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REPOST: Helpmann Awards winners dominated by Sydney theatre talent Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh

August 20, 2014

 

Get to know more about the actors and actresses who dominated this year’s Helpmann Awards by reading this article on The Sydney Morning Herald.

 

Richard Roxburgh won the award for Best Male Actor in a Play for <i>Waiting for Godot</i>.

Richard Roxburgh won the award for Best Male Actor in a Play for Waiting for Godot. Photo: Getty Images | Image Source: smh.com.au

 

It was a clean sweep for Sydney in the theatrical categories of this year’s Helpmann Awards, held Monday night at the Capitol Theatre.
The Sydney Theatre Company flexed its acting muscle with Richard Roxburgh winning best actor in a play for Waiting for Godot and Cate Blanchett’s best actress win for her turn in The Maids, a role she just reprised to raves in New York. And Belvoir adds to its list of things to celebrate this week – the company marked 30 years at a celebration on Sunday – winning Best Play for Angels In America, the almost eight-hour two-part epic directed by Eamon Flack.
Luke Mullins was named best supporting actor for STC’s Godot; Robyn Nevin won best supporting actress for Angels.

 

Best actress: Cate Blanchett (right) won Best Female Actor in a Play for her turn in <em>The Maids</em>.

Best actress: Cate Blanchett (right) won Best Female Actor in a Play for her turn in The Maids. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti | Image Source: smh.com.au

 

The Lion King’s grand Circle of Life number on the actual Lion King set (the Disney musical is doing such big business that the company took a ”hakuna matata” attitude to sacrificing Sunday shows for Helpmann rehearsals).
While Biggins tells Fairfax he was “tempted to shoot a gazelle” during rehearsals, he chose instead to stay out of the way of the herds of puppet savannah beasts migrating up the Capitol Theatre aisles on their way to Pride Rock.
On the glitz and glam front, there were also performances from Strictly Ballroom The Musical, Les Miserables and The King and I – or Kings and I, with Lisa McCune flanked by two Siamese monarchs in Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Lou Diamond Phillips during the number.

 

Musical stars: Opera Australia and John Frost's <em>The King and I</em> took home Best Musical.

Image Source: Musical stars: Opera Australia and John Frost’s The King and I took home Best Musical. Photo: Brian Geach | Image Source: smh.com.au

 

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, co-produced by Opera Australia and John Frost (who won the JC Williamson Award for a lifetime of achievements), took out Best Costume Design, Best Sound Design and overall Best Musical. It was a somewhat surprising win, given that The Hayes Theatre’s Sweet Charity – even as some questioned whether the independent production should have been eligible to be nominated at all – took home musical awards for Best Choreography, Best Direction and Best Actress for Verity Hunt-Ballard.
Craig McLachlan won Best Actor in a Musical for his Dr Frank N Furter, whom Sydneysiders will meet next April when The Rocky Horror Show opens at the Lyric.
Opera Australia’s King and I gongs were part of nine awards the national company took home – the rest were won for The Melbourne Ring Cycle, including Best Opera and Best Direction of an Opera for Neil Armfield.

With so many of the nominees and winners drawn from Sydney and Melbourne, there have been criticisms levelled at the Helpmanns for geographical bias: can an awards be truly national if judges can’t physically get to shows across the country?

Craig McLachlan won the award for Best Actor in a Musical for <i>The Rocky Horror Show</i>.

Craig McLachlan won the award for Best Actor in a Musical for The Rocky Horror Show. Photo: Getty Images |Image Source: smh.com.au

Adelaide-based Windmill Theatre’s win for Best Presentation for Children and Best New Australian work for Pinocchio, co-produced with the State Theatre Company of South Australia, added some balance, and Biggins says the Helpmanns have strived to be “as fair as possible and to cover as many thgings as possible – it’s a very broad church.”
Biggins, who directed the acclaimed (but not nominated) Noises Off for the Sydney Theatre Company, says that gripes about who won what, and why others weren’t even nominated are par for the course with awards shows.
Top billing: Luke Mullins and Paula Arundell in Angels in America, winner of Best Play.
Top billing: Luke Mullins and Paula Arundell in Angels in America, winner of Best Play. Photo: Heidrun Lohr
“A, it’s part of the industry. And B, winning is not the be all and end all,” he says. “I think anyone who managed to get a show on is pretty remarkable.”
Full list of 2014 Helpmann Award winners:
Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play
Homegrown: Pinocchio was named Best New Australian Work.
Homegrown: Pinocchio was named Best New Australian Work. Photo: Supplied
Luke Mullins, Waiting for Godot, Sydney Theatre Company
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play
Robyn Nevin, Angels In America, Belvoir
Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Reg Livermore, Wicked, Marc Platt, David Stone, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt, John Frost
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Heather Mitchell, Strictly Ballroom The Musical, Global Creatures
Best Costume Design
Roger Kirk, The King and I, Opera Australia and John Frost
Best Scenic Design
Gabriela Tylesova, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Sydney Theatre Company
Best Lighting Design
Nick Schlieper, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Best Sound Design
Michael Waters, The King and I
Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera
Warwick Fyfe, The Melbourne Ring Cycle, Opera Australia
Best Female Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera
Jacqueline Dark, The Melbourne Ring Cycle
Best Comedy Performer
Sam Simmons, Sam Simmons – Death Of A Sails-Man, Token Events
Best Cabaret Performer
Sarah Ward, Yana Alana Between The Cracks, Ebony Bott at fortyfivedownstairs
Best International Contemporary Concert
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band 2014
Best Contemporary Music Festival
Bluesfest Byron Bay 2014
Best Australian Contemporary Concert
Hunters & Collectors
Best Choreography in a Dance or Physical Theatre Work
Stephanie Lake, A Small Prometheus, Melbourne Festival, Arts House and Insite Arts
Best Choreography in a Musical
Andrew Hallsworth, Sweet Charity, Luckiest Productions & Neil Gooding Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co.
Best Direction of a Musical
Dean Bryant, Sweet Charity
Best Direction of an Opera
Neil Armfield, The Melbourne Ring Cycle
Best Direction of a Play
Michael Kantor, The 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
Best Male Performer in an Opera
Terje Stensvold, The Melbourne Ring Cycle
Best Female Performer in an Opera
Christine Goerke, Elektra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Best Original Score
Iain Grandage, When Time Stops, Expressions Dance Company and Queensland Performing Arts Centre in association with Brisbane Festival
Best Individual Classical Music Performance
Julia Lezhneva, Julia Lezhneva with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Hobart Baroque
Best Chamber and/or Instrumental Ensemble Concert
The Jerusalem Project, Melbourne Recital Centre and Sydney Opera House
Best Symphony Orchestra Concert
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Arts Centre Melbourne, Perth Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Sydney Opera House
Best Music Direction
Pietari Inkinen, The Melbourne Ring Cycle
Best Regional Touring Production
Jack Charles V The Crown, ILBIJERRI Theatre Company toured by Performing Lines
Best Presentation for Children
Pinocchio, Windmill Theatre & State Theatre Company of South Australia
Best New Australian Work
Rosemary Myers with Julianne O’Brien, Pinocchio
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
Best Male Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Work
James Vu Anh Pham, 247 Days, Chunky Move
Best Female Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Work
Charmene Yap, 2 in D Minor as part of Interplay, Sydney Dance Company
Best Male Actor in a Musical
Craig McLachlan, Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show, Howard Panter for Ambassador Theatre Group & John Frost
Best Female Actor in a Musical
Verity Hunt-Ballard, Sweet Charity
Best Male Actor in a Play
Richard Roxburgh, Waiting For Godot
Best Female Actor in a Play
Cate Blanchett, The Maids
Best Opera
The Melbourne Ring Cycle
Best Play
Angels In America
Best Ballet or Dance Work
Chroma, Australian Ballet
Best Musical
The King And I

 

Louis P. Habash is a skilled vocal performer and a Broadway musical expert. Follow him on Twitter page for more related updates.

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