News / Theatre & Performance

The Sydney Theatre Award nominations for 2017 have been announced

Only Heaven Knows 2017 Hayes Theatre production still 01 feat all cast photographer credit Robert Catto
Photograph: Robert Catto The cast of Only Heaven Knows

Muriel's Wedding the Musical dominates the nominations for this year's Sydney Theatre Awards, picking up a record-breaking 12 nods.

The all-Australian show is up against Kinky Boots, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Ladies in Black for Best Production of a Mainstream Musical. Maggie McKenna, who plays Muriel, has scored nominations for both Best Female Actor in a Musical and Best Newcomer.

The nominees for Best Production of a Mainstage Play are Sydney Theatre Company's Cloud Nine, Sydney Festival's Shit and two from Belvoir: Hir and Mr BurnsCompeting for Best Production of an Independent Play are A View From the Bridge at the Old Fitz Theatre, Dry Land at Kings Cross Theatre, and two productions from Kate Gaul's Siren Theatre Company: The Ham Funeral and The Trouble With Harry.

It's a stellar year for women's voices and gender diveristy in the awards, voted for by local critics: none of the plays nominated for Best Mainstage Production are written by cisgender men, and three of four nominees in both the Best Direction of a Mainstage Production and Best Direction of an Independent Production categories are women (although the Best Direction of a Musical remains an entirely male field). All of the nominees for Best New Australian Work have a female writer (Kate Miller-Heidke is part of the team of three that wrote Muriel's Wedding) and none of the nominees for Best Newcomer are cisgender men.

Here are the shows that picked up the most nominations.

Click through to read our reviews and try not to cry too much about any show you might've missed. (Although there's still time to catch Muriel, and Calamity Jane is returning to Sydney next year!)

Muriel's Wedding12 nominations

 

Muriel's Wedding the Musical
Photograph: Lisa Tomasetti

 

 

Cloud Nine - 9 nominations

Only Heaven Knows - 9 nominations

 

 

Calamity Jane
Photograph: John McRae

 

 

Calamity Jane - 8 nominations

The Trouble with Harry - 7 nominations

Assassins - 7 nominations

 

 

A View From the Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

A View From the Bridge - 7 nominations

Who votes for the Sydney Theatre Awards? Time Out's national arts and culture editor Ben Neutze is on the panel alongside regular critic Cassie Tongue and former Time Out national arts and culture editor Dee Jefferson (now at the ABC). The other members are: Elissa Blake (Audrey Journal, formerly Fairfax), Jason Blake (Audrey Journal, formerly Sydney Morning Herald), Deborah Jones (The Australian), Jo Litson (The Sunday Telegraph, Limelight), John McCallum (The Australian), Diana Simmonds (Stagenoise) and Suzy Wrong (Suzy Goes See).

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Seymour Centre on January 22. See the full nominations list below and take a look at our picks of the top 10 shows of 2017.

BEST MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Cloud Nine (Sydney Theatre Company)

Hir (Belvoir)

Mr Burns (Belvoir)

Shit (Sydney Festival)

 

BEST INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Dry Land (Outhouse Theatre Co and Mad March Hare)

The Ham Funeral (Siren Theatre Company)

The Trouble With Harry (Siren Theatre Co in association with Seymour Centre)

A View From the Bridge (Red Line Productions)

 

BEST DIRECTION OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Anne-Louise Sarks (The Merchant of Venice)

Imara Savage (Mr Burns)

Anthea Williams (Hir)

Kip Williams (Cloud Nine)

 

BEST DIRECTION OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Claudia Barrie (Dry Land)

Kate Gaul (The Ham Funeral)

Kate Gaul (The Trouble With Harry)

Iain Sinclair (A View From the Bridge)

 

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Genevieve Lemon (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)

Heather Mitchell (Cloud Nine)

Kate Mulvany (Richard III)

Helen Thomson (Hir)

Ursula Yovich (Barbara and the Camp Dogs)

 

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

John Bell (The Father)

Mitchell Butel (The Merchant of Venice)

Darren Gilshenan (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)

Pacharo Mzembe (Prize Fighter)

Steve Rodgers (Diving for Pearls)

 

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Belinda Giblin (Doubt)

Jodie Le Vesconte (The Trouble With Harry)

Sarah Meacham (Dry Land)

Gabrielle Scawthorn (The Village Bike)

 

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Tommy Bradson (Nosferatutu)

Ivan Donato (A View From the Bridge)

Tobias Manderson-Galvin (Puntila/Matti)

John O’Hare (The Night Alive)

 

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Kate Box (Cloud Nine)

Elaine Crombie (Barbara and the Camp Dogs)

Anita Hegh (The Father)

Claire Lovering (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)

 

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Harry Greenwood (Cloud Nine)

Brandon McClelland (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)

Josh McConville (Cloud Nine)

Michael Whalley (Hir)

 

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Antoinette Barboutis (Puntila/Matti)

Charmaine Bingwa (Doubt)

Zoe Terakes (A View From the Bridge)

Janine Watson (A View From the Bridge)

 

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Justin Stewart Cotta (This Much Is True)

Andrew Lindqvist (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo)

Lex Marinos (Sunset Strip)

Johnny Nasser (The Ham Funeral)

 

BEST STAGE DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Dale Ferguson (Away)

Michael Hankin (Hir)

Marg Horwell (Shit)

Jonathan Oxlade (Mr Burns)

 

BEST STAGE DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Alicia Clements (Assassins)

Isabel Hudson (Dry Land)

Alice Morgan (The Trouble With Harry)

Lauren Peters (Calamity Jane)

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Elizabeth Gadsby (Cloud Nine)

Michael Hankin (Hir)

Jonathon Oxlade (Mr Burns)

Gabriela Tylesova (Muriel’s Wedding)

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Alicia Clements (Assassins)

Alice Morgan (The Trouble With Harry)

Lauren Peters (Calamity Jane)

Emma Vine (Only Heaven Knows)

 

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Paul Jackson (Away)

Chris Petridis (Mr Burns)

Nick Schlieper (Chimerica)

Emma Valente (The Testament of Mary)

 

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Alexander Berlage (Doubt)

Alexander Berlage (4:48 Psychosis)

Matt Cox (The Trouble With Harry)

Hartley TA Kemp (The Ham Funeral)

 

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Nate Edmondson (Cloud Nine)

J. David Franzke (Away)

Max Lyandvert (The Testament of Mary)

The Sweats (Chimerica)

 

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Nate Edmondson (The Ham Funeral)

Nate Edmondson (Jatinga)

Nate Edmondson (The Trouble With Harry)

Benjamin Freeman (4:48 Psychosis)

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Chris Williams (Cloud Nine)

The Sweats (Chimerica)

Alana Valentine, Ursula Yovich and Adm Ventura (Barbara and the Camp Dogs)

Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall (Muriel’s Wedding)

 

BEST NEW AUSTRALIAN WORK

Barbara and the Camp Dogs (Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine)

Black is the New White (Nakkiah Lui)

Muriel’s Wedding (PJ Hogan, Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall)

Shit (Patricia Cornelius)

 

BEST NEWCOMER

Maggie McKenna (Muriel’s Wedding)

Michelle Ny (Dry Land)

Kurt Pimblett (Hir)

Zoe Terakes (A View From the Bridge)

Ebony Vagulans (Diving for Pearls)

 

BEST PRODUCTION OF A MAINSTREAM MUSICAL

Beautiful (Michael Cassel, Paul Blake, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Mike Bosner)

Kinky Boots (Michael Cassel by arrangement with Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig)

Ladies in Black (Queensland Theatre, Sydney Festival and Sydney Lyric)

Muriel’s Wedding (Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures)

 

BEST PRODUCTION OF AN INDEPENDENT MUSICAL

Assassins (Hayes Theatre Co)

Calamity Jane (One Eyed Man Productions in association with Neglected Musicals and Hayes Theatre Co)

Only Heaven Knows (Luckiest Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co)

 

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

Dean Bryant (Assassins)

Richard Carroll (Calamity Jane)

Simon Phillips (Muriel’s Wedding)

Shaun Rennie (Only Heaven Knows)

 

JUDITH JOHNSON AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Annie Aitken (Melba)

Virginia Gay (Calamity Jane)

Esther Hannaford (Beautiful)

Maggie McKenna (Muriel’s Wedding)

 

JUDITH JOHNSON AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

David Campbell (Assassins)

Tim Draxl (Only Heaven Knows)

Toby Francis (Kinky Boots)

Ben Hall (Only Heaven Knows)

 

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Blazey Best (Only Heaven Knows)

Justine Clarke (Muriel’s Wedding)

Madeleine Jones (Muriel’s Wedding)

Christie Whelan Browne (Muriel’s Wedding)

 

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Matthew Backer (Only Heaven Knows)

Rob Johnson (Calamity Jane)

Joe Kosky (High Fidelity)

Hayden Tee (Only Heaven Knows)

 

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A MUSICAL

Andrew Hallsworth (Assassins)

Andrew Hallsworth (Muriel’s Wedding)

Cameron Mitchell (Big Fish)

Cameron Mitchell (Calamity Jane)

 

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

Daniel Edmonds (Only Heaven Knows)

Isaac Hayward (Muriel’s Wedding)

Nigel Ubrihien (Calamity Jane)

Andrew Worboys (Assassins)

 

BEST CABARET PRODUCTION

Betty Grumble's Love and Anger

Blue, the Songs of Joni Mitchell

Hot Brown Honey

Mother's Ruin: A Cabaret About Gin

 

BEST PRODUCTION FOR CHILDREN

Diary of a Wombat (Monkey Baa)

Junk (Flying Fruit Fly Circus)

Kaleidoscope (Company 2 and Sydney Festival)

You and Me and the Space Between (Terrapin Puppet Theatre and Sydney Festival)

 

BEST PRODUCTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

Dignity of Risk (atyp/Shopfront Arts)

Moth (atyp)

Oedipus Doesn't Live Here Anymore (atyp)

When The Streets Had a Name (Monkey Baa)

 

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

To be announced at the Awards ceremony

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