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.
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.
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
Barbara and the Camp Dogs
Komische Oper Berlin’s The Magic Flute
Best Dance Production
Australian Dance Theatre, The Beginning of Nature
JC Williamson Award
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