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Muriel's Wedding leads Helpmann nominations – see the full list

Written by
Ben Neutze
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Muriel's Wedding The Musical is the show to beat in this year's Helpmann Awards, with the homegrown musical having picked up an astonishing 11 nominations, including for Best Musical and Best New Australian Work. That's a pretty big change from last year, when several industry leaders spoke out against the near total lack of Australian creatives recognised in the musical theatre categories.

Following behind Muriel is Beautiful: The Carole King Musicalwhich has six nominations, equalling another homegrown show, Dream Lover (nominated this year despite having its premiere in late 2016). The three shows are up against Mamma Mia! The Musical for Best Musical.

When it comes to plays, Sydney Theatre Company's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui is leading the field, with six nominations including Best Male Actor in a Play for its star, Hugo Weaving. It's competing for Best Play against Melbourne Theatre Company's The Children (which has four nominations), STC's Black is the New WhiteMalthouse's The Real and Imagined History of Elephant ManLa Boite's Laser Beak Man and The Last Great Hunt's The Irresistible.

Thanks largely to Muriel and Arturo Ui, Sydney Theatre Company is the most nominated company, with 27 noms. Opera Australia, usually the leader, this year has just seven nominations.

Bangarra's Bennelong is the leading dance show, with eight nominations, and Adelaide Festival's Hamlet and Malthouse and Victorian Opera's Black Rider are the most nominated operas, with seven each.

And while there are more Australian creatives recognised than last year, male creatives dominate, with just one woman director nominated against 11 men. But women are killing it in comedy this year, with five of the seven nominations for Best Comedy Performer going to a woman.

The Helpmann Awards are being presented across two ceremonies in Sydney this year, on July 15 and 16.

While most of the nominated shows have now closed, there are still a few weeks left to catch Beautiful: The Carole King Musical in Melbourne. Muriel's Wedding is returning to Sydney next year, with a Melbourne season expected soon.

Looking for something to see this month? See the best theatre and musicals in Melbourne this June.

Helpmann Award nominations 2018

BEST MALE PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN OPERA

JUD ARTHUR Hamlet

KANEN BREEN Coronation of Poppea

KIM BEGLEY Hamlet

WARWICK FYFE Don Quichotte 

BEST FEMALE PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN OPERA

ANTOINETTE HALLORAN Cunning Little Vixen

LORINA GORE Hamlet

MEOW MEOW Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets

NATALIE CHRISTIE PELUSO Coronation of Poppea

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A PLAY

COLIN MOODY The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui 

HARRY GREENWOOD Cloud Nine

MITCHELL BUTEL Mr Burns, A Post-Electric Play

PETER CARROLL The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A PLAY

ANITA HEGH The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

ELAINE CROMBIE An Octoroon

JANE MONTGOMERY-GRIFFITHS Macbeth

KATE BOX Top Girls

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

BOBBY FOX Assassins

MARTIN CREWES Dream Lover

MAT VEREVIS Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

ROBERT GRUBB Priscilla Queen of the Desert - The Musical

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

AMY LEHPAMER Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

CHRISTIE WHELAN BROWNE Muriel's Wedding The Musical

JEMMA RIX The Wizard of Oz

MADELEINE JONES Muriel's Wedding The Musical

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

GABRIELA TYLESOVA Muriel's Wedding The Musical

JENNIFER IRWIN Bennelong

JONATHON OXLADE Mr Burns, A Post-Electric Play

ZOË ATKINSON Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets

BEST SCENIC DESIGN

BOB CROWLEY Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

BUNNY CHRISTIE The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 

DAVID MORTON, JONATHON OXLADE AND JUSTIN HARRISON Laser Beak Man

JACOB NASH Bennelong

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

DAMIEN COOPER You Animal, You

GEOFF COBHAM Emil and the Detectives 

NICK SCHLIEPER Bennelong

PAULE CONSTABLE The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

BEST SOUND DESIGN

BYRON J. SCULLIN, TOM SUPPLE AND HANNAH FOX Siren Song

IAN DICKINSON FOR AUTOGRAPH The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

MICHAEL WATERS Dream Lover 

MICHAEL WATERS Muriel's Wedding The Musical

BEST MUSIC DIRECTION

BRIAN RITCHIE The Spirit of Churaki

ISAAC HAYWARD Muriel's Wedding The Musical

NICOLETTE FRAILLON Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

PHOEBE BRIGGS Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

KATE MILLER-HEIDKE & KEIR NUTTAL Muriel's Wedding The Musical 

MAX RICHTER Woolf Works 

SAM CROMACK Laser Beak Man

STEVE FRANCIS Bennelong 

BEST SPECIAL EVENT

TAYLOR MAC: A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC Melbourne International Arts Festival

BEST PRESENTATION FOR CHILDREN

EMIL AND THE DETECTIVES Slingsby

JUNK Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Sydney Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne

TETRIS DreamBIG Children’s Festival 2017 at Adelaide Festival Centre

THE SECRET LIFE OF SUITCASES Arts Centre Melbourne, Ailie Cohen Puppet Maker and The Unicorn Theatre London

BEST REGIONAL TOURING PRODUCTION

HELLO, GOODBYE AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY Roslyn Oades and Performing Lines

ODDYSEA Sensorium Theatre and Performing Lines WA

OUR LAND PEOPLE STORIES Bangarra Dance Theatre 

SALTBUSH Insite Arts, Compagnia TPO and Performing Lines/Blak Lines

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A BALLET, DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION

CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

PHILLIP ADAMS EVER

STEPHEN PAGE Bennelong 

WAYNE MCGREGOR Woolf Works

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A MUSICAL

ANDREW HALLSWORTH Muriel's Wedding The Musical 

JOSH PRINCE Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

KAREN BRUCE The Bodyguard

TOM HODGSON MAMMA MIA! The Musical

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY

KIP WILLIAMS Cloud Nine

KIP WILLIAMS The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

MATTHEW LUTTON The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man

SARAH GOODES The Children

BEST DIRECTION OF AN OPERA

BARRIE KOSKY The Nose

MATTHEW LUTTON Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets

NEIL ARMFIELD Hamlet 

STUART MAUNDER AM Cunning Little Vixen

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

DEAN BRYANT Assassins

MARC BRUNI Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

SIMON PHILLIPS Dream Lover

SIMON PHILLIPS Muriel's Wedding The Musical 

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

DAVID CAMPBELL Assassins

DAVID CAMPBELL Dream Lover

DAVID HARRIS Priscilla Queen of the Desert - The Musical

EUAN DOIDGE Priscilla Queen of the Desert - The Musical 

IAN STENLAKE MAMMA MIA! The Musical

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

ESTHER HANNAFORD Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

MAGGIE MCKENNA Muriel's Wedding The Musical

MARINA PRIOR Dream Lover

NATALIE O’DONNELL MAMMA MIA! The Musical

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A PLAY

DANIEL MONKS The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man 

HUGO WEAVING The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

JOHN BELL The Father

TOBY SCHMITZ Thyestes

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A PLAY

HELEN MORSE Memorial 

MIRANDA DAUGHTRY A Doll's House

PAMELA RABE The Children 

SARAH PEIRSE The Children

BEST COMEDY PERFORMER

ANNE EDMONDS Helen Bidou - Enter the Spinnaker Lounge

CELIA PACQUOLA All Talk

COLIN LANE & FRANK WOODLEY Lano & Woodley - Fly

JULIA MORRIS Lift and Separate Golden Jubilee 

RHYS NICHOLSON Seminal 

URZILA CARLSON Studies Have Shown

ZOE COOMBS MARR Bossy Bottom

BEST CABARET PERFORMER

BRIEFS ENSEMBLE Briefs: Close Encounters

QUEENIE VAN DE ZANDT BLUE: The Songs of Joni Mitchell

REUBEN KAYE Journey to the Centre of Attention 

TAYLOR MAC 24-Decade History of Popular Music

BEST MALE DANCER IN A BALLET, DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION

BEAU DEAN RILEY SMITH Bennelong

JOSHUA THOMSON TIDE

KEVIN JACKSON Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 

NELSON EARL Ocho

BEST FEMALE DANCER IN A BALLET, DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION

AKO KONDO Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 

ELISE MAY Behind Closed Doors

MELISSA BONIFACE The Great Gatsby

VIVIENNE WONG Infra 

BEST VISUAL OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION

CARRION Justin Shoulder 

LIMBO UNHINGED Strut & Fret Production House  

TIDE BLEACH* Festival & The Farm 

WHITE SPIRIT Zaman Production & Galerie Itinerrance In Collaboration with the Musée Du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and Perth Festival

BEST MALE PERFORMER IN AN OPERA

ALLAN CLAYTON Hamlet 

BARRY RYAN Cunning Little Vixen 

FERRUCCIO FURLANETTO Don Quichotte 

KANEN BREEN Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets

BEST FEMALE PERFORMER IN AN OPERA 

DIMITY SHEPHERD Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets

HELEN SHERMAN Coronation of Poppea 

NICOLE CAR La Traviata

TARYN FIEBIG Triple Bill

BEST INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY CONCERT

CÉCILE MCLORIN SALVANT AND ADELAIDE FESTIVAL Cécile McLorin Salvant 

ED SHEERAN & FRONTIER TOURING ÷ World Tour 2018

PAUL MCCARTNEY, FRONTIER TOURING, MPL & MARSHALL ARTS Paul McCartney – One On One World Tour 2017

UNDERWORLD AND SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE PRESENTS Underworld 

BEST CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FESTIVAL

CHUGG ENTERTAINMENT AND ROB POTTS ENTERTAINMENT EDGE CMC Rocks QLD 2018

LUNATIC ENTERTAINMENT & LANEWAY PRESENTS St. Jeromes Laneway Festival 2018

MUSEUM OF OLD AND NEW ART (MONA) MONA FOMA

WOMADELAIDE FOUNDATION WOMADelaide 2018 

BEST AUSTRALIAN CONTEMPORARY CONCERT

ARMAND VAN HELDEN, MELBOURNE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, FRONTIER TOURING AND ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE Symphonica with Armand van Helden

GANG OF YOUTHS AND LIVE NATION Gang of Youths - Australia 2017 

GOTYE PRESENTED BY SYDNEY FESTIVAL & MONA FOMA Gotye Presents a Tribute to Jean-Jacques Perrey

MIDNIGHT OIL & FRONTIER TOURING The Great Circle World Tour 2017

BEST INDIVIDUAL CLASSICAL MUSIC PERFORMANCE

EMANUEL AX A Mozart Celebration: Emanuel Ax with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra 

JONAS KAUFMANN Parsifal 

KWANGCHUL YOUN Parsifal

PIETER WISPELWEY Pieter Wispelwey plays the Bach Cello Suites 

BEST CHAMBER AND/OR INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE CONCERT

HUMAN REQUIEM  

JORDI SAVALL WITH HESPERION XXI & TEMBEMBE ENSAMBLE CONTINUO

PIETER WISPELWEY: BEETHOVEN, BACH, BRAHMS WITH CAROLINE ALMONTE 

TAKACS QUARTET

BEST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CONCERT

BEETHOVEN AND BRUCKNER: SIMONE YOUNG CONDUCTS The Sydney Symphony Orchestra

BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE: WITH BACH AND BRAHMS The Sydney Symphony Orchestra

ORCHESTRA OF THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT WITH RACHEL PODGER Musica Viva Australia

WAGNER AND BEYOND: INSPIRING WAGNER West Australian Symphony Orchestra

BEST BALLET

ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND The Australian Ballet 

THE GREAT GATSBY West Australian Ballet 

THE WINTER’S TALE The Royal Ballet & QPAC

WOOLF WORKS The Royal Ballet & QPAC 

BEST DANCE PRODUCTION

BENNELONG Bangarra Dance Theatre

INTIMATE SPACE Restless Dance Theatre

MOZART AIRBORNE Expressions Dance Company, Opera Queensland and QPAC

ONE FLAT THING, REPRODUCED STRUT DANCE

BEST PLAY

BLACK IS THE NEW WHITE Sydney Theatre Company

LASER BEAK MAN Brisbane Festival, La Boite Theatre Company and Dead Puppet Society 

THE CHILDREN Melbourne Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company

THE IRRESISTIBLE Side Pony Productions & The Last Great Hunt

THE REAL AND IMAGINED HISTORY OF THE ELEPHANT MAN Malthouse Theatre

THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI Sydney Theatre Company

BEST OPERA

BLACK RIDER: THE CASTING OF THE MAGIC BULLETS Malthouse Theatre and Victorian Opera 

CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN Victorian Opera

HAMLET Glyndebourne Festival, Adelaide Festival, State Opera Of South Australia and The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

THE NOSE Opera Australia

BEST MUSICAL

BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL 

DREAM LOVER 

MAMMA MIA! THE MUSICAL

MURIEL’S WEDDING THE MUSICAL  

BEST NEW AUSTRALIAN WORK

BRETT DEAN AND MATTHEW JOCELYN Hamlet 

COLIN LANE & FRANK WOODLEY Lano & Woodley - Fly 

NAKKIAH LUI Black is the New White

NICHOLAS PAINE, DAVID MORTON, TIM SHARP AND SAM CROMACK Laser Beak Man 

PJ HOGAN, KATE MILLER-HEIDKE & KEIR NUTTALL Muriel's Wedding The Musical 

STEPHEN PAGE Bennelong

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