Counting and Cracking, from emerging writer and co-director S. Shakthidharan, and produced by Belvoir and Co-Curious, garnered seven awards from eight nominations. Eamon Flack and S. Shakthidharan won Best Direction of a Play; Vaishnavi Suryaprakash was named Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play; Dale Ferguson won Best Scenic Design, and Stefan Gregory won Best Sound Design. The play was awarded Best Production of a Play and Best New Australian Work, while Prakash Belawadi was named Best Male Actor in a Play.
Best Musical was won by Barbara and the Camp Dogs, (Belvoir production produced in association with Vick Gordon Music Productions). Indigenous actor and singer Ursula Yovich starred in and co-wrote the personal story, for which she also won Best Female Actor in a Musical. Elaine Crombie was named Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her performance in the production, and the musical also won Best Original Score for Ursula Yovich, Alana Valentine and Adam Ventoura.
Best Female Actor in a Play went to Kate Mulvany for her performance in Belvoir’s production of Every Brilliant Thing. Popular Adelaide actor Paul Blackwell, who died in February, was posthumously recognised as Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play for his performance inFaith Healer, a Belvoir Production presented by State Theatre Company South Australia.
Gabriela Tylesova was awarded Best Costume Design for Melbourne Theatre Company's Twelfth Night directed by Simon Phillips.
Best Direction of a Musical went to Francesca Zambello for Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour:West Side Story, produced by Opera Australia, who picked up two more awards with Michael Honeyman winning Best Male Performer in an Opera for Wozzeck, and Lise Lindstrom named as Best Female Performer in an Opera for her title role performance inSalome. Taryn Fiebig won Best Female Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera for her portrayal of Gregor Samsa's mother in Opera Australia's revival of Brian Howard's opera Metamorphosis.
Best Chamber and/or Instrumental Ensemble Concert went to Gabrieli Consort & Players for Purcell’s King Arthur performed at Melbourne Recital Centre and for State Opera of South Australia.
West Australian Symphony Orchestra won two awards for its concert performances of Tristan und Isolde — Best Symphony Orchestra Concert, and Best Individual Classical Music Performance for conductor Asher Fisch.
In the dance categories, Best Ballet was won by Aurum, a new work choreographed by Alice Topp for The Australian Ballet. Best Male Dancer in a Ballet, Dance or Physical Theatre Production was won by Waangenga Blanco for his performance in Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Dark Emu. Antony Hamilton was awarded Best Choreography in a Ballet, Dance or Physical Theatre Production for his new work Forever & Ever, created for Sydney Dance Company, while Best Regional Touring Production was presented to Bangarra Dance Theatre's Bennelong.
The Helpmann Awards, established in 2001 by Live Performance Australia to recognise, celebrate and promote Australia’s live performance industry, honoured distinguished artistic achievement and excellence in the disciplines of dance, opera, contemporary music and festivals, in addition to theatre, cabaret, comedy and classical music. This year, for the first time, the award ceremony was held in Melbourne rather than Sydney.
For the complete list of nominees and award winners, visit http://www.helpmannawards.com....