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Who won big at the Helpmann Awards (and where to catch the winners)

A Helpmann Award is the biggest gong you can get in Australian theatre, and this year there were some commanding winners. So who took out the 2018 awards and where can you catch some of the award-winning action in Brisbane?

Every good theatrical production is built around suspense, so it was only fitting that this year’s Helpmann Awards were handed out over two nights – leaving us all wondering just that bit longer who the big winners would be.

Of all the productions up for awards, the biggest-winning show was Bennelong by Bangarra Dance Theatre (pictured), taking out seven awards. It toured the country last year – with a season at QPAC in August – recreating the story of Woollarawarre Bennelong in the company’s distinctive Australian dance language.

Next up, Bangarra is brining its show Dark Emu to QPAC next month. Another distinctly Australian production, Dark Emu is inspired by Bruce Pascoe’s book of the same name.

In the musicals arena, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical took out five of the seven awards on offer in that category, including Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Female Actor In A Musical. These awards come on the back of Beautiful’s opening at QPAC.

On the comedy front, Celia Pacquola took out the award for Best Comedy Performance for her show All Talk, which she performed at this year’s Brisbane Comedy Festival. She’s a festival regular and one to watch when she returns to Brisbane next year.

Here is the full list of 2018 winners – how many did you see?

 

-- 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

 

-- 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, One On One World Tour 2017 | Frontier Touring, Mpl & Marshall Arts

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

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

 

-- 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

 

-- 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| 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 | Michael Cassel in association with Paul Blake & Sony/ATV Music Publishing & Mike Bosner

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

 

-- 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, Adelaide Festival, State Opera of South Australia and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Best Male Performer In An Opera
Allan Clayton, Hamlet | Glyndebourne Festival, Adelaide Festival, 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, Adelaide Festival, 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

 

-- 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

 

Related: QPAC is getting a new theatre

Image: Photography by Daniel Boud

 

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