boojum! Nonsense,
Lewis Carroll

a full-length work of "choral nonsense theatre",
for soloists, choir, piano & percussion,
available on double CD
(to order, click

book and music: Martin Wesley-Smith
book & lyrics: Peter Wesley-Smith

Boojum! CD

score, CD & study kit available from The Australian Music Centre (home)

detailed info: synopsis authors' notes CD credits critical comments libretto: Act 1, Act 2

most recent production:
November 18 to Dec 16 2010 in Chicago
in a co-production by Caffeine Theatre and Chicago Opera Vanguard

see excerpts from reviews, and photographs, here

links: bottom

from Fanfare, "The Magazine for Serious Record Collectors",
USA, p99, Vol 16, No. 5, May/June 1993:
Your reward is learning about Boojum!, a "light-hearted but deadly-serious choral fantasy" ... (the authors) have fashioned an irresistible contemporary musical snark hunt ... subtitled "Nonsense, Truth, and Lewis Carroll", (it) is partly a psychological profile of the Reverend Charles Dodgson ... For heaven's sake, indulge yourself in Boojum! Sit down with the libretto in the jewel box when you can be uninterrupted for two hours and experience this grand entertainment ...

the following appeared on,
Oct 14 1999, posted by Caius Marcius:
As a life-long fanatical admirer of Lewis Carroll, I at one time thought David Del Tredici to be the very model of a musical Carrollian, until I came across the music of Martin Wesley-Smith. I still enjoy Del Tredici, but Wesley-Smith *is* Lewis Carroll. Boojum! is perhaps the finest example of psycho-bio-musical theatre that I know. Its insights into Carroll's (split!) personality are astonishingly complex: in particular, the dramatization of the photo sessions with the nude Alice vividly portrays the spiritual purity of Carroll's quest for what many today automatically assume must have been the mere creation of kiddie porn. And if librettist Peter Wesley-Smith's dazzling wordplay isn't quite on the same level as Carroll's: that's sort of like criticizing a composer for writing at the level of Mendelsson rather than Mozart.

from Carroll, David: Lewis Carroll, Burnt Toast #7, Australia, 1991:
(The Hunting of the Snark) has also had several interpretations on stage, the recent large-scale musical for a start, which I'm afraid I didn't see but have been told is very enjoyable. My own experience is of a wonderful little play called Boojum!, written by a pair of Australians, Peter and Martin Wesley-Smith. A recounting of the Snark-hunting expedition without using the actual poem, it contained many Carrollian references and in-jokes, both to his works and the man himself, and Alice, Lewis Carroll, the Rev. Charles Dodgson, Dum and Dee are only some of the other characters in it.

an arrangement of five songs from Boojum! for five singers & orchestra, called The Knight's Gambit, was premiered in August 2001 in the Sydney Opera House, conducted by Simone Young

June 2007: Sydney vocal ensemble The Song Company, which has been performing For More Than Sixty Years for many years, has included a bracket of three songs (The Hunting of the Snark, Jubjubby and We Must Be Off) from Boojum! in their latest show, Songs of Oz.

synopsis authors' notes CD credits critical comments libretto: Act 1, Act 2
Martin Wesley-Smith Peter Wesley-Smith mw-s discography
e-mail Martin
e-mail Peter
Lewis Carroll
home page
Mrs Hargreaves
Who Killed
Cock Robin?
other libretti by Peter Wesley-Smith include:
Black Ribbon [2001] Quito [1994] True [2002] doublethink [2005]

the Boojum tree (Idria columnaris)

see this brilliant Snark site by Mahendra Singh in Montreal, Quebec

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site updated March 9 2011