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News / Theatre & Performance

Helpmann winners: Cursed Child beaten by homegrown shows

Counting and Cracking 2019 Belvoir Sydney Festival11
Photograph: Brett Boardman

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child might have picked up Best Play at both London's Olivier Awards and Broadway's Tony Awards, but JK Rowling's wizarding juggernaut has been beaten to all the biggest awards at this year's Helpmanns. In fact, Cursed Child walked away from the ceremony tonight in Melbourne with just one win.

The Helpmann Awards recognise the best live performance in Australia, and this year most of the major awards went to homegrown productions and homegrown plays. And as they should: our theatre artists are creating some extraordinary work at the moment that speak directly to where we are in the world. They mightn't always have the budgets or razzle dazzle of the Pottersphere, but they're every bit as important.

The big winner of the night was Sydney's Belvoir St Theatre, which took out both Best Production of a Play for its Sydney Festival epic Counting and Crackingand Best Musical for its production of Ursula Yovich's Barbara and the Camp Dogswhich toured to Melbourne earlier this year. Altogether the company picked up a massive 13 awards.

Ursula Yovich won Best Female Actor in a Musical for her performance in her own play, while Brent Hill picked up Best Male Actor in a Musical for School of RockKate Mulvany, who is currently filming opposite Al Pacino for Jordan Peele's TV series The Hunt, won Best Female Actor in a Play for her one-woman turn in Belvoir's Every Brilliant Thingwhile the award for Best Male Actor in a Play went to veteran Indian actor Prakash Belawadi for Counting and Cracking.

See the full list of winners below.

DANCE

BEST BALLET 
AURUM The Australian Ballet 

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A BALLET, DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION 
ANTONY HAMILTON Forever & Ever 

BEST DANCE PRODUCTION 
THE BEGINNING OF NATURE Australian Dance Theatre

BEST FEMALE DANCER IN A BALLET, DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION 
TARA JADE SAMAYA Common Ground

BEST MALE DANCER IN A BALLET, DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION 
WAANGENGA BLANCO Dark Emu

BEST VISUAL OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION 
OUT OF CHAOS... Gravity & Other Myths 

CABARET

BEST CABARET PERFORMER 
ALI MCGREGOR Yma Sumac - The Peruvian Songbird

COMEDY

BEST COMEDY PERFORMER 
HANNAH GADSBY Douglas 

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC

BEST AUSTRALIAN CONTEMPORARY CONCERT 
TIM MINCHIN AND LIVE NATION AUSTRALASIA Back

BEST CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FESTIVAL 
MUSEUM OF OLD AND NEW ART (MONA) MONA FOMA 2019 

BEST INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY CONCERT 
DAVID BYRNE AND FRONTIER TOURING American Utopia Tour 2018 

INDUSTRY

BEST COSTUME DESIGN 
GABRIELA TYLESOVA Twelfth Night 

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN 
NEIL AUSTIN Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 

BEST MUSIC DIRECTION 
ERIN HELYARD Artaserse 

BEST NEW AUSTRALIAN WORK 
S. SHAKTHIDHARAN AND EAMON FLACK Counting & Cracking Belvoir & Co-Curious 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE 
URSULA YOVICH, ALANA VALENTINE AND ADM VENTOURA Barbara and the Camp Dogs 

BEST SCENIC DESIGN 
DALE FERGUSON Counting & Cracking

BEST SOUND DESIGN 
STEFAN GREGORY Counting & Cracking

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

MUSICALS

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A MUSICAL 
MALIK LE NOST & MITCHELL WOODCOCK Saturday Night Fever

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL 
FRANCESCA ZAMBELLO Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: West Side Story 

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL 
URSULA YOVICH Barbara and the Camp Dogs

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL 
ELAINE CROMBIE Barbara and the Camp Dogs

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL 
BRENT HILL School of Rock the Musical 

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL 
TONY SHELDON Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

BEST MUSICAL 
BARBARA AND THE CAMP DOGS Belvoir 

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 

BEST DIRECTION OF AN OPERA 
BARRIE KOSKY AND SUZANNE ANDRADE Komische Oper Berlin’s The Magic Flute

BEST FEMALE PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN OPERA 
TARYN FIEBIG Metamorphosis

BEST FEMALE PERFORMER IN AN OPERA 
LISE LINDSTROM Salome 

BEST INDIVIDUAL CLASSICAL MUSIC PERFORMANCE 
ASHER FISCH Tristan und Isolde 

BEST MALE PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN OPERA 
TOM ERIK LIE Komische Oper Berlin’s The Magic Flute

BEST MALE PERFORMER IN AN OPERA 
MICHAEL HONEYMAN Wozzeck 

BEST OPERA 
KOMISCHE OPER BERLIN'S THE MAGIC FLUTE Arts Projects Australia, Adelaide Festival and Perth Festival 

BEST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CONCERT 
TRISTAN UND ISOLDE West Australian Symphony Orchestra

PRESENTATION FOR CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE

BEST PRESENTATION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE 
ROBOT SONG Arena Theatre Company 

REGIONAL TOURING

BEST REGIONAL TOURING PRODUCTION 
BENNELONG Bangarra Dance Theatre 

THEATRE

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY 
EAMON FLACK AND S. SHAKTHIDHARAN Counting & Cracking 

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A PLAY 
KATE MULVANY Every Brilliant Thing

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A PLAY 
VAISHNAVI SURYAPRAKASH Counting & Cracking

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A PLAY 
PRAKASH BELAWADI Counting & Cracking 

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A PLAY 
PAUL BLACKWELL Faith Healer 

BEST PRODUCTION OF A PLAY 
COUNTING & CRACKING Belvoir & Co-Curious 

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