STC and Opera Australia dominate Helpmann awards

The Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Secret River dominated the artistic awards at last night Helpmann’s, taking out six gongs— Best Play, Best Direction (Neil Armfield), Best Music Direction and Best Original Score (Iain Grandage), Best Supporting Male Actor (Colin Moody) and Best New Australian Work (Andrew Bovell for his adaption of Kate Grenville’s novel).

STC and Opera Australia dominate Helpmann awards

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Co-colossus in the awards was the musical King Kong which scooped the technical categories.

Other major performing arts companies to triumph included Opera Australia which also won six awards, with Best Opera for Salome, Best Female and Male Performers (Cheryl Barker and John Wegner, both in Salome), Best Supporting Female and Male Performers (Jacqueline Dark in Salome and Jose Carbo in Die Tote Stadt) and Best Direction of an Opera for Alex Ollé (Un Ballo in Maschera).

Bangarra picked up two awards for Terrain—Best Female Dancer and Best Ballet—and Belvoir’s production of Death of a Salesman won Best Male Actor in a Play for Colin Friels.

Best Female Actor in a Play went to Alison Bell in Hedda Gabler at the State Theatre Company of South Australia.

The scope of the 43 award categories takes in dance, opera, contemporary music, theatre, musicals, festivals, special awards, children's shows, circus, comedy and cabaret.

Read the full list of Helpmann award winners here.

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Award Winners, News