DV8′s show Can We Talk About This? has been named best dance work at Australia’s Helpmann Awards, the country’s annual ceremony for live entertainment.
The physical theatre piece was presented in Australia at the Sydney Opera House, and is a co-production with the National Theatre.
Overall, a record 829 entries were received for the Helpmann Awards, with winners announced at the Sydney Opera House on Monday night.
Awards were evenly distributed across the nation with no one company or show dominating.
A Chorus Line, produced by Tim Lawson in association with the Adelaide Festival Theatre, won best musical.
Cate Blanchett was named best female actor in a play for her role in Gross und Klein (Big and Small) for Sydney Theatre Company, of which she was co-artistic director. Her predecessor as the company’s artistic director, Robyn Nevin, won best female actor in a supporting role in a play for rival Belvoir’s revival of an Australian classic, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.
The Australian Opera’s outdoor production of La Traviata performed on Sydney Harbour was rewarded with gongs for best female performer in an opera for Emma Matthews, best scenic design for Brian Thomson, best sound design and best special event.
Cabaret artist Meow Meow was a popular winner for her production Little Match Girl, receiving awards for cabaret performer, music direction and lighting design.
Sometime cabaret performer Paul Capsis was best male actor in a play for Angela’s Kitchen for which he also shared an award for new Australian work.
UK-based Kylie Minogue and Tim Minchin won for best Australian contemporary concert and best comedian respectively.
On the eve of the awards 99 former winners published an open letter to members of the producer industry body Live Performance Australia, which hosts the awards, calling for them to reconsider their ditching of an agreement governing the use of foreign artists in live theatre in Australia in April this year.