Current Issue #488

Gravity & Other Myths wins first Helpmann Award as Counting and Cracking dominates

Gravity & Other Myths wins first Helpmann Award as Counting and Cracking dominates

Adelaide Festival highlight Counting and Cracking continued its winning run at the 2019 Helpmann Awards, while Gravity & Other Myths and Australian Dance Theatre were also recognised in a televised awards ceremony last night.

Spread over two consecutive nights, the second act of the 2019 awards saw Belvoir St and Co-Curious’ widely celebrated modern Australian epic Counting and Cracking almost double its Sunday night tally, picking up a further three awards including Best New Australian Work and Best Male Actor in a Play for its Bangalore-based lead Prakash Belawadi. Fellow Adelaide Festival highlight The Magic Flute also added to its Sunday haul with the award for Best Opera.

Adelaide circus company Gravity & Other Myths won its first Helpmann Award for its show Out of Chaos…, which made its debut at Adelaide Festival in February. Out of Chaos… marked the group’s second Adelaide Festival show following 2017’s Backbone, which earned three Helpmann nominations. Garry Stewart and Australian Dance Theatre also won Best Dance Production for The Beginning of Nature, which featured music from Adelaide string ensemble The Zephyr Quartet.

Australian Dance Theatre’s The Beginning of Nature (Photo: Teatro Mayor JMSD, Juan Diego Castillo)

2018 Adelaide Cabaret Festival artistic director Ali McGregor claimed Best Cabaraet Performer for her festival-commissioned 2018 show Yma Sumac – The Peruvian Songbird, which premiered in Adelaide last year. Gabrieli Consort & Players’ performance of Purcell’s King Arthur, which visited Elder Hall in February, received a nod for Best Chamber and/or Instrumental Ensemble Concert.

Hannah Gadsby took home Best Comedy Performer for her show Douglas, the much-anticipated follow-up to her international breakthrough show Nanette. Gadsby debuted the show in Adelaide in March in a series of preview shows before taking it on the road around Australia and the US.

Hannah Gadsby - Douglas
Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas made its international debut in Adelaide

Broadcast live on ABC Comedy and hosted by Susie Youssef and State Theatre Company artistic director Mitchell Butel, part two of the 2019 Helpmann Awards also saw singer-songwriter Kev Carmody recognised with the JC Williamson Award. Introduced to the audience by his longtime friend and collaborator Paul Kelly, the pair’s iconic 1991 song From Little Things Big Things Grow was performed as an affecting piano ballad by Adelaide-based duo Electric Fields.

The first installment of the 2019 awards, presented on Sunday night, saw esteemed Adelaide actor Paul Blackwell recognised for his role in Faith Healer, which would be his final stage performance before passing away in February.

Helpmann Awards 2019 (Part 2)

Best New Australian Work
Counting and Cracking

Best Production of a Play
Belvoir St and Co-Curious, Counting and Cracking

Best Musical
Barbara and the Camp Dogs

Best Opera
Komische Oper Berlin’s The Magic Flute

Best Dance Production
Australian Dance Theatre, The Beginning of Nature

JC Williamson Award
Kev Carmody

Best Ballet
The Australian Ballet, Aurum

Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production
Gravity & Other Myths, Out of Chaos…

Best Symphony Orchestra Concert
West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Tristan Und Isolde

Best Chamber and/or Instrumental Ensemble Concert
Gabrieli Consort and Players Purcell’s King Arthur, Melbourne Recital Centre and State Opera of South Australia

Best Individual Classical Music Performance
Asher Fisch, Tristan und Isolde

Best Australian Contemporary Concert
Tim Minchin and Live Nation Australia, Back

Best Contemporary Music Festival
Museum of Old and New Art (MONA FOMA 2019)

Best International Contemporary Concert
David Byrne and Frontier Touring, American Utopia Tour 2019

Best Female Performer in an Opera
Lise Lindstrom, Solome

Best Male Performer in an Opera
Michael Honeyman, Wozzeck

Best Male Dancer in a Ballet, Dance or Physical Theatre Production
Tara Jade Samaya, Common Ground

Best Cabaret Performer
Ali McGregor, Yma Sumac – The Peruvian Songbird

Best Comedy Performer
Hannah Gadsby, Douglas

Best Female Actor in a Play
Kate Mulvany, Every Brilliant Thing

Best Male Actor in a Play
Prakash Belawadi, Counting and Cracking

Best Female Actor in a Musical
Ursula Yovich, Barbara and the Camp Dogs

Best Male Actor in a Musical
Brent Hill, School of Rock the Musical

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