29 September 2015
The 2015 Helpmann Awards were announced last night, honouring Australia's dynamic live performance industry.
The 2015 JC Williamson Lifetime Achievement Award went to legendary Victorian Paul Kelly, who was recognised as "one of Australia's most accomplished songwriters and performers, with many of his songs now lodged deeply into the Australian psyche...lauded as a poet and storyteller who captures the essence of what it is to live in this country with all its complexities and foibles."
Launched in Melbourne with support from the Victorian Major Events Company, Les Misérables was also a big winner on the night, taking five awards including Best Musical. Geelong actor Simon Gleeson took Best Actor in a Musical for his lead performance as Jean Valjean.
ONCE, co-presented by the Melbourne Theatre Company, took the award for Best Direction of a Musical (John Tiffany) and Best Music Direction (Martin Lowe).
Victorian Andrew Hallsworth took out Best Choreography in a Musical for his work on Anything Goes while Horsham-born Alex Rathgeber won Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for his work in the same production.
Acclaimed playwright Lally Katz shared the prize for Best New Australian Work for The Rabbits, for which she was librettist. The work, which won Best Original Score, Best Costume Design and Best Presentation For Children, was co-commissioned by Melbourne Festival.
Melbourne Recital Centre took the honour for Best Chamber and/or Instrumental Ensemble Concert for their co-production of Les Arts Florissants and Le Jardin des Voix in 'Un jardin à l'italienne', shared with Sydney Opera House and the Perth International Arts Festival.
Victorian comedy stalwart Judith Lucy won Best Comedy Performer for her critically acclaimed production Ask No Questions of the Moth while Chet Faker won Best Australian Contemporary Concert for his 2015 National Tour.
A huge congratulations to all the winners, at home and interstate.