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Matilda The Musical heads nominations for 2016 Helpmann Awards
Having won four awards at the Sydney Theatre Award earlier this year, Matilda The Musical has been shortlisted with 13 nominations for the 2016 Helpmann Awards.
The Royal Shakespeare Company production, which has played in both Melbourne and Sydney over the past year, was also nominated for ...
Other performances on The Helpmann Awards shortlist include Opera Australia with 10 nominations, followed by Melbourne Theatre Company with eight, and Bangarra Dance Theatre and Brisbane Baroque receiving seven apiece.
Bangarra's nominations included two for composer David Page, whose death in late April rocked the tight-knit company led by his brother Stephen. Another posthumous nomination is American singer Prince for his Australian concerts.
Brisbane Baroque's nominations come days after the company that runs the festival cancelled its new Sydney Sings event and amid complaints that performers and companies involved in the Queensland event have yet to be paid nearly two months after the event.
Hayes Theatre Company's Little Shop of Horrors rounded off successful runs in Sydney and Melbourne – with an encore Sydney season to come – with five nominations, including best director (Dean Bryant), best choreography (Andrew Hallsworth) and nods in three acting categories.
Melbourne Theatre Company's nominations were spearheaded by its world premiere stage adaptation with Kay + McLean Productions and Warner Bros of Hitchcock thriller North by Northwest with five nominations, including nods for Simon Phillips for best direction and best scenic design (with Nick Schlieper).
Phillips' Queensland Theatre Company production of Ladies in Black (which opened the 2016 MTC season) received six nominations.
The MTC's Birdland received two, for Anna Samson as best female actor and Mark Leonard Winter as best actor (he is also nominated as best supporting actor for his role in Sydney Theatre Company's King Lear).
Malthouse had four nominations, including two for Picnic At Hanging Rock, a co-production with WA's Black Swan State Theatre Company. The Victorian Opera's five nominations included Antoinette Halloran for Sweeney Todd (co-presented with New Zealand Opera), Jessica Pratt for Lucia di Lammermoor. Melbourne Symphony Orchestra received one nomination, for Britten's War Requiem, conducted by MSO chief conductor Sir Andrew Davis.
Despite receiving only one nomination in the best play category – Griffin Theatre Company's The Bleeding Tree – Sydney theatre companies dominated the directing and acting awards, scooping three out of four nominations in the best director, best male and female actor and in the best supporting male categories.
Sydney Theatre Company scored five nominations, including best director for last year's winner Kip Williams for Love and Information (a co-production with Melbourne's Malthouse), plus best male and female actor for Richard Roxburgh and Cate Blanchett for Andrew Upton's star-studded adaptation of Chekhov's The Present.
Belvoir also received five nominations, split between productions of Ivanov (best director for Eamon Flack), The Events (best female actor for Catherine McClements), The Blind Giant is Dancing (best actor for Dan Spielman) and Mortido (best supporting actor for Colin Friels).
Griffin, meanwhile, received three nominations, including best director for the company's artistic director Lee Lewis for The Bleeding Tree.The Sydney Symphony Orchestra picked up three nominations, while Sydney Dance Company received two. The Australian Theatre for Young People and the Sydney Festival received one nomination each.
Adelaide's four-day world music and art festival, WOMADelaide, was nominated for the best contemporary music festival category, while Slingsby's stage play, The Young King, was nominated in the children's category.
The 16th annual Helpmann Awards will be held at the Sydney Lyric Theatre on Monday 25th July, with hosts for the evening including Adam Garcia, Helen Dallimore, Guy Noble, Simon Philips, Queenie van de Zandt, and The Umbilical Brothers.
The preliminary line-up will include performances by the casts of Matilda the Musical, The Sound of Music, and Singin’ in the Rain, with individual performances by Marina Prior & Mark Vincent, and Sarah Blasko, together with Bangarra Dance Theatre and The West Australian Ballet as well as the winner of the Sydney International Piano Competition.
Looking forward to the Awards night, Live Performance Australia Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson stated “audiences are integral to the success and vitality of the live performance industry. It is only fitting they join in the celebration of the Helpmann Awards alongside the industry’s biggest stars.”
Live Performance Australia has already announced that respected arts administrator Michael Lynch CBE AM will be the recipient of this year’s Sue Nattrass Award™.
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com.au
Images: Matilda The Musical (top) and WOMADelaide (below).
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