At the 2017 Sydney Theatre Awards this evening, Muriel’s Wedding The Musical was the big winner of the night, taking home seven gongs. Based on the iconic Australian film, the new musical was up for 12 awards, breaking all previously set records for most nominated work. It was named Best Mainstage Musical, with awards also going to its director, Simon Phillips, its choreographer, Andrew Hallsworth, and its musical director, Isaac Hayward. Rising star Maggie McKenna shared the Best Newcomer Award with Zoe Terakes for her portrayal of Muriel, while her co-star Madeleine Jones was named Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical. Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall were awarded Best Original Score in a Mainstage Production.

The Cast of Muriel’s Wedding the Musical. Photos: Lisa Tomasetti.

Belvoir’s Hir, a thoughtful, provocative comedy, landed the Best Mainstage Production award. Its director Anthea Williams was also recognised, as was Michael Whalley for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role and Michael Hankin for Best Stage Design.

Meanwhile, Red Line Productions’ A View From the Bridge won Best Independent Production as well as Independent awards for Best Male Actor in a Leading Role (Ivan Donato) and Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Zoe Terakes).

Kate Mulvany’s full-throttle assumption of the title role in Richard 3 for Bell Shakespeare won her the Best Female Actor in a Leading Role gong in the Mainstage category, while Mitchell Butel’s deeply felt Shylock in Bell Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice secured him Best Male Actor in a Leading Role. Elaine Crombie’s turn as Renee in Barbara and the Camp Dogs for Belvoir netted her Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role.

Kate Mulvany in Richard 3. Photo: Prudence Upton.

In the indie categories, Sarah Meacham went home with Best Female Actor in a Leading Role for Dry Land, while Johnny Nasser scored Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role for The Ham Funeral. The Ham Funeral also saw Kate Gaul recognised as Best Director of an Independent Production.

Calamity Jane, which tours nationally from March, was awarded the Best Independent Musical award, with its star Virginia Gay the recipient of the Judith Johnson Award for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. Meanwhile, David Campbell won the Judith Johnson Award for Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his portrayal of John Wilkes Booth in the Hayes Theatre Co’s production of Assassins. The Best New Australian Work went to Shit, Patricia Cornelius’ brutal examination of womanhood.

Virginia Gay in Calamity Jane. Photo: supplied. 

Designer Brian Thomson was honoured with the Sydney Theatre Award for Lifetime Achievement. His career, spanning 46 years, began in 1971 with plays staged at the Old Tote, followed by the original Australian production of Hair, the original Royal Court Production of The Rocky Horror Show, Australian and London productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, and the film Shirley Thompson Versus The Aliens. Thomson’s work is currently seen onstage in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical.

A Special Award was presented to Eva Di Cesare, Sandra Eldridge and Tim McGarry from Monkey Baa Theatre Company for 20 years of excellence and outstanding service to Australian youth.


2017 SYDNEY THEATRE AWARDS WINNERS

BEST MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Hir (Belvoir)

BEST INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
A View From the Bridge (Red Line Productions)

BEST DIRECTION OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Anthea Williams (Hir)

BEST DIRECTION OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Kate Gaul (The Ham Funeral)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Kate Mulvany (Richard 3)

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Mitchell Butel (The Merchant of Venice)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Sarah Meacham (Dry Land)

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Ivan Donato (A View From the Bridge)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Elaine Crombie (Barbara and the Camp Dogs)

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Michael Whalley (Hir)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Zoe Terakes (A View From the Bridge)

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Johnny Nasser (The Ham Funeral)

BEST STAGE DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Michael Hankin (Hir)

BEST STAGE DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Alicia Clements (Assassins)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Jonathon Oxlade (Mr Burns, A Post-Electric Play)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Alicia Clements (Assassins)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Nick Schlieper (Chimerica)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Alexander Berlage (4:48 Psychosis)

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
The Sweats (Chimerica)

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Benjamin Freeman (4:48 Psychosis)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall (Muriel’s Wedding)

BEST NEW AUSTRALIAN WORK
Shit (Patricia Cornelius)

BEST NEWCOMER
Maggie McKenna (Muriel’s Wedding)
Zoe Terakes (A View From the Bridge)

BEST PRODUCTION OF A MAINSTREAM MUSICAL
Muriel’s Wedding The Musical (Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures)

BEST PRODUCTION OF AN INDEPENDENT MUSICAL
Calamity Jane (One Eyed Man Productions in association with Neglected Musicals and Hayes
Theatre Co)

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Simon Phillips (Muriel’s Wedding)

JUDITH JOHNSON AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Virginia Gay (Calamity Jane)

JUDITH JOHNSON AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
David Campbell (Assassins)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Madeleine Jones (Muriel’s Wedding)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Matthew Backer (Only Heaven Knows)

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A MUSICAL
Andrew Hallsworth (Muriel’s Wedding)

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Isaac Hayward (Muriel’s Wedding)

BEST CABARET PRODUCTION
Hot Brown Honey

BEST PRODUCTION FOR CHILDREN
Junk (Flying Fruit Fly Circus)

BEST PRODUCTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Dignity of Risk (atyp/Shopfront Arts)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Brian Thomson

SPECIAL AWARD – Eva Di Cesare, Sandra Eldridge and Tim McGarry, Monkey Baa Theatre Company for 20 years of excellence and extraordinary service to the children and young people of Australia.