We’ve reached the end of the Helpmann Awards Season, which ran through April 30 of this year. LPA Members have had four weeks to submit their entries for the awards, and shortly, we’ll discover which shows and individuals are taking home awards in 2018.  This is our early primer for what’s going to be one of the most interesting Helpmann Awards ceremonies in Australian theatre history.

In a bold move, the awards will be split into two nights. 42 prestigious Helpmann Awards will be presented across two nights; the Helpmann Awards Curtain Raiser at the Sydney Town Hall on Sunday 15 July and the Helpmann Awards Ceremony at the Capitol Theatre on Monday 16 July. 

A Look Back At 2017 Winners

We posted the winners for the 2017 awards last July. We witnessed SAUL win Best Opera, THE DROVER’S WIFE take Best Play, and THE BOOK OF MORMON take Best Musical. Though as you may recall, many of the individual awards offered a great deal of variety to the occasion. For instance, Callum Francis won Best Male Actor in a Musical for KINKY BOOTS, and Best Female Actor in a Play went to Kate Mulvany for her work in RICHARD THE 3RD. Aladdin and My Fair Lady also took home several awards. We won’t go over every single award again, but suffice it to say there was a satisfying spread of honours across the board in 2017 and we’ll hope for more of the same in 2018!

The Likely Winners In 2018? Take a flutter? 

Even just a few months out, it’s hard to predict which performers and shows might be honoured this time around.  It’s worth noting that with sports betting and lotteries legal in Australia, more obscure markets can be included among betting options and it’s not out of the question that odds will be posted on potential Helpmann Awards winners – at least once the nominees are announced. It’s a little bit early at this point, but if you enjoy speculating or even playing prediction games with friends who enjoy theatre, keep your eyes peeled…

Noteworthy Shows Of The Season

It’s not for us to say which are necessarily the best shows, or which ones deserve Helpmann Awards. But we can at least point to some of the more noteworthy shows as ones to keep in mind.  HIR was considered to be one of the best stage productions of 2017 and has every chance of taking out an award.

BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL has been wowing audiences in both Sydney and Melbourne and should receive nominations in numerous categories, with Esther Hannaford a current favourite for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. Virginia Gay’s performance in CALAMITY JANE is also worth noting, as is the Green Room Award winning portrayal by Christie Whelan-Browne in VIGIL. David Campbell impressed audiences and critics in both DREAM LOVER – THE BOBBY DARIN MUSICAL and ASSASSINS.

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT is back and bigger and better than ever. It’s almost impossible to overlook MURIEL’S WEDDING, which earned significant acclaim on the musicals front.

Audience favourites MAMMA MIA! and THE WIZARD OF OZ have also returned with fresh new productions.

SHIT was a popular Australian original and CHIMERICA also generated a fair amount of attention. All of these shows were recognised in some form at the Sydney Theatre Awards this past January and could well be in consideration for Helpmann Awards as well.

Sit back and enjoy the Theatre People coverage of the night… sorry… nights!