The who’s who of Australia’s live performance industry gathered at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre on July 27 for the 2015 Helpmann Awards, an annual celebration of exceptional artistry in the entertainment industry. 

The Helpmann Awards recognise distinguished achievement and excellence in many live performance genres including dance, comedy, musical theatre, contemporary music, cabaret, opera, physical theatre and classical music. 

One of Australia’s most talented and popular performers, Todd McKenney, hosted the event, which also included performances from the cast of Les Miserables, Once, The Australian Piano Quartet and Cosentino – The Grand Illusionist.  

Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed musical Les Miserables, which is currently showing at the Capitol Theatre, was the major winner on the night, collecting five awards from a whopping 12 nominations. Awards included the coveted Best Musical gong, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design. Stars Simon Gleeson and Kerrie Anne Greenland received awards for Best Male Actor and Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role respectively. 

Fresh from a highly acclaimed Melbourne season, Opera Australia’s Anything Goes picked up three awards including Best Female Actor in a Musical for stalwart Caroline O’Connor and Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role for Alex Rathgeber. Andrew Hallsworth was awarded the Helpmann for Best Choreography in a Musical. 

It is high praise for the classic Cole Porter musical, which is set for a season at the Sydney Opera House from September. 

Frontier Touring scooped the contemporary music categories, picking up awards for Best Australian Contemporary Concert, which was won by Chet Faker, and Best International Contemporary Concert for Ed Sheeran’s recent X World Tour. 

Vivid Live, presented by Destination NSW and the Sydney Opera House, was awarded the Helpmann for Best Contemporary Music Festival. 

Australia’s pre-eminent singer/songwriter/story teller, Paul Kelly, was honoured with the prestigious JC Williamson Award for his outstanding contribution to the live performance industry. Eric Robinson, CEO of JPJ Audio and Jands Production Services (JPS), was awarded the 2015 Sue Natrass Award, which honours those who make an outstanding contribution to the industry but do not enjoy the high profile of the stars of the shows. 

Ticketmaster has been a proud supporter of the Helpmann Awards, which were established by Live Performance Australia (LPA) in 2001.   Managing Director of Ticketmaster in Australia and New Zealand, Maria O’Connor, is the Vice President of the LPA Executive Council and a member of the Helpmann Awards Administration Committee (HAAC). 

As a premier sponsor of the event, Ticketmaster is very proud to assist in the recognition and celebration of the people who keep the Australian live entertainment industry thriving. 

For a full list of nominees and winners, visit the Helpmann Awards website.