Matilda sweeps up at 2016 The Helpmann Awards

On Monday the 25th of July, Sydney’s Lyric Theatre hosted The 16th Annual Helpmann Awards, Australia’s performing arts’ night of nights. The night boasts the successes of achievements in an array of artistic disciplines amongst the national arts scene. Hosted by a wealth of figureheads in the field including Chloe Dallimore, The Umbillical Brothers and Queenie Van De Zandt, the awards were given out flawlessly with interjections of performances from Sarah Blasko supporting her latest effort Eternal Return and bouncy numbers by cast members of Singin’ In The Rain, Ladies in Black and Matilda.

The night went to Matilda: The Musical, sweeping a record of 13 wins to RSC’s most recent bout. The performance which was composed by English-born Perth-raised comedian Tim Minchin swept all categories in Musicals, including best costume and sound design, with the tiny 8 Matilda’s themselves picking up Best Female Actor in a Musical.

Matilda1
Matilda

Griffin Theatre Company’s The Bleeding Tree took the forefront for the plays, winning Best Play, Best Direction and Best Female Actor in a Play with Lee Lewis and Paula Arundell heralding the helm respectively whilst both echoing the heartfelt importance of upcoming Australian Theatre, funding for the industry and the relevance of new writing and how it manages to tap into the psyche of its audience, aiming for it to connect to our innermost selves as a society and how we can develop.

Bleeding Tree
The Bleeding Tree. Photo by Brett Boardman

The 2016 Sue Nattrass Award recipient Michael Lynch CBE AM stood upon the stage with such glee as announcers graciously outlined his significance in the Australian Arts industry by pushing previous governments to increase funding and keep the scene alive for decades to come. The JC Williamson Award was announced by the recipient’s son, Hunter Page-Lochard, as Steven Page spoke so eloquently of Bangarra Dance Theatre and how much it meant to our indigenous communities, and how it is currently the only indigenous theatre that is currently operating, and proudly supported the fact in the near future, Indigenous performing arts would be more prevalent.

The final number of the night came from Singin’ In The Rain, with the first few rows in the audience receiving ponchos to keep them dry whilst drops flew around the theatre. See below for the complete winners list.

Helpmann Awards Winners 2016:

Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play

Mark Leonard Winter, King Lear, Sydney Theatre Company

Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play

Sarah Peirse, The Golden Age, Sydney Theatre Company

Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical

Daniel Frederiksen, Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt with Chokey Productions, Just for Laughs Theatricals, Glass Half Full Productions, Paula Marie Black, Greenleaf Productions and Michael Lynch

Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical

Elise McCann, Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt with Chokey Productions, Just for Laughs Theatricals, Glass Half Full Productions, Paula Marie Black, Greenleaf Productions and Michael Lynch

Best International Contemporary Concert

Prince Piano & A Microphone Tour 2016

Prince, Dainty Group and ICO ApS

Best Contemporary Music Festival

Womadelaide 2016 , Womadelaide Foundation

Best Australian Contemporary Concert

Kate Miller-Heidke and The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra with visuals by Amy Gebhardt

MOFO 2016, Kate Miller-Heidke and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra with Amy Gebhardt

Best Costume Design

Rob Howell, Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt with Chokey Productions,  Just for Laughs Theatricals, Glass Half Full Productions, Paula Marie Black, Greenleaf Productions and Michael Lynch

Best Scenic Design

Rob Howell, Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt with Chokey Productions,  Just for Laughs Theatricals, Glass Half Full Productions, Paula Marie Black, Greenleaf Productions and Michael Lynch

Best Lighting Design

Hugh Vanstone, Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt with Chokey Productions,  Just for Laughs Theatricals, Glass Half Full Productions, Paula Marie Black, Greenleaf Productions and Michael Lynch

Best Sound Design

Simon Baker, Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt with Chokey Productions, Just for Laughs Theatricals, Glass Half Full Productions, Paula Marie Black, Greenleaf Productions and Michael Lynch

Best Individual Classical Music Performance

Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Melbourne Recital Centre and Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Best Chamber and/or Instrumental Ensemble Concert

French Baroque with Circa, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra

Best Symphony Orchestra Concert

Sir Simon Rattle conducts the Australian World Orchestra, Australian World Orchestra

Best Original Score

Tim Minchin, Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt with Chokey Productions,  Just for Laughs Theatricals, Glass Half Full Productions, Paula Marie Black, Greenleaf Productions and Michael Lynch

Best Music Direction

Stephen Amos, Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt with Chokey Productions, Just for Laughs Theatricals, Glass Half Full Productions, Paula Marie Black, Greenleaf Productions and Michael Lynch

Best Presentation for Children

Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories, Barking Gecko Theatre Company

Best Regional Touring Production

Sugarland, Australian Theatre for Young People and Performing Lines

Best Cabaret Performer

Michael Griffiths, Cole, Adelaide Festival Centre’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Best Comedy Performer

Tom Ballard, The World Keeps Happening, Token Events

Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production

Il Ritorno, Brisbane Festival and Circa

Best Choreography in a Dance or Phsyical Theatre Work

Frances Rings, Sheoak, Bangarra Dance Theatre

Best Choreography in a Musical

Peter Darling, Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt with Chokey Productions, Just for Laughs Theatricals, Glass Half Full Productions, Paula Marie Black, Greenleaf Productions and Michael Lynch

Best Male Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Work

Kimball Wong, Habitus, Australian Dance Theatre

Best Female Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Work

Yolanda Lowatta, Sheoak, Bangarra Dance Theatre

Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera

Joao Fernandes, Agrippina, Brisbane Baroque in association with QPAC

Best Female Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera

Keri Fuge, Agrippina, Brisbane Baroque in association with QPAC

Best Male Performer in an Opera

Carlo Vistoli, Agrippina, Brisbane Baroque in association with QPAC

Best Female Performer in an Opera

Nicole Car, Luisa Miller, Opera Australia

Best Direction of an Opera

Sir David Mcvicar, The Marriage of Figaro, Opera Australia

Best Male Actor in a Play

Mark Leonard Winter, Birdland, Melbourne Theatre Company

Best Female Actor in a Play

Paula Arundell, The Bleeding Tree, Griffin Theatre Company

Best Male Actor in a Musical

James Millar, Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt with Chokey Productions, Just for Laughs Theatricals, Glass Half Full Productions, Paula Marie Black, Greenleaf Productions and Michael Lynch

Best Female Actor in a Musical

Molly Barwick, Dusty Bursill, Tiana Mirra, Alannah Parfett, Sasha Rose, Georgia Taplin, Bella Thomas and Ingrid Torelli – Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt with Chokey Productions, Just for Laughs Theatricals, Glass Half Full Productions, Paula Marie Black, Greenleaf Productions and Michael Lynch

Best Direction of a Play

Lee Lewis, The Bleeding Tree, Griffin Theatre Company

Best Direction of a Musical

Matthew Warchus, Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt with Chokey Productions, Just for Laughs Theatricals, Glass Half Full Productions, Paula Marie Black, Greenleaf Productions and Michael Lynch

Best New Australian Work

Carolyn Burns and Tim Finn with Simon Phillips, Ladies in Black, Queensland Theatre Company

Best Opera

Agrippina, Brisbane Baroque and QPAC

Best Ballet or Dance Work

Sheoak, Bangarra Dance Theatre

Best Play

The Bleeding Tree, Griffin Theatre Company

Best Musical

Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt with Chokey Productions, Just for Laughs Theatricals, Glass Half Full Productions, Paula Marie Black, Greenleaf Productions and Michael Lynch