July 28, 2015
Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Miserables has landed the prestigious title of Best Musical at the 2015 Helpmann Awards at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre.
The annual event celebrates the best work on Australian stages, covering contemporary and classical music as well as dance, comedy and musicals.
Les Miserables, which is currently on stage in Sydney, won five awards including best actor in a musical for Simon Gleeson and best supporting role for Kerrie Anne Greenland, who is starring in her first professional role.
Veteran star Caroline O’Connor won best female actor in a musical for her performance in Anything Goes, and said she is blessed to be able to work all over the world.
“Wow, this is amazing, anyone who knows me well knows how much I love musical theatre, so I’m absolutely delighted to receive this award,” she said.
“I would also like to congratulate my fellow nominees and thank everyone who voted.”
Pamela Rabe won the best female actor in a play, with Hugo Weaving taking out the male counterpart.
Other big winners included Faramondo, who took out best opera and four other awards, and The Rabbits, which took out all four awards it was nominated for.
Highlights of the evening included the opening performance by the cast of Les Miserables and a one-off performance by the Helpmann Award nominated Once.
This year’s host Todd McKenney also put on a spectacular performance of I Am What I Am from the Tony Award-winning production of La Cage aux Folles, and Victorian Opera showed the dark and twisted Sweeney Todd.
Australian music icon Paul Kelly was the recipient of this year’s JC Williamson Award in honour of his outstanding contribution to the music industry and prolific career spanning more than 35 years.
He thanked his family for their support over the years.
“Your children, wives, girlfriends, friends who put up with you, who miss you, who support you, who’ve got your back too, every step of the way,” he said.
“There are quite a few people here tonight who have taken many of those steps with me.
“I hope we can take a whole lot more together.”
Singer and actress Clare Bowditch and the Paul Kelly Band paid homage to Kelly by singing Deeper Water, from his 1995 critically acclaimed album of the same name.
Live Performance Australia (LPA) chief executive said the breadth of winners, nominees and performances at the star-studded ceremony highlighted the world-class creative and artistic talent of Australia.
“The Helpmann Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of the many people whose skill, passion and commitment continues to put Australia on the world map for live performance excellence,” Ms Richardson said.