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News / Theatre & Performance

Cursed Child and Counting & Cracking dominate this year's Helpmann nominations

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Photograph: Matt Murphy

It's going to be a battle of theatrical marathons at this year's Helpmann Awards, with Melbourne's Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Sydney's Counting & Cracking tied at eight nominations a piece. They're both up for key awards – including Best Production of a Play – against another show with an epic running time, Sydney Theatre Company's The Harp in the Southwhich scored six nominations. The other nominees for Best Production of a Play are Nakkiah Lui's Blackie Blackie Brown, Nat Randall's The Second Woman (another marathon, running for 24 hours!) and Rawcus' Song for a Weary Throat.

Despite JK Rowling's West End theatrical juggernaut coming out on top, this is a stellar year for local creative talents and artists, and a significantly more culturally diverse bunch than last year's showing.

In the musical theatre categories, Ursula Yovich's Barbara and the Camp Dogs faces off against Charlie and the Chocolate Factorya brilliant production of In the Heights that originated at the Hayes Theatre, and Opera Australia's spectacular harbourside staging of West Side Story.

The Helpmanns will be presented in Melbourne this year – after more than a decade in Sydney – across two events on July 14 and 15. See the full list of nominees below.

DANCE

BEST BALLET
AURUM The Australian Ballet
CARMEN Semperoper Ballett
DRACULA West Australian Ballet
GISELLE Teatro alla Scala and QPAC

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A BALLET, DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION
ANTONY HAMILTON Forever & Ever 
GARRY STEWART The Beginning of Nature
HOFESH SHECHTER Grand Finale
RAFAEL BONACHELA ab [intra]

BEST DANCE PRODUCTION
FOREVER & EVER Sydney Dance Company
GRAND FINALE Hofesh Shechter Company and Adelaide Festival
OVERTURE Arts House and Jo Lloyd
THE BEGINNING OF NATURE Australian Dance Theatre

BEST FEMALE DANCER IN A BALLET, DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION
ASHLEY MCLELLAN Dust
CARINA ROBERTS Dracula
CHARMENE YAP Cinco 
TARA JADE SAMAYA Common Ground

BEST MALE DANCER IN A BALLET, DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION
KEVIN JACKSON Spartacus
KIMBALL WONG The Beginning of Nature
NELSON EARL ab [intra]
WAANGENGA BLANCO Dark Emu

BEST VISUAL OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION
MAN WITH THE IRON NECK Legs On The Wall
OUT OF CHAOS... Gravity & Other Myths
PERSONAL Jodee Mundy Collaborations
PLAYLIST PYT Fairfield

CABARET

BEST CABARET PERFORMER
ALI MCGREGOR Yma Sumac - The Peruvian Songbird
DICKIE BEAU Re-Member Me 
LIBBY O'DONOVAN Kate Leigh - The Worst Woman in Sydney 
MICHAELA BURGER A Migrant's Son 

COMEDY

BEST COMEDY PERFORMER
ANNE EDMONDS What's Wrong With You?  
CASSIE WORKMAN Giantess
DAMIEN POWER Man Puts His Dreams In A Sock
HANNAH GADSBY Douglas 
JAMES ACASTER Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 
RHYS NICHOLSON Nice People Nice Things Nice Situations 

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC

BEST AUSTRALIAN CONTEMPORARY CONCERT
DARWIN FESTIVAL AND RPM RECORDS AND BAD APPLES MUSIC RPM vs Bad Apples
KYLIE MINOGUE AND FRONTIER TOURING, ROUNDHOUSE ENTERTAINMENT AND MELLEN EVENTS Golden Tour 2019
PAUL KELLY AND FRONTIER TOURING Making Gravy 2018
TIM MINCHIN AND LIVE NATION AUSTRALASIA Back

BEST CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FESTIVAL
CHUGG ENTERTAINMENT AND ROB POTTS ENTERTAINMENT EDGE CMC Rocks 2019
MUSEUM OF OLD AND NEW ART (MONA) MONA FOMA 2019
VIVID LIVE 2018 AND SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE PRESENTS Vivid LIVE 2018
WOMADELAIDE FOUNDATION WOMADelaide 2019

BEST INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY CONCERT
CELINE DION AND FRONTIER TOURING, CONCERTS WEST AND AEG PRESENTS Celine Dion - Live 2018
CHRISTINE AND THE QUEENS AND PERTH FESTIVAL Christine And The Queens
DAVID BYRNE AND FRONTIER TOURING American Utopia Tour 2018
THE KILLERS AND FRONTIER TOURING The Killers 2018

INDUSTRY

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
GABRIELA TYLESOVA Twelfth Night 
JENNIFER IRWIN Dark Emu
KATRINA LINDSAY Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
RENÉE MULDER The Harp in the South

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
DAMIEN COOPER ab [intra] 
MARK HOWETT The Long Forgotten Dream 
NEIL AUSTIN Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 
NICK SCHLIEPER Saint Joan 

BEST MUSIC DIRECTION
AARON WYATT Speechless 
ANDREA MOLINO Wozzeck 
ERIN HELYARD Artaserse 
JORDAN DE SOUZA Komische Oper Berlin’s The Magic Flute 

BEST NEW AUSTRALIAN WORK
ADRIANE DAFF, ARIELLE GRAY, CHRIS ISAACS, TIM WATTS, GITA BEZARD, BEN COLLINS, MATTHEW EDGERTON, JEFFREY JAY FOWLER, CAITRI JONES, MICHAEL MACLEAN, JO MORRIS, KRISTIE SMITH, CLARE TESTONI AND ANTHONY WATTS Lé Nør [the rain] The Last Great Hunt, Perth Festival, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art and Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
FELIX RIEBL Spinifex Gum Adelaide Festival, Sydney Festival and Monash Academy of Performing Arts
KATE MULVANY The Harp in the South: Part One and Part Two Sydney Theatre Company
NAKKIAH LUI Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owner of Death Sydney Theatre Company and Malthouse Theatre
S. SHAKTHIDHARAN AND EAMON FLACK Counting & Cracking Belvoir & Co-Curious
URSULA YOVICH AND ALANA VALENTINE Barbara and the Camp Dogs Belvoir 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
IMOGEN HEAP Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
KATE MILLER-HEIDKE & KEIR NUTTALL Twelfth Night 
URSULA YOVICH, ALANA VALENTINE AND ADM VENTOURA Barbara and the Camp Dogs 
WILLIAM BARTON The Long Forgotten Dream

BEST SCENIC DESIGN
ADRIANE DAFF, ARIELLE GRAY, CHRIS ISAACS, TIM WATTS, ANTHONY WATTS, GITA BEZARD, JEFFREY JAY FOWLER, CAITRI JONES, JO MORRIS, KRISTIE SMITH AND CLARE TESTONI Lé Nør [the rain]
BRIAN THOMSON Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: West Side Story
CHRISTINE JONES Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
DALE FERGUSON Counting & Cracking
JACOB NASH The Long Forgotten Dream

BEST SOUND DESIGN
GARETH FRY Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
NATE EDMONDSON The Harp in the South
STEFAN GREGORY Counting & Cracking
STEVE FRANCIS Dark Emu 

BEST SPECIAL EVENT
DARK MOFO 2018 Museum of Old and New Art

MUSICALS

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A MUSICAL
AMY CAMPBELL In the Heights
JOSHUA BERGASSE Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 
JULIO MONGE Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: West Side Story
MALIK LE NOST & MITCHELL WOODCOCK Saturday Night Fever

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
FRANCESCA ZAMBELLO Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: West Side Story 
HAL PRINCE Evita 
JACK O'BRIEN Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 
LUKE JOSLIN In the Heights

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
LUISA SCROFANI In the Heights 
NATALIE ABBOTT Muriel's Wedding the Musical 
TINA ARENA Evita
URSULA YOVICH Barbara and the Camp Dogs

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
ELAINE CROMBIE Barbara and the Camp Dogs
KARLI DINARDO Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: West Side Story
LUCY MAUNDER Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
PIPPA GRANDISON Muriel's Wedding the Musical

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
ALEXANDER LEWIS Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: West Side Story 
BLAKE BOWDEN The Book of Mormon 
BRENT HILL School of Rock the Musical 
PAUL SLADE SMITH Charlie and the Chocolate Factory The New Musical 

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
JOEL GRANGER The Book of Mormon
MARK HILL Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: West Side Story
MARTY ALIX In the Heights
TONY SHELDON Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

BEST MUSICAL
BARBARA AND THE CAMP DOGS Belvoir
HANDA OPERA ON SYDNEY HARBOUR: WEST SIDE STORY Opera Australia
IN THE HEIGHTS Sydney Opera House and The Arthouse Wyong Presents, produced by Blue Saint Productions in association with Neil Gooding
ROALD DAHL'S CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY John Frost, Craig Donnell, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Langley Park Productions and Neal Street Productions

OPERA & CLASSICAL MUSIC

BEST CHAMBER AND/OR INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE CONCERT
GABRIELI CONSORT & PLAYERS - PURCELL'S KING ARTHUR Melbourne Recital Centre and State Opera of South Australia
SABINE MEYER & ALLIAGE QUINTETT Musica Viva Australia
SARA MACLIVER IN CONCERT WITH CAMERATA Camerata - Queensland's Chamber Orchestra
SRETENSKY MONASTERY CHOIR Adelaide Festival

BEST DIRECTION OF AN OPERA
BARRIE KOSKY AND SUZANNE ANDRADE AND 1927 Komische Oper Berlin’s The Magic Flute
LINDY HUME Don Giovanni
SARAH GILES Lorelei 
WILLIAM KENTRIDGE Wozzeck 

BEST FEMALE PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN OPERA
ALEKSANDRA OLCZYK Komische Oper Berlin’s The Magic Flute
EMMA PEARSON Carmen in the Square
NATALIE AROYAN Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg 
TARYN FIEBIG Metamorphosis

BEST FEMALE PERFORMER IN AN OPERA
JESSICA PRATT Lucia di Lammermoor
LISE LINDSTROM Salome 
LORINA GORE Wozzeck 
VIVICA GENAUX Artaserse 

BEST INDIVIDUAL CLASSICAL MUSIC PERFORMANCE
ASHER FISCH Tristan und Isolde 
DIANA DOHERTY Sydney Symphony Orchestra 2019 Season Opening Gala: Doherty plays Westlake
STUART SKELTON Tristan und Isolde
VIVICA GENAUX Vivica Genaux in Concert

BEST MALE PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN OPERA
DEREK WELTON Parsifal
JOHN LONGMUIR Wozzeck
NICHOLAS JONES Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
TOM ERIK LIE Komische Oper Berlin’s The Magic Flute

BEST MALE PERFORMER IN AN OPERA
AARON BLAKE Komische Oper Berlin’s The Magic Flute
DAVID HANSEN Artaserse 
MICHAEL FABIANO Werther 
MICHAEL HONEYMAN Wozzeck 
SIMON LOBELSON Metamorphosis 

BEST OPERA
ARTASERSE Pinchgut Opera
KOMISCHE OPER BERLIN'S THE MAGIC FLUTE Arts Projects Australia, Adelaide Festival and Perth Festival
METAMORPHOSIS Opera Australia
WOZZECK Opera Australia

BEST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CONCERT
DANIEL BARENBOIM CONDUCTING STAATSKAPELLE BERLIN Sydney Opera House Presents
MAHLER CHAMBER ORCHESTRA Adelaide Festival
MAHLER SIX: SIMONE YOUNG CONDUCTS Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Simone Young
TRISTAN UND ISOLDE West Australian Symphony Orchestra

PRESENTATION FOR CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE

BEST PRESENTATION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
A CALL TO DANCE Performing Lines
BABA YAGA Windmill Theatre Company and Imaginate
ROBOT SONG Arena Theatre Company
WOLFGANG'S MAGICAL MUSICAL CIRCUS Circa

REGIONAL TOURING

BEST REGIONAL TOURING PRODUCTION
AB [INTRA] Sydney Dance Company
BENNELONG Bangarra Dance Theatre
PRIZE FIGHTER La Boite Theatre Company
THE BEGINNING OF NATURE Australian Dance Theatre

THEATRE

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY
DECLAN GREENE Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owner of Death 
EAMON FLACK AND S. SHAKTHIDHARAN Counting & Cracking 
IMARA SAVAGE Saint Joan
KIP WILLIAMS The Harp in the South

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A PLAY
HELEN THOMSON Mary Stuart 
KATE MULVANY Every Brilliant Thing
MELITA JURISIC Arbus & West
PAULA ARUNDELL Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 
SARAH SNOOK Saint Joan

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A PLAY
HELEN THOMSON The Harp in the South
MAUDE DAVEY Melancholia 
VAISHNAVI SURYAPRAKASH Counting & Cracking
ZOE TERAKES A View from the Bridge

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A PLAY
AMER HLEHEL TAHA 
KELTON PELL Summer of the Seventeenth Doll 
PRAKASH BELAWADI Counting & Cracking 
WAYNE BLAIR The Long Forgotten Dream 

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A PLAY
ANTONYTHASAN JESUTHASAN Counting & Cracking
ASH FLANDERS Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owner of Death
PAUL BLACKWELL Faith Healer 
WILLIAM MCKENNA Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

BEST PRODUCTION OF A PLAY
BLACKIE BLACKIE BROWN: THE TRADITIONAL OWNER OF DEATH Sydney Theatre Company and Malthouse Theatre
COUNTING & CRACKING Belvoir & Co-Curious
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD (PARTS ONE AND TWO) Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions, and Australian Executive Producer, Michael Cassel
SONG FOR A WEARY THROAT Rawcus
THE HARP IN THE SOUTH: PART ONE AND PART TWO Sydney Theatre Company
THE SECOND WOMAN Performing Lines

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