18th Annual Helpmann Awards Performers, Hosts, Presenters and Broadcast details announced

David Atkins OAMA sensational line up of stars and industry heavyweights come together to honour and celebrate Australia’s most prestigious live performance Awards This year, the winners of the 2018 Helpmann Awards will be announced at two events over two big nights in July.

Both events will be directed by one of Australia’s most internationally renowned producers, Olivier and MTV Award winner, choreographer and director David Atkins OAM. This year, for the first time, the Helpmann Awards will be broadcast live across the country, exclusively on the ABC.

“I am proud and honoured to be part of the 18th annual Helpmann Awards in what will be a landmark year for the event,” said 2018 Helpmann Awards Artistic Director, David Atkins OAM.

Helpmann Awards Act I – Sydney Town Hall – Sunday 15 July 2018 
Act I is an up close, industry-insider event at cocktail hour celebrating the very best creative, designer and supporting roles and will include Awards for Best Presentation for Children, Best Regional Touring Production and Best Special Event.

Act I will be hosted by celebrated broadcaster, director, producer, actor, advisor and artistic director Rhoda Roberts AM and Michael Lynch CBE AO, one of Australia’s most experienced and internationally renowned Arts Administrators. The titans of musical direction, Vanessa Scammell and Max Lambert, will play on dual grand pianos.

Performers will include Chloe Dallimore and Amanda Laing, musical theatre rising star Georgina Hopson, Sydney Youth Orchestra quintet, and dynamic operatic duo Jenny Lui and Andrew Jones.

Helpmann Awards Act II – Capitol Theatre Sydney – Monday 16 July 2018 
Staged on the set of Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical, this Black Tie event will present Awards in all live performance genres along with celebrating the 2017 Centenary JC Williamson and Sue Nattrass Award recipients, and honouring colleagues In Memoriam.

Hosts for the night include Olivier & Tony Nominee, performer and writer, Tony Sheldon; acclaimed choreographer Raphael Bonachela; the multiple Helpmann Award winning mezzo soprano Jacqueline Dark and celebrated musical theatre star and TV host David Campbell.

Stellar performances will include a vivacious ‘stampede of sass’ with the cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical performing It’s Raining Men, and an evocative duet from ab [intra] with electrifying Sydney Dance Company dancers Davide Di Giovanni and Charmene Yap.

The stars from the celebrated new Australian musical Muriel’s Wedding, Maggie McKenna and Madeleine Jones, will perform Amazing as their characters, Muriel and Rhonda, affirm their new friendship. Triple ARIA award winners, the quiet achievers of Australian pop, My Friend the Chocolate Cake with David Bridie, Helen Mountfort and Hope Csutoros will perform the entrancing Weep as part of the In Memoriam.

The biggest line up of Australia leading female vocalists will bring the show home with songs from the hit musical and film Funny Girl. Divas and funny girls themselves, Michala Banas (Upper Middle Bogan), Natalie Bassingthwaighte (The X Factor), Casey Donovan (Australian Idol), Virginia Gay (Calamity Jane), Verity Hunt-Ballard (Mary Poppins), Dami Im (Eurovision), Maggie McKenna (Muriel’s Wedding the Musical), Queenie van der Zandt (2017 Helpmann Awards Host) and Zahra Newman (The Book of Mormon) will have the audience standing in their seats and cheering for more.

The Red Carpet will roll outside the Capitol Theatre from 6.00pm hosted by the diva of dresses and darling of Australian musical theatre, Rhonda Burchmore OAM. The Helpmann Awards Act II will be broadcast live from the Capitol Theatre on ABC on Monday 16 July at 9.30pm. Highlight from the previous night (Act I) will also be part of the broadcast.

“The Helpmann Awards are an incredible celebration of the contribution the live performance industry makes to our country’s culture,” said ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie. “The ABC is proud to champion this industry by broadcasting the event for Australians to enjoy the amazing performances and appreciate the hard work and talent of all the nominees.”

This year the Helpmann’s will not only celebrate every genre of our thriving performing arts industry, they will also acknowledge and exalt the shared passion, joy and creative endeavours of those practitioners, both on stage and behind the scenes, that give life to the art of live performance’.

The Helpmann Awards are the premier celebration of Australia’s vibrant live performance industry. The Awards recognise distinguished achievement and excellence in Australia’s live performance sectors including musicals, contemporary music, comedy, opera and classical music, theatre, ballet, dance and physical theatre, presentations for children, regional touring and cabaret. The full list of nominees can be viewed here.

Don’t miss the showbiz night of nights presented live in Sydney and on ABC TV Monday 16 July 2018 – 9.30pm. For more information, visit: www.helpmannawards.com.au for details.

Image: David Atkins OAM (supplied)