The big names of the Australian entertainment industry were on hand to celebrate our vibrant live performance scene at the 2016 Helpmann Awards, which were held at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre on July 25.

The Helpmann Awards were established in 2001 to celebrate distinguished artistic excellent and achievement in many different sectors of the live entertainment industry.

While there were many outstanding winners on the night, the clear stand-out was the hugely successful and popular Matilda the Musical, which won the top honour in all 13 categories it was nominated for.

The stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic book has certainly made a splash, picking up a record number of gongs including the coveted Best Musical.

Matilda is currently showing at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre and has enjoyed a triumphant opening season in Sydney. The production will open its season at Crown Theatre Perth in February 2017.

All eight of the Matildas – Sydney’s Sasha Rose, Georgia Taplin, Bella Thomas and Molly Barwick and Melbourne’s Ingrid Torelli, Alannah Parfett, Tiana Mirra and Dusty Bursill – were recognised with the Best Female Actor in a Musical Helpmann Award. It is a remarkable achievement for eight of Australia’s littlest performers, all of whom possess exceptional talent.

Speaking of exceptional talent, the man who wrote the music and lyrics for Matilda the Musical, the hilarious Tim Minchin, was recognised at the Helpmann Awards winning Best Original Score. He was up against stiff competition including Tim Finn, who composed Ladies in Black, and Eddie Perfect for his work on Songs From the Middle.

Since the Awards’ inception, the JC Williamson Award has been presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to Australia’s live entertainment culture. The 2016 recipient was Stephen Page, Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director.

In addition, the Sue Natrass Award was presented to Michael Lynch CBE AM, an arts administrator who has dedicated his professional life to the enrichment of the arts industry. The award has been presented since 2014 and recognises exceptional achievement by people behind the scenes of the live entertainment industry in Australia.

The Helpmann Awards are facilitated by Australia’s peak industry body, Live Performance Australia (LPA). Ticketmaster has a long and proud association with both the LPA and the Helpmann Awards and was again very excited to be involved with event.

Maria O’Connor, the Managing Director of Ticketmaster in Australia and New Zealand is the vice president of LPA and also sits on the nominating panel for the Musicals category of the Helpmann Awards. Senior executive, Rob D’Orazio, sits on the nominating panel for the Contemporary Music category and is a former member of the Helpmann Awards organising committee.

Ticketmaster is immensely proud to play its part in Australia’s entertainment and performance industry. We believe strongly in providing exceptional experiences when people attend live events, which begins with the purchase of a ticket.

Congratulations to all the winners! We look forward to doing it all again in 2017.

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