2018 Helpmann Award Winners

2018 Helpmann Award Winners

Stunning performances by its actors propelled Beautiful: The Carole King Musical to an upset win in the Musical of the Year category at the 2018 Helpmann Awards, held at Sydney's Capitol Theatre, exposing deep flaws in the voting system.

David Spicer reports.

After securing five Helpmann awards on the first night of the presentations, Muriel's Wedding the Musical was bizarrely left empty handed on the second night, leaving industry insiders scratching their heads at the after show party.

Amy Lehpamer (pictured left) won a Helpmann for her performance, along with other performers in Beautiful, Mat Verevis and Esther Hannaford.

These individual awards were well deserved, but it was a complete travesty of the night for a carbon copy of a Broadway Musical to outshine an entirely original Australian production that has achieved critical and commercial success.

Bennelong by the Bangarra Dance Theatre then pipped Muriel's Wedding for Best New Australian work.

The result in the Best Musical award can probably be put down to the fact that Beautiful has already been seen in two capital cities (Sydney and Melbourne), whereas Muriel's Wedding only had one season in Sydney.

Live Performance Australia should have a rethink about the voting system. Surely works which are entirely new should receive an extra weighting in the Best Director and Best Dance, Musical and Play categories.

Twenty three (23) Helpmann Awards were presented in the categories of comedy, cabaret, contemporary music, musicals, opera, classical music, theatre and ballet, dance and physical theatre on night 2 of the Helpmann Awards.

Hosts for the evening were music writer Glenn A Baker AM, acclaimed choreographer Rafael Bonachela, celebrated musical theatre star and TV host David Campbell, multiple Helpmann Award winning mezzo soprano Jacqueline Dark, comedian Anne Edmonds and Olivier and Tony Award Nominee Tony Sheldon. 

Presenters included singer Christine Anu, The Hon Don Harwin MLC Minister for the Arts, musical theatre star Amy Lehpamer, arts administrator Michael Lynch CBE AO, ballet royalty David McAllister AM and Marilyn Rowe CBE AM, Graeme Russell CEO Media Super and actor Charles Wu.

Performances at the Helpmann Awards Act II included the cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical, a duet from Sydney Dance Company dancers Davide Di Giovanni and Charmene Yap, triple ARIA winners David Bridie, Helen Mountfort and Hope Csutoros from My Friend the Chocolate Cake, the stars of Muriel’s Wedding the Musical and the Brisbane born international indie pop sensation Sheppard. The commanding Maggie Dence delivered a moving poem to colleagues past, preceding the In Memoriam.

The show closed with vocalists from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s concert production of Funny Girl. Divas and funny girls included Trevor Ashley (Hairspray), Michaela Banas (Upper Middle Bogan), Natalie Bassingthwaighte (The X Factor), Casey Donovan (Australian Idol), Virginia Gay (First Tuesday Book Club), Verity Hunt-Ballard (Mary Poppins) Dami Im (Eurovision), Maggie McKenna (Muriel’s Wedding), Zahra Newman (Book of Mormon) and Caroline O’Connor.

A further 20 awards were presented at the Helpmann Awards Act I at Sydney Town Hall on Sunday July 15, with hosts Rhoda Roberts AO and Michael Lynch CBE AOwere joined by special guest presenters actor Mitchell Butel, director Neil Armfield AO, musical theatre stars Verity Hunt-Ballard, Matt Lee and Sharon Millerchip, choreographer Kelley Abbey, actor Peter Carroll, musical director Vanessa Scammell and composer Max Lambert. Performances included Monkey Baa Theatre Company, the Sydney Youth Orchestra Quartet, Georgina Hopson and dynamic opera duo Andrew Jones and Jenny Liu. 

Both Helpmann Award events were directed by internationally renowned producer, director and choreographer, Olivier Award winner David Atkins OAM.

Relive the Helpmann Awards and catch up anytime on ABC iview.

Full List of 2018 Helpmann Award Winners

MUSICALS

Best Musical
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Michael Cassel in association with Paul Blake & Sony/ATV Music Publishing & Mike Bosner

Best Direction Of A Musical
Marc Bruni
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Michael Cassel in association with Paul Blake & Sony/ATV Music Publishing & Mike Bosner

Best Choreography In A Musical
Andrew Hallsworth
Muriel's Wedding The Musical
Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures

Best Male Actor In A Musical
David Campbell
Dream Lover
John Frost AM and Gilbert Theatrical

Best Female Actor In A Musical
Esther Hannaford
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Michael Cassel in association with Paul Blake & Sony/ATV Music Publishing & Mike Bosner

Best Male Actor In A Supporting Role In A Musical
Mat Verevis
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Michael Cassel in association with Paul Blake & Sony/ATV Music Publishing & Mike Bosner

Best Female Actor In A Supporting Role In A Musical
Amy Lehpamer
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Michael Cassel in association with Paul Blake & Sony/ATV Music Publishing & Mike Bosner

 

THEATRE

Best Play
The Children
Melbourne Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company

Best Direction Of A Play
Sarah Goodes
The Children
Melbourne Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company

Best Male Actor In A Play
Hugo Weaving
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
Sydney Theatre Company

Best Female Actor In A Play
Pamela Rabe
The Children
Melbourne Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company

Best Male Actor In A Supporting Role In A Play
Mitchell Butel
Mr Burns, A Post-Electric Play
Belvoir and State Theatre Company South Australia

Best Female Actor In A Supporting Role In A Play
Anita Hegh
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
Sydney Theatre Company

 

OPERA & CLASSICAL MUSIC

Best Opera
Hamlet
Glyndebourne Festival, Adelaide Festival, State Opera of South Australia and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Best Direction Of An Opera
Neil Armfield AO
Hamlet
Glyndebourne Festival and Adelaide Festival in association with the State Opera of South Australia and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Best Male Performer In An Opera
Allan Clayton
Hamlet
Glyndebourne Festival and Adelaide Festival in association with the State Opera of South Australia and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Best Female Performer In An Opera
Nicole Car
La Traviata
Opera Australia

Best Male Performer In A Supporting Role In An Opera
Kanen Breen
Coronation of Poppea
Pinchgut Opera

Best Female Performer In A Supporting Role In An Opera
Lorina Gore
Hamlet
Glyndebourne Festival and Adelaide Festival in association with the State Opera of South Australia and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Best Symphony Orchestra Concert
Bluebeard's Castle: With Bach And Brahms
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Best Chamber And/Or Instrumental Ensemble Concert
Jordi Savall With Hesperion Xxi & Tembembe Ensamble Continuo
Perth Festival

Best Individual Classical Music Performance
Jonas Kaufmann
Parsifal
Opera Australia

 

PRESENTATION FOR CHILDREN

Best Presentation For Children
Emil And The Detectives
Slingsby

 

REGIONAL TOURING

Best Regional Touring Production
Our Land People Stories
Bangarra Dance Theatre

 

INDUSTRY

Best New Australian Work
Stephen Page AO
Bennelong
Bangarra Dance Theatre

Best Original Score
Kate Miller-Heidke & Keir Nuttall
Muriel's Wedding The Musical
Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures

Best Music Direction
Isaac Hayward
Muriel's Wedding The Musical
Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures

Best Costume Design
Gabriela Tylesova
Muriel's Wedding The Musical
Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures

Best Scenic Design
Jacob Nash
Bennelong
Bangarra Dance Theatre

Best Lighting Design
Nick Schlieper
Bennelong
Bangarra Dance Theatre

Best Sound Design
Michael Waters
Muriel's Wedding The Musical
Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures

Best Special Event
Taylor Mac: A 24 Decade History Of Popular Music
Melbourne International Arts Festival and Pomegranate Arts

 

CABARET

Best Cabaret Performer
Taylor Mac
A 24-Decade History of Popular Music
Melbourne International Arts Festival and Pomegranate Arts

 

COMEDY

Best Comedy Performer
Celia Pacquola
All Talk
Token Events

 

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC

Best International Contemporary Concert
Paul McCartney, Frontier Touring, Mpl & Marshall Arts
Paul McCartney — One On One World Tour 2017

Best Australian Contemporary Concert
Gotye, Sydney Festival & Mona Foma
Gotye Presents a Tribute to Jean-Jacques Perrey

Best Contemporary Music Festival
Museum Of Old And New Art (MONA)
Mona Foma

 

BALLET, DANCE & PHYSICAL THEATRE

Best Ballet
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland
The Australian Ballet

Best Dance Production
Bennelong
Bangarra Dance Theatre

Best Visual Or Physical Theatre Production
Tide
Bleach* Festival & The Farm

Best Choreography In A Ballet, Dance Or Physical Theatre Production
Stephen Page AO
Bennelong
Bangarra Dance Theatre

Best Male Dancer In A Ballet, Dance Or Physical Theatre Production
Beau Dean Riley Smith
Bennelong
Bangarra Dance Theatre

Best Female Dancer In A Ballet, Dance Or Physical Theatre Production
Ako Kondo
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
The Australian Ballet

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.