It has taken precisely a third of a century for Boojum!to return home to Adelaide. The question: was it worth the wait. The answer: a resounding yes!
Boojum!is a two-act, two-hour fantasy opera by identical twins, Martin and Peter Wesley-Smith, born in Adelaide (about 30 minutes apart) in August 1945. (Disclosure: I’ve known them since around 1968. We were composition students together at Adelaide University, and have remained close friends since that time.) So, I might be a wee bit biased when I declare that I think Boojum!is a true musical and theatrical masterpiece.
Brock Roberts, Katrina Mackenzie and Adam Goodburn. Photograph © Soda Street Productions
In 1984, the twins travelled to the USA and saw a few Broadway shows. With characteristic modesty, they thought they could do “something like this too”.
Fortuitously, they had a commission from Anthony Steel for a new music theatre piece for the 1986 Adelaide Festival. This would be Steel’s fifth and final festival, which would also present two other notable premieres with local resonances, the long-awaited Vossby Richard Meale and David Malouf (still waiting a second airing!) and my own musical pageant The Wakefield...