The Helpmanns, now in their 14th year, were established by Live Performance Australia to recognise, celebrate and promote our live performance industry.
Last night Australia’s major performing arts companies were well represented. Opera Australia’s Artistic Director, Lyndon Terracini, tramped a well-worn path between his seat and the stage, collecting gongs for theRing Cycle (six awards including Best Opera) and the King and I (a joint production with John Frost, which won three awards including Best Musical).
The one opera award he didn’t collect was Best Female Performer in an Opera which was awarded to Christine Goerke forElektra by Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Sydney Theatre Company was also omnipresent—featuring in five awards spread across three plays: Waiting for Godot(Best male actor in a play—Richard Roxburgh; Best male actor in a supporting role in a play—Luke Mullins);Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Best scenic design—Gabriela Tylesova; Best lighting design—Nick Schlieper), andThe Maids (Best female actor in a play—Cate Blanchett).
Some of the results were out of the box. Pinocchio, a joint Windmill Theatre & State Theatre Company of South Australia production, not only won Best Presentation for Children, but also Best New Australian Work (Rosemary Myers with Julianne O’Brien).
The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and soprano Julia Lezhneva will be delighted with Best Individual Classical Music for a performance at Hobart Baroque.
Belvoir’s Angels in America won Best Play and Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play for Robyn Nevin.
Best Direction of a Play went to Michael Kantor, for The Shadow King—an Indigenous reimagining of King Lear, produced by Malthouse Theatre in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals.
Best ballet or dance work was awarded to The Australian Ballet’sChroma and Best Female Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Work went to Charmene Yap,2 in D Minor as part of Interplay by Sydney Dance Company.
Of the 41 awards on offer, our major performing arts companies were involved in 23, often in their own right and sometimes in joint productions. But all of them inspirational.
The evening was punctuated with stunning performances from Disney’sThe Lion King, Cameron Mackintosh’s new production ofLes Misérables, Baz Luhrmann’sStrictly Ballroom the Musical and a special medley fromThe King and I with Lisa McCune, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Lou Diamond Phillips.
Hosted by Jonathan Biggins, Sydney Theatre Company’s Wharf Revue served up their trademark irreverent political satire with some very special guest appearances including by ‘Paul Keating’ and ‘Julia Gillard’.
There were also performances from singer Mark Vincent, Djuki Mala (Chooky Dancers) and The Zephyr Quartet from Adelaide. Opera star Taryn Fiebig was joined by Dominic Grimshaw to perform thePie Jesu from Andrew Lloyd Webber’sRequiem for In Memoriam segment.
Full list of 2014 Helpmann Award winners:
1.Best opera The Melbourne Ring Cycle (Opera Australia)
2.Best play Angels In America (Belvoir)
3.Best ballet or dance work Chroma (The Australian Ballet)
4.Best musical The King and I (Opera Australia and John Frost)
5.Best male actor in a play Richard Roxburgh forWaiting For Godot (Sydney Theatre Company)
6.Best female actor in a play Cate Blanchett forThe Maids (Sydney Theatre Company)
7.Best male actor in a supporting role in a play Luke Mullins for Waiting for Godot (Sydney Theatre Company)
8.Best female actor in a supporting role in a play Robyn Nevin for Angels In America (Belvoir)
9.Best male actor in a musical Craig McLachlan for Richard O’Brien’sRocky Horror Show(Howard Panter for Ambassador Theatre Group & John Frost)
10.Best female actor in a musical Verity Hunt-Ballard forSweet Charity (Luckiest Productions & Neil Gooding Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co.)
11.Best male actor in a supporting role in a musical Reg Livermore for Wicked (Marc Platt, David Stone, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt, John Frost)
12.Best female actor in a supporting role in a musical Heather Mitchell for Strictly Ballroom The Musical (Global Creatures)
13.Best male performer in an opera Terje Stensvold forThe Melbourne Ring Cycle (Opera Australia)
14.Best female performer in an opera Christine Goerke forElektra (Sydney Symphony Orchestra)
15.Best male performer in a supporting role in an operaWarwick Fyfe forThe Melbourne Ring Cycle (Opera Australia)
16.Best female performer in a supporting role in an operaJacqueline Dark forThe Melbourne Ring Cycle(Opera Australia)
17.Best male dancer in a dance or physical theatre workJames Vu Anh Pham for247 Days(Chunky Move)
18.Best female dancer in a dance or physical theatre work Charmene Yap for 2 in D Minor as part ofInterplay (Sydney Dance Company)
19.Best comedy performer Sam Simmons for Sam Simmons - Death Of A Sails-Man(Token Events)
20.Best cabaret performer Sarah Ward for Yana Alana Between The Cracks (Ebony Bott at fortyfivedownstairs)
21.Best international contemporary concert Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band 2014 (Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band & Frontier Touring)
22.Best contemporary music festival Bluesfest Byron Bay 2014 (Bluesfest)
23.Best Australian contemporary concert Hunters & Collectors (Hunters & Collectors, Frontier Touring and Roundhouse Entertainment)
24.Best choreography in a dance or physical theatre workStephanie Lake forA Small Prometheus (Melbourne Festival, Arts House and Insite Arts)
25.Best choreography in a musical Andrew Hallsworth forSweet Charity (Luckiest Productions & Neil Gooding Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co.)
26.Best direction of a musical Dean Bryant forSweet Charity (Luckiest Productions & Neil Gooding Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co.)
27.Best Direction of an Opera Neil Armfield forThe Melbourne Ring Cycle (Opera Australia)
28.Best direction of a play Michael Kantor forThe Shadow King (Malthouse Theatre in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals -Adelaide Festival, Brisbane Festival, Melbourne Festival, Perth International Arts Festival and Sydney Festival)
29.Best original score Iain Grandage for When Time Stops (Expressions Dance Company and Queensland Performing Arts Centre in association with Brisbane Festival)
30.Best individual classical music performance Julia Lezhneva for Julia Lezhneva with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (Hobart Baroque)
31.Best chamber and/or instrumental ensemble concert The Jerusalem Project (Melbourne Recital Centre and Sydney Opera House)
32.Best symphony orchestra concert Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Arts Centre Melbourne, Perth Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Sydney Opera House)
33.Best music direction Pietari Inkinen for The Melbourne Ring Cycle (Opera Australia)
34.Best regional touring production Jack Charles V The Crown(ILBIJERRI Theatre Company toured by Performing Lines)
35.Best presentation for children Pinocchio (Windmill Theatre & State Theatre Company of South Australia)
36.Best new Australian work Rosemary Myers with Julianne O’Brien forPinocchio (Windmill Theatre & State Theatre Company of South Australia)
37.Best visual or physical theatre production Whelping Box (Branch Nebula, Matt Prest & Clare Britton, produced by Intimate Spectacle & Performing Lines, presented by Performance Space & Arts House)
38.Best costume design Roger Kirk for The King and I (Opera Australia and John Frost)
39.Best scenic design Gabriela Tylesova for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Sydney Theatre Company)
40.Best lighting design Nick Schlieper for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Sydney Theatre Company)
41.Best sound design Michael Waters for The King and I(Opera Australia and John Frost)
In addition, two very special awards were presented in honour of two exceptional individualsfor their lifetime contribution to the live performance industry in Australia, John Frost AM and Patricia Boggs. Theatre producer John Frost AM has been awarded the 2014 JC WILLIAMSON AWARD and Patricia Boggs, Australia’s best and most respected ticketing consultant, was awarded the inaugural SUE NATTRASS AWARD, which recognises outstanding service to the live performance industry in a field that may not usually enjoy a high public profile.