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Helpmann Award Winners 2017: full list

Barrie Kosky’s production of Saul, which had its Australian premiere at Adelaide Festival, has dominated this year’s Helpmann Awards, picking up six awards, including Best Direction of an Opera and Best Opera.

The winners of the awards were revealed tonight at a ceremony at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre.

Leah Purcell’s much-awarded stage adaptation of The Drover’s Wife was a major winner, picking up Best Play, Best Direction of a Play (Leticia Caceres), Best New Australian Work, and Best Male Actor in a Play (Mark Coles Smith). Kate Mulvany won Best Female Actor in a Play for her widely acclaimed performance as Richard III in Bell Shakespeare’s production.

The four major musicals that dominated the nominations — Aladdin, My Fair Lady, The Book of Mormon and Kinky Boots — each won two awards, with The Book of Mormon taking out Best Musical.

There was some protest in the industry last month that the musical theatre nominations recognised more international artists than locals, and the two awards available to male musical theatre performers both went to foreign performers: Callum Francis (Best Male Actor in a Musical – Kinky Boots) and Michael James Scott (Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical – Aladdin).

The two ladies of My Fair Lady both picked up awards — Anna O’Byrne for Best Female Actor in a Musical, and industry stalwart Robyn Nevin for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical.

INDUSTRY AWARDS

BEST NEW AUSTRALIAN WORK
LEAH PURCELL
The Drover’s Wife
Belvoir

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
GREGG BARNES
Aladdin
Disney Theatrical Productions (Australia)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
JOACHIM KLEIN
Saul
Adelaide Festival in association with the State Opera of South Australia, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Festival Centre present a Glyndebourne Festival Opera production

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
IAIN GRANDAGE AND RAHAYU SUPANGGAH
Satan Jawa
Arts Centre Melbourne, Asia TOPA and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

BEST MUSIC DIRECTION
ERIN HELYARD
Saul
Adelaide Festival in association with the State Opera of South Australia, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Festival Centre present a Glyndebourne Festival Opera production

BEST SCENIC DESIGN
ANNA CORDINGLEY
Jasper Jones
Melbourne Theatre Company

BEST SOUND DESIGN
GARETH FRY AND PETE MALKIN
The Encounter
Complicite, Sydney Festival, Malthouse Theatre, Adelaide Festival and Perth International Arts Festival

CABARET

BEST CABARET PERFORMER
HOPE HAAMI, JUANITA DUNCAN, OFA FOTU, CRYSTAL STACEY, ALEXIS WEST, GHENOA GELA, LISA FA’ALAFI AND KIM ‘BUSTY BEATZ’ BOWERS
Hot Brown Honey
Briefs Factory, Arts Centre Melbourne and Sydney Opera House

COMEDY

BEST COMEDY PERFORMER
HANNAH GADSBY
Nanette
Token Events

PRESENTATION FOR CHILDREN

BEST PRESENTATION FOR CHILDREN
JUMP FIRST, ASK LATER
Powerhouse Youth Theatre and Force Majeure

REGIONAL TOURING AWARDS

BEST REGIONAL TOURING PRODUCTION
TERRAIN
Bangarra Dance Theatre

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC

BEST AUSTRALIAN CONTEMPORARY CONCERT
NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS AND BILLIONS AUSTRALIA
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Billions Australia

BEST CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FESTIVAL
MONA FOMA 2017
Museum of Old and New Art

BEST INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY CONCERT
PATTI SMITH AND BLUESFEST TOURING
Patti Smith and her Band Australian Tour 2017
Bluesfest Touring

DANCE AND PHYSICAL THEATRE AWARDS

BEST BALLET
BALLET PRELJOCAJ’S SNOW WHITE
QPAC in association with Brisbane Festival

BEST DANCE PRODUCTION
ATTRACTOR
Dancenorth and Lucy Guerin Inc, with Arts Centre Melbourne, Asia TOPA, WOMADelaide and Brisbane Festival

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A BALLET, DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION
GIDEON OBARZANEK AND LUCY GUERIN
Attractor
Dancenorth and Lucy Guerin Inc, with Arts Centre Melbourne, Asia TOPA, WOMADelaide and Brisbane Festival

BEST MALE DANCER IN A BALLET, DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION
KEVIN JACKSON
Nijinsky
The Australian Ballet

BEST FEMALE DANCER IN A BALLET, DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION
LILIAN STEINER
Split
Lucy Guerin Inc and Arts House

BEST VISUAL OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION
SNAKE SESSIONS
Branch Nebula, produced by Intimate Spectacle, toured by Arts on Tour

OPERA AND CLASSICAL MUSIC

BEST DIRECTION OF AN OPERA
BARRIE KOSKY
Saul
Adelaide Festival in association with the State Opera of South Australia, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Festival Centre present a Glyndebourne Festival Opera production

BEST FEMALE PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN OPERA
LORINA GORE
King Roger
Opera Australia

BEST MALE PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN OPERA
KANEN BREEN
Saul
Adelaide Festival in association with the State Opera of South Australia, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Festival Centre present a Glyndebourne Festival Opera production

BEST FEMALE PERFORMER IN AN OPERA
LISE LINDSTROM
The Ring Cycle
Opera Australia

BEST MALE PERFORMER IN AN OPERA
CHRISTOPHER PURVES
Saul
Adelaide Festival in association with the State Opera of South Australia, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Festival Centre present a Glyndebourne Festival Opera production

BEST OPERA
SAUL
Adelaide Festival in association with the State Opera of South Australia, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Festival Centre present a Glyndebourne Festival Opera production

BEST CHAMBER AND/OR INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE CONCERT
ACADEMY OF ST MARTIN IN THE FIELDS
Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Melbourne Recital Centre, Sydney Opera House and QPAC

BEST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CONCERT
STEMME, SKELTON, TRISTAN & ISOLDE
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

BEST INDIVIDUAL CLASSICAL MUSIC PERFORMANCE
JOSHUA BELL
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Melbourne Recital Centre, Sydney Opera House and QPAC

THEATRE

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY
LETICIA CÁCERES
The Drover’s Wife
Belvoir

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A PLAY
AMBER MCMAHON
Girl Asleep
Windmill Theatre Company

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A PLAY
GUY SIMON
Jasper Jones
Melbourne Theatre Company

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A PLAY
KATE MULVANY
Richard 3
Bell Shakespeare

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A PLAY
MARK COLES SMITH
The Drover’s Wife
Belvoir

BEST PLAY
THE DROVER’S WIFE
Belvoir

MUSICALS AWARDS

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
TREY PARKER AND CASEY NICHOLAW
The Book of Mormon
ANNE GAREFINO, SCOTT RUDIN, IMPORTANT MUSICALS, JOHN FROST, Roger Berlind, Scott M. Delman, Jean Doumanian, Roy Furman, Stephanie P. McClelland, Kevin Morris, Jon B. Platt, Sonia Friedman Productions

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A MUSICAL
JERRY MITCHELL
Kinky Boots
MICHAEL CASSEL by special arrangement with DARYL ROTH and HAL LUFTIG

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
ROBYN NEVIN
My Fair Lady
Opera Australia and John Frost

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
MICHAEL JAMES SCOTT
Aladdin
Disney Theatrical Productions (Australia)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
ANNA O’BYRNE
My Fair Lady
Opera Australia and John Frost

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
CALLUM FRANCIS
Kinky Boots
MICHAEL CASSEL by special arrangement with DARYL ROTH and HAL LUFTIG

BEST MUSICAL
THE BOOK OF MORMON
ANNE GAREFINO, SCOTT RUDIN, IMPORTANT MUSICALS, JOHN FROST, Roger Berlind, Scott M. Delman, Jean Doumanian, Roy Furman, Stephanie P. McClelland, Kevin Morris, Jon B. Platt, Sonia Friedman Productions

BESTOWED HELPMANN AWARD
Outstanding contribution to the Live Performance Industry 
Ross Cunningham

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