Muriel is officially no longer terrible.
The musical version of the popular Australian film Muriel’s Wedding leads this year’s Helpmann Awards with 11 nominations including for Best Musical and for its lead actress, Maggie McKenna, who made her stage debut in the starring role.
The Helpmann Awards are Australia’s answer to The Tony Awards and the UK Olivier Awards, celebrating all that Australian theatre has to offer.
It marks a massive year for Sydney Theatre Company, which has come away with a total of 27 nods, helped in part by its staging of Muriel’s Wedding alongside Australian production company Global Creatures.
The STC’s interesting take on Bertolt Brecht’s dark play The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, starring Hugo Weaving, has notched up six nominations, including one for Weaving’s tour de force in the title role.
Director Simon Phillips has also been nominated twice for Best Direction of a Musical (Dream Lover and Muriel’s Wedding) as has the STC’s Artistic Director Kip Williams for Best Direction of a Play (Cloud Nine and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui).
Actor and TV personality David Campbell has been nominated twice for best male actor in a musical for his roles in Assassins and Dream Lover.
Bangarra Dance Theatre has nine nominations, mainly for its ambitious work Bennelong, choreographed by artistic director Stephen Page and the company’s dancers.
Now in its 18th year, the annual awards ceremony recognises Australia’s live performance industry across 42 categories with genres including theatre, music, opera and musicals.
For the first time, the awards will be split over two events over two nights.The first will be a cocktail event in Sydney on July 15 announcing the behind-the-scenes awards and the second a black tie event on July 16 at the Capitol Theatre awarding the live performances.