The 2019 Helpmann Awards saw a celebration of artistic excellence and distinguished achievement in Australia’s live entertainment and performing arts industry.

Act II of the Awards was a star-studded gala event, hosted by the dynamic duo of comedian, writer and actor, Susie Youssef, and Artistic Director of State Theatre SA, Mitchell Butel. Saluting artistic excellence and achievement on Australian stages over the past year, 23 Awards were presented in the categories of comedy, cabaret, contemporary music, musicals, opera, classical music, theatre and ballet, dance and physical theatre. These awards complement the 20 Awards announced earlier at the Helpmann Awards Act I. The prestigious JC Williamson Award was presented by Paul Kelly AO to the legendary singer/songwriter Kev Carmody, for his outstanding contribution to the live performance industry.

The Helpmann Awards were established in 2001 by Live Performance Australia (LPA). President of LPA Richard Evans said “We are proud to present the 19th Annual Helpmann Awards, in Melbourne this year for the very first time. The breadth and diversity of winners, nominees and performances at tonight’s and yesterday’s events shines a spotlight on Australia’s world-class creative and artistic talent”. Representing the vibrant cultural scene of the 4101,  Elaine Crombie, Vicky Gordon, Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine won the Helpmann Award for Best Musical – Barbara and the Camp Dogs which played at Queensland Theatre‘s Bille Brown Theatre earlier this year. The musical was produced by Belvoir in association with Vicki Gordon Music Productions Pty Ltd.

Artistic talent was showcased in performances from the Victorian Opera with their work Lorelei, featuring divas Ali McGregor, Dimity Shepherd and Danielle Calder; The Australian Ballet with an exquisite new piece from Aurum, by choreographer Alice Topp; the breathtaking Bangarra dancers with an excerpt from the award-winning production Bennelong; Brent Hill and the cast of hit musical School of Rock. The Red Carpet Walk was not complete without colourful comedienne Cal Wilson. Celebrations continued late into the evening following Act II at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.

Readers also enjoyed our socials from School of Rock.