Awards

NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED FOR SYDNEY THEATRE CRITICS CIRCLE 2018 AWARDS

Nominations were announced today for the Sydney Theatre Awards for 2018, which will be presented at a gala ceremony on Monday 21 January 2019 at 6pm at the York Theatre, Seymour Centre.

Leading the list with 11 nominations is The Harp in the South: Part One and Part Two, produced by the Sydney Theatre Company, followed by Cry-Baby from LPD and Hayes Theatre Co and Sydney Theatre Company’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, both on nine nominations. In the Heights, produced by Blue Saint Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co, was awarded eight nominations, while The Flick from Outhouse Theatre Company and Seymour Centre received seven nominations.

Nominations in the 33 categories were spread across 49 productions which played on Sydney stages during 2018. Sydney Theatre Company has a clean sweep in the Best Mainstage Production category with Blackie Blackie Brown, The Harp In The South, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and Saint Joan all vying for the award, the first time one theatre company has dominated all nominations in this category. The nominees for Best Independent Production are The Flick (Outhouse Theatre Company in association with Seymour Centre), Metamorphoses (Apocalypse Theatre Company in association with Red Line Productions), Stupid Fucking Bird (New Theatre) and There Will Be A Climax (Red Line Productions in partnership with NIDA).

The Sydney Theatre Awards are presented annually by a group of leading theatre critics to celebrate the strength, quality and diversity of theatre in Sydney. The panel consist of Elissa Blake (Audrey Journal), Jason Blake (Audrey Journal), Deborah Jones (The Australian), Jo Litson (Limelight), John McCallum (The Australian), Joyce Morgan (The Sydney Morning Herald), Ben Neutze (Time Out), John Shand (The Sydney Morning Herald) Diana Simmonds (Stagenoise), Cassie Tongue (Time Out) and Suzy Wrong (Suzy Goes See).

The reviewers all felt 2018 was a very strong year for Sydney theatre. Ben Neutze said, “It’s always a huge privilege to witness the work of our city’s talented, devoted and often criminally underappreciated theatre makers. This has been an outstanding year in a number of ways, particularly with new plays at mainstage companies. We’ve seen outstanding productions that grapple with Australia’s position in the world, take outsider perspectives on our society, and dig into our history to imagine a way forward.

“It’s unusual that one company has dominated the Best Mainstage Production category – and we hope for more equitable representation in future – but it must be said that Sydney Theatre Company’s season was packed with highlights. Similarly, Griffin Theatre Company and Hayes Theatre Co continue to punch well above their weight, as is reflected in the nominations.”

Diana Simmonds agreed, saying, “It’s hard to believe this is the 14th year of the Awards, but wonderful to be able to say it was a vintage year, from mainstage to independent. The quality and ambition are thrilling, particularly in new Australian works, and the participation of women of all ages is growing and we want to see no going back on that.”

NOMINATIONS FOR 2018 SYDNEY THEATRE AWARDS

BEST MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Blackie Blackie Brown (Sydney Theatre Company)

The Harp in the South (Sydney Theatre Company)

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Sydney Theatre Company)

Saint Joan (Sydney Theatre Company)

BEST INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

The Flick (Outhouse Theatre Company in association with Seymour Centre)

Metamorphoses (Apocalypse Theatre Company in association with Red Line Productions)

Stupid Fucking Bird (New Theatre)

There Will Be a Climax (Red Line Productions in partnership with NIDA)

BEST DIRECTION OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Leticia Cáceres (random)

Imara Savage (Saint Joan)

Kip Williams (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)

Kip Williams (The Harp in the South)

BEST DIRECTION OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Craig Baldwin (The Flick)

Alexander Berlage (There Will Be a Climax)

Dino Dimitriadis (Metamorphoses)

Warwick Doddrell (Stupid Fucking Bird)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Claire Lovering (The Feather in the Web)

Zahra Newman (random)

Sarah Snook (Saint Joan)

Megan Wilding (Blackie Blackie Brown)

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Jimi Bani (My Name is Jimi)

Jack Finsterer (The Harp in the South)

Yalin Ozucelik (The Norman Conquests)

Hugo Weaving (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Gabrielle Scawthorn (Ironbound)

Ella Scott-Lynch (King of Pigs)

Nikki Shiels (They Divided the Sky)

Bishanyia Vincent (Nell Gwynn)

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Justin Amankwah (The Flick)

Mansoor Noor (Stupid Fucking Bird)

Jeremy Waters (The Flick)

Elijah Williams (The Rolling Stone)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Kate Box (Top Girls)

Julie Forsyth (Accidental Death of an Anarchist)

Michelle Lim Davidson (The Feather in the Web)

Contessa Treffone (The Harp in the South)

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Mitchell Butel (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)

Ash Flanders (Blackie Blackie Brown)

Colin Moody (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)

Guy Simon (The Harp in the South)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Morgan Maguire (Home Invasion)

Wendy Mocke (Moby Dick)

Annie Stafford (Stupid Fucking Bird)

Kaitlyn Thor (Stupid Fucking Bird)

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Simon Burke (Strangers in Between)

Damon Manns (The Rolling Stone)

Mandela Mathia (The Rolling Stone)

Christopher Stollery (Ear to the Edge of Time)

BEST STAGE DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Robert Cousins (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)

David Fleischer (The Harp in the South)

Elizabeth Gadsby, Oh Yeah Wow and Verity Hampson (Blackie Blackie Brown)

Jonathon Oxlade (Accidental Death of an Anarchist)

BEST STAGE DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Jonathan Hindmarsh (Metamorphoses)

Isabel Hudson (Cry-Baby)

Isabel Hudson (The View UpStairs)

Maya Keys (The Wolves)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Alice Babidge (A Cheery Soul)

James Browne (Josephine Wants to Dance)

Renée Mulder (The Harp in the South)

Renée Mulder (Top Girls)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Mason Browne (Cry-Baby)

Elizabeth Franklin (In the Heights)

Nicholas Fry (There Will Be a Climax)

Jonathan Hindmarsh (Metamorphoses)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Damien Cooper (Top Girls)

Verity Hampson (Blackie Blackie Brown)

Nick Schlieper (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)

Nick Schlieper (The Harp in the South)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Benjamin Brockman (Metamorphoses)

Martin Kinnane (The Flick)

Trent Suidgeest (Darlinghurst Nights)

Trent Suidgeest (The View UpStairs)

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Nate Edmondson (The Harp in the South)

Stefan Gregory (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)

Max Lyandvert (Saint Joan)

Jethro Woodward (Sami in Paradise)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

William Barton (The Long Forgotten Dream)

Stefan Gregory (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)

The Sweats (The Harp in the South)

Clemence Williams (A Cheery Soul)

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Nate Edmondson (The Flick)

Ben Pierpoint (Metamorphoses)

Ben Pierpont and Mary Rapp (Stupid Fucking Bird)

Clemence Williams (The Wolves)

BEST NEW AUSTRALIAN WORK

The Almighty Sometimes (Kendall Feaver)

Blackie Blackie Brown (Nakkiah Lui)

The Feather in the Web (Nick Coyle)

The Harp in the South (Kate Mulvany)

Kill Climate Deniers (David Finnigan)

The Sugar House (Alana Valentine)

BEST NEWCOMER

Marty Alix (In the Heights)

Justin Amankwah (The Flick)

Damon Manns (The Rolling Stone)

Grace Truman (Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam)

Nadia Zwecker (The Wolves)

BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL

The Book of Mormon (Anne Garefino, Scott Rudin, Important Musicals and John Frost)

Cry-Baby (LPD in association with Hayes Theatre Co)

In the Heights (Blue Saint Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co)

The View UpStairs (Invisible Wall Productions and Sugary Rum productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co)

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

Alexander Berlage (Cry-Baby)

Luke Joslin (In the Heights)

Lee Lewis (Darlinghurst Nights)

Shaun Rennie (The View UpStairs)

 

JUDITH JOHNSON AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Tina Arena (Evita)

Caitlin Berry (She Loves Me)

Loren Hunter (Evie May)

Ashleigh Rubenach (Cry-Baby)

JUDITH JOHNSON AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Ryan Gonzalez (In the Heights)

Ryan Gonzalez (Jersey Boys)

Justin Smith (Darlinghurst Nights)

Rowan Witt (She Loves Me)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Beth Daly (Cry-Baby)

Laura Murphy (Cry-Baby)

Zahra Newman (The Book of Mormon)

Bishanyia Vincent (Evie May)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Marty Alix (In the Heights)

Joel Granger (She Loves Me)

Jay James-Moody (She Loves Me)

Rowan Witt (The Book of Mormon)

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

Lucy Bermingham (In the Heights)

Geoffrey Castles (Aspects of Love)

Nicholas Griffin (Cry-Baby)

Max Lambert (Darlinghurst Nights)

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A MUSICAL

Leslie Bell (She Loves Me)

Amy Campbell (In the Heights)

Madison Lee (The Wild Party)

Cameron Mitchell (Cry-Baby)

BEST CABARET PRODUCTION

Bosom Buddies (Nancye Hayes and Todd McKenney)

Meow Meow’s Pandemonium

Since Ali Died (Omar Musa)

BEST PRODUCTION FOR CHILDREN OR YOUNG PEOPLE

Alice in Wonderland (Sydney Festival)

Charlie Pilgrim (atyp)

Josephine Wants to Dance (Monkey Baa)

The Wider Earth (Queensland Theatre and Dead Puppet Society)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

To be announced at the Awards ceremony

Featured image – Harp  Of The South. Pic Daniel Boud.

AACTA RED CARPET

As is the case there is always an especially glittering Red Carpet at the AACTA awards. Naturally Nicole Kidman  sparkled and was truly happy to be accompanied by her mum, and her niece Lucia Hawley.

Mirroring Australian politics  the AACTA Awards have looked for greater cooperation with the Asian cinema markets with the AACTA Asian Awards. These winners also walked the Red Carpet together with other Australian nominees, many with a multicultural background. Unlike the torrential rain which plagued the Aria Awards a week earlier, the AACTA Red Carpet took place on the 5th December in sparkling sunshine in its traditional position at the Star Event Centre in Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, facing our glorious harbour.

Featured image – Isabel Lucas. All pics by Ben Apfelbaum

AACTA AWARDS CEREMONY: THE MEDIA ROOM

Stephen Curry was back again hosting the AACTA Awards ceremony held at the Star Event Centre on 5th December. Much was made of the 60th anniversary of this event and how far the Industry has come over this time. Occasionally the ceremony is a victim of its own making in that past award winners have been recognised and work internationally or interstate and are unable to attend this year’s event despite being nominated.

Nevertheless such is the depth of talent in the film and television industry that the capacious Star Event Centre was filled to the brim.

The most prestigious award of the evening went to Bryan Brown who received the  Longford  Lyell Award for his body of work  and his contribution to the film and television industry.

The Byron Kennedy Award went to Ian Darling of the Good Pitch Australia/ Documentary Australia Foundation.

Indigenous films were prominent in the Award nominations with the drama series  Mystery Road and the movie Sweet Country. 

As is the case in some Oscar ceremonies a film dominates the Awards and that film was Sweet Country winning six awards including Best Film, Best Director (Warwick Thornton), Best Cinematography (Warwick Thornton) and Best Lead Actor (Hamilton Morris – who had never acted before).

Among the other winners were Angourie Rice for Best Actress for ‘Ladies in Black’, Simon Baker for Best Supporting Actor for ‘Breath’, Nicole Kidman for Best Supporting Actress for ‘Boy Erased’. ‘Boy Erased’  also received an award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

‘Mystery Road’ and ‘Riot’ dominated the television categories, receiving three awards each including Best Drama series and Best Tele Feature or Mini Series respectively.

‘Riot’ won the best Lead Actor in a Television Drama  for Damon Herriman and Best Lead Actress for first time winner Kate Box.

‘Mystery Road’ won both the best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress for Wayne Blair and Deborah Mailman.

For a complete list of award winners visit www.aacta.org

The audience also enjoyed Stephen Curry ‘s pre-recorded skits, Gina Riley and Jane Turner reprising their roles as Kath and Kim to present the award for Best Comedian for Hannah Gadsby. Other highlights included Vance Joy’s performance and Katie Noonan’s ‘In Memoriam’ tribute.

All pics by Ben Apfelbaum (c)

AACTA AWARDS INDUSTRY LUNCHEON

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) awards are a continuum of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) awards which recognised screen excellence in Australia since 1958. The first AACTA award had humble origins in that it was presented to a short training film produced by the Federal Government.

The Minister for the Arts Don Harwin made the point that for every dollar the New South Wales Government invested on film and television, the New South Wales economy reaped a benefit of $21. Continue reading AACTA AWARDS INDUSTRY LUNCHEON

ANOTHER GREAT NIGHT @ THE ARIA AWARDS

A torrential storm described as a one in a century storm for November (though the last one was in 1984) smashed Sydney and potentially threatened the Aria awards Red Carpet. Rather than holding it at the usual Pirrama Road entrance, workers toiled furiously to erect the media walls and carpets at the front entrance of the Star. It worked so well it might be held there again next year.

Despite the heavy clouds many stars emerged to participate in the Aria awards ceremony. There were many international guests including Sir Bob Geldof, US crooner Richard Marx and pop Brit sensations, Rita Ora and George Ezra.

The event was compered by Keith Urban and with him came the extra bonuses of his singing and the support of his wife Nicole Kidman, who also brought along her niece, Lucia Hawley. Continue reading ANOTHER GREAT NIGHT @ THE ARIA AWARDS

FASHION STARS HONOURED @ 2018 FASHION LAUREATE AWARDS

The crème of Australia’s fashion-elite attended the 2018 Fashion Laureate Awards ceremony recently to honour individuals who have made a significant contribution to the growth, development and global promotion of this country’s fashion industry.

Designers, models and industry professionals graced the Australian Fashion Laureate red carpet at the State Theatre in Sydney to celebrate the 11th year of this gala event hosted by international supermodel Georgia Fowler and celebrated Aussie comedian Ash Williams.

It was a night to reflect on the achievements in Australian Fashion and acknowledge the outstanding accomplishments by individuals in different categories. Continue reading FASHION STARS HONOURED @ 2018 FASHION LAUREATE AWARDS

WINNER OF THE INAUGURAL PIONEER PLAYWRIGHT AWARD: SOPHIA SIMMONS

The 2018 Pioneer Playwright Award Winner is GRAVITY GUTS by Sophia Simmons (pictured).

Company of Rogues and the Pioneer Play Festival are proud to announce Sophia Simmons’ smart, sharp and funny play about growing up, the universe and everything is the winner of the 2018 Pioneer Playwright Award.

GRAVITY GUTS tells the story of a teenage girl as she tries to follow her dream of being an astronaut.  She loves sci-fi because her dad thinks it’s cool, she’s obsessed with space travel and her hero is Sigourney Weaver from Alien. She just needs to pass the medical, get through the entrance exam, and ace the physical fitness test (cue 80’s workout music). Continue reading WINNER OF THE INAUGURAL PIONEER PLAYWRIGHT AWARD: SOPHIA SIMMONS

HELPMANN AWARDS 2018

Further to the nominations announced on 18 June by the industry group Live Performance Australia, the presentation of this year’s Helpmann Awards were spread over two separate evenings.

Act 1 on Sunday 15 July at Sydney Town Hall was the curtain raiser acknowledging the achievements of Australia’s best creative and design artists who work behind the scenes in support roles. The Awards are a celebration of Australia’s live performance industry recognising excellence across a range of categories including musicals, comedy and cabaret, opera, dance, classical music, theatre and ballet. The 20 awards announced at the Helpmann Awards Act 1 on Sunday complements the dynamic performing arts talent fiercely competitive in a thriving industry.

The Town Hall celebration on Sunday was a cocktail gathering hosted by Rhonda Roberts and Michael Lynch. The live performances for the night included Monkey Baa Theatre Company, the Sydney Youth Orchestra Quartet, Georgina Hopson and opera duo Andrew Jones and Jenny Liu. Continue reading HELPMANN AWARDS 2018

HELPMANN AWARDS NOMINATIONS FOR 2018 ANNOUNCED

This image: David Atkins, Artistic Director of the upcoming Helpmann Awards.                           Featured image: Matt Lee, Kelley Abbey, David Atkins, Maggie Dence and Robert Grubb at the announcement of this years’ Helpmann Awards nominees. Pics by Denver Mottau.

On Monday night, the industry group Live Performance Australia (LPA) announced the nominees in the 42 categories of the Helpmann Awards. The Awards are accolades for live entertainment and performing arts in Australia recognising achievement and excellence across a range of live performance sectors including musicals, comedy, opera and classical music, theatre, ballet, dance and physical theatre, presentations for children, regional touring and cabaret.

The winner of the Best Special Event Award, already announced, has gone to the Melbourne International Arts Festival for its production of Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.

This year, the Sydney Theatre Company (STC) dominated the Theatre categories with 27 nominations. Hugo Weaving and his son Harry Greenwood were recognised for separate STC shows while David Campbell was nominated for best actor in a musical for his role as Bobby Darin in Dream Lover, and again for Assassins now playing at the Opera House.

The musical remake of Muriel’s Wedding received 11 nominations including best musical, best new Australian work, best original score, best director and best female actor in a musical. There is strong competition across categories with Hamlet and Bennelong also scoring many a nomination. Locally created music and dance work seem to have a much- anticipated edge with this year’s awards. Continue reading HELPMANN AWARDS NOMINATIONS FOR 2018 ANNOUNCED

MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK AUSTRALIA 2018

As the cream of international and local fashion experts flocked to Sydney to experience yet another fashion extravaganza of lavish runway shows during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA), just how did our prolific designers meet the task of showcasing to the world, the best of our homegrown talent and top labels.

There were some 40 runway shows in 4 ½ days of MBFWA with each show costing between $50-$100,000. Australian designers who could afford these costs had the platform opportunity to present a brand vision and push home their wares building crucial sales and connections to impress the strong contingent of international press and buyers who regularly come here to scout for fresh talent and new ideas. Continue reading MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK AUSTRALIA 2018

THE STELLA YOUNG AWARD NOW OPEN

The Stella Young Award is an annual award offered by Arts Access Victoria, recognising the power of the arts to influence social change.This award recognises young Australian artists with disability (aged between 16 – 30) who have demonstrated significant impact or achievement in disability activism through their artistic practice in comedy, performing arts or screen culture. Continue reading THE STELLA YOUNG AWARD NOW OPEN