Performing Arts Awards


Rob Guest Endowment 2017 winner, Georgina Hopson.

The winner of the 2017 Rob Guest Endowment Award was announced last night during the Grand Final Event held at the Capitol Theatre Rehearsal Room. Competing against five other outstanding Semi-Finalists with her performance of Glitter and be Gay and When Did I Fall in Love, Georgina Hopson took out the prestigious award after being chosen by an expert panel of judges, which included Roger Hodgman, Kellie Dickerson, Sharon Millerchip, Michael Tyack, Guy Simpson and Suzanne Jones. Continue reading ROB GUEST ENDOWMENT AWARDS – WINNERS ANNOUNCED


The Media Room has hosted many surprise visits from notable musicians. None were so great in stature (and I mean that literally and figuratively) as Mick Fleetwood, one of the founders of Fleetwood Mac. Furthermore, the Media Room winners represented a combination of both the old and new with awards going to Paul Kelly and Jimmy Barnes (for Best Children’s Album!). The up and coming award winners saw Gang Of Youths, Amy Shark and All My Exes Live In Texas embrace the red couch to be interviewed by the ABC’s Robbie Buck. Darryl Brathwaite was inducted into the Aria Hall Of Fame.

Featured image- Daryl Braithwaite, 2017’s inductee into Aria’s Hall Of Fame. All images by Ben Apfelbaum.


Featured image – Paulini, Fijian Australian pop and rhythm and blues singer, songwriter and actress.

The 17th annual Helpmann Awards ceremony was held at the Capitol Theatre on the evening of Monday 25th July. The Helpmanns, the equivalent of the Tonys (Broadway) and the Oliviers (West End) honour far more categories than the later two awards.

Being often clothed in striking costumes the nominees graced the red carpet with style and glamour. The Red Carpet carried a diverse range of people from the up and coming young cast of The Book Of Mormon to promoter Kevin Jacobsen, Rhonda Burchmore and Ita Buttrose.

The Ceremony was broadcast live on Foxtel and will be screened on the ABC this coming Sunday at 9.30pm.



Featured photo – Patti Smith and Bluesfest Touring 2017 won the Bobby for the Best International Contemporary Concert. All pics by Ben Apfelbaum.

The 2017 Helpmann Awards Ceremony featured excerpts from the Musicals The Book Of Mormon, Velvet, My Fair Lady, Green Days American Idiot, Aladdin, Beautiful:The Carole King Musical and the Ballet construct.

Ably hosted by Jan Van De Stool (Queenie Van De Zandt) and Tim Draxl the big winners were the Belvoir’s The Drover’s Wife, written by and starring Leah Purcell, and the Adelaide Festival’s production of the opera Saul, directed by Barry Kosky. Continue reading THE WINNERS CIRCLE : HELPMANN AWARDS 2017


Like the Arias where one artist dominated, one film swept all before it. HACKSAW RIDGE won ten awards including best Director for Mel Gibson, Best Actor Andrew Garfield, and Best Supporting Actor Hugo Weaving.

Odessa Young, who starred in the film The Daughter, directed by Simon Stone, bucked the trend by being one of the youngest actors to win the  Best Actress Award.

The television awards had a mixed bunch of winners. Among the winners were Wentworth for Best Drama Series, The Kettering Incident for Best Mini Series, Upper Middle Bogan for Best Television Comedy Series, and Master Chef Australia for Best Reality Television series.

Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama was won  by Samuel Johnson for Molly, Best Supporting Actor in a Television Drama went to Damon Herriman for Secret City, whilst Best Actress in a Television Drama was won by Elizabeth Debicki for The Kettering Incident, and Best Supporting Actress went to the usually comedic Celia Pacquola for The Beautiful Lie.

The Longford Lyell Award for a Lifetime Achievement in Film and Television went to Paul Hogan.

The Trailblazer Award, created to highlight an individual’s achievements, abilities and successes as an inspiration to all invested in screen,went to Isla Fisher.

The Byron Kennedy Award for Film and Television Innovation went to Lynette Wallworth.



After receiving their Awards several of the winners made themselves available for photographs and interviews. The following artists attending the Media Room were Best Group and Rock Album – Violent Soho, Breakthrough Artist – Montaigne, Best Urban Album – Drapht, Best Adult Contemporary Album – Bernard Fanning, Best Adult Alternative Album – Sarah Blasko, Best Country Album – Sara Storer, Best Children’s Album – The Wiggles, Best Video and Apple Music Song Of The Year – Troye Sivan, Best Australian Live Act – The Hilltop Hoods, Best Blues and Roots Album – Russell Morris, Best Album, Best Male Artist, Best Dance Release, Best Pop Release and Best Independent Release – Flume. Hall of Fame Inductees- Crowded House.

Featured image – Flume. All images by Ben Apfelbaum(c)..


The 30th Anniversary of the Arias was held at the Star in Pyrmont on 23 November. A rainy and thundery afternoon could not dampen the glitz and sparkle of the red carpet and the joy and enthusiasm of emerging performers.

As was the case with last years Arias which was dominated by Tame Impala, this year 5 awards were taken out by Flume, a soundscape DJ who reminded me of David Guetta.

The Arias often have a major international pop star and this yeat it was Robbie Williams.

In addition Kylie Minogue made a surprise appearance with her fiance Joshua Sasse to advocate for marriage equality in Australia. Another welcome appearance from an ex patriate was Ben Lee who is now based with his family in Los Angeles.

Thirty years ago CROWDED HOUSE captured the inaugural award for Best Young Talent and this year, as if to fulfill that promise, they were inducted into the Aria Hall Of Fame.

All images by Ben Apfelbaum (c).


The winner of the 2016 Rob Guest Endowment Award was announced last Monday night at a glittering Grand Final Concert held at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.

Competing against five other outstanding Semi-Finalists with his performances of Part of the Painting and Moving Too Fast Linden Furnell took out the prestigious award after being chosen by an expert panel of judges, which included Kelley Abbey, Guy Simpson, Andrew Pole and Michael James Scott.

Hosted by Lucy Durack and Penny McNamee, the exciting event, now in its 8th year, featured performances by pop sensation Paulini, principal members from Aladdin, the Helpmann Award winning Molly Barwick, Sasha Rose, Georgia Taplin and Bella Thomas who originated the role of Matilda in Australia, past winners Samantha Leigh Dodemaide and Blake Bowden, the 2015 Rob Guest Endowment winner Daniel Assetta, and cast members from Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical. The six finalists were Du Toit Bredenkamp, Hilary Cole, Linden Furnell, Stefanie Jones, Genevieve Kingsford and Matthew Predny. Continue reading 2016 ROB GUEST ENDOWMENT AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED


This is my photo montage featuring some of the winners from the recent Helpmann awards, Australia’s premiere performing arts awards night, held this year at the Lyric theatre, the Star. The Tim Minchin musical MATILDA dominated the night taking a whole swag of awards. For the full list of winners –