Last night the nominees for the 2016 Helpmann Awards were announced but what are the Helpmann Awards and why are they so important?
The Helpmann Awards are named after Sir Robert Helpmann and were implemented in 2001 to recognise excellence in Australian Theatre. Much like America’s Tony Awards, the Helpmann Awards celebrate and highlight talent from around the country, often encouraging the public to flock to see nominated shows to judge for themselves.
The 2016 nominees were dominated by the smash hit Matilda the Musical, who received thirteen nominations from Best Musical to Best Direction. Other musical mentions include Singing in the Rain, Ladies in Black, Little Shop of Horrors and Fiddler on the Roof. Unfortunately, the Opera nominations were dominated by Opera Australia’s The Marriage of Figaro and Luisa Miller, with the West Australian Opera missing out.
“the Helpmann Awards celebrate the many hands and hearts engaged in making the live performance industry the dynamic and creative powerhouse that is enjoyed by 18.5 million people each year in Australia.”
LPA Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson
One particular nomination I’m excited about is Wendy Mae Brown nominated for her role in Ghost as best supporting actress in a musical. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing the other three nominees in action but Wendy’s performance in Ghost the Musical stole the show, and it would be satisfying to see her take home an award. I must admit majority of the shows nominated have yet to come to Perth, and most of them won’t. With Matilda the Musical receiving so many nominations I hope this encourages them to visit the West.
The Helpmann Awards are being held in Sydney on the 25th of July with a simulcast live on Foxtel. For more information, and the full list of nominees, head to the Helpmann Awards Website.