from Jamie Johnson and Michelle Lewis certainly do) and the audience is left intrigued by the beginnings of many things and the full examination of little.