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Dark Emu performers on stage at Sydney Opera House
Photograph: Daniel Boud | Dark Emu

The 2021 Helpmann Awards have been cancelled

Australia’s live performance awards will not go ahead for the second year in a row

Alannah Maher

The Helpmann Awards – Australia’s annual celebration of the live performance industry, established in 2001 as the country’s answer to Broadway’s Tony Awards – has been cancelled for the second consecutive year. The awards’ organisers, Live Performance Australia, have said that the ongoing Covid-19 public health emergency, and its impact on live performance venues and productions across the country, have made it infeasible to proceed with the awards.

“Our industry is only now getting back to work and there is still more to be done to ensure we can fully operate in every state and territory at 100 per cent capacity in all indoor and outdoor venues. For our live music sector in particular, some significant challenges remain before it can fully reactivate,” LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson said in a press release this morning. “While we are deeply disappointed to make this decision, we are taking the opportunity to take a step back and reimagine the Helpmann Awards for 2022 onwards.”

The LPA is currently focussing efforts on getting the stage and touring industry fully operational again, and planning for next year’s event will begin shortly. Ms Richardson added: “We have focused all of our resources on reopening in a CovidSafe way so that we are part of Australia’s economic and social recovery. We are heartened by the support of patrons and fans across the country who are coming back to our theatres and live music venues. Our aim is to bring back to millions of Australians the pleasure of live theatre and music presented by some of the world’s best creative talent.”

The show must go on. Here’s the best live theatre to see in Sydney this month.  

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