The 2018 Sydney Theatre Awards nominations were announced today, with Sydney Theatre Company’s The Harp in the South: Part One and Part Two leading the charge with 11 nominations, followed by LPD and Hayes Theatre Co’s Cry-Baby and Sydney Theatre Company’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui with nine nominations each.

It’s an incredibly strong year for Sydney Theatre Company, which is the first company in the Sydney Theatre Awards’ history to make a clean sweep of the Best Mainstage Production, with nominations for Blackie Blackie Brown, The Harp In The South, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and Saint Joan.

Jack Ruwald, Anita Hegh and Jack Finsterer in Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Harp in the South © Daniel Boud  

Sydney Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Kip Williams has taken out two nominations for Best Direction of a Mainstage Production, for The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and The Harp in the South, up against Imara Savage for Saint Joan and Leticia Cáceres for random. The nominees for Best Independent Production are The Flick (Outhouse Theatre Company in association with Seymour Centre), Metamorphoses (Apocalypse Theatre Company in association with Red Line Productions), Stupid Fucking Bird (New Theatre) and There Will Be A Climax (Red Line Productions in partnership with NIDA).

Best Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Mainstage Production sees Claire Lovering (The Feather in the Web), Zahra Newman (random), Sarah Snook (Saint Joan) and Megan Wilding (Blackie Blackie Brown) nominated, while Best Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Mainstage Production sees nods for Jimi Bani (My Name is Jimi), Jack Finsterer (The Harp in the South), Yalin Ozucelik (The Norman Conquests) and Hugo Weaving (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui).

Composer and didgeridoo player William Barton has been nominated in the Best Original Score of a Mainstage Production category for his music to Sydney Theatre Company’s The Long Forgotten Dream, up against Stefan Gregory for The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, The Sweats for The Harp in the South and Clemence Williams for A Cheery Soul.

There are six nominations in the Best New Australian Work category work, with Kendall Feaver’s The Almighty Sometimes, Nakkiah Lui’s Blackie Blackie Brown, Nick Coyle’s The Feather in the Web, Kate Mulvany’s The Harp in the South, David Finnigan’s Kill Climate Deniers and Alana Valentine’s The Sugar House all nominated. This year, unlike last year, there is only one category for Best Production of a Musical – as opposed to last year’s Mainstage and Independent categories – with The Book of Mormon, Cry-Baby, In the Heights and The View UpStairs receiving nominations.

Cry-Baby also picked up nominations for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Musical (Ashleigh Rebenach, up against Tina Arena in Evita, Caitlin Berry in She Loves Me, and Loren Hunter in Evie May), two nominations for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Beth Daly and Laura Murphy, up against Zahra Newman in The Book of Mormon and Bishanyia Vincent in Evie May), a nomination for Best Musical Direction of a Musical (Nicholas Griffin, up against Lucy Bermingham for In the Heights, Geoffrey Castles for Aspects of Love and Max Lambert for Darlinghurst Nights) and Best Choreography (Cameron Mitchell, up against Leslie Bell for She Loves Me, Amy Campbell for In the Heights and Madison Lee for The Wild Party).

The Sydney Theatre Awards are presented annually by a group of leading theatre critics to celebrate the strength, quality and diversity of theatre in Sydney. The panel consist of Elissa Blake (Audrey Journal), Jason Blake (Audrey Journal), Deborah Jones (The Australian), John McCallum (The Australian), Joyce Morgan (The Sydney Morning Herald), Ben Neutze (Time Out), John Shand (The Sydney Morning Herald) Diana Simmonds (Stagenoise), Cassie Tongue (Time Out), Suzy Wrong (Suzy Goes See) and Limelight’s Editor Jo Litson.

“It’s always a huge privilege to witness the work of our city’s talented, devoted and often criminally underappreciated theatre makers. This has been an outstanding year in a number of ways, particularly with new plays at mainstage companies. We’ve seen outstanding productions that grapple with Australia’s position in the world, take outsider perspectives on our society, and dig into our history to imagine a way forward,” Time Out’s Ben Neutze said. “It’s unusual that one company has dominated the Best Mainstage Production category – and we hope for more equitable representation in future – but it must be said that Sydney Theatre Company’s season was packed with highlights. Similarly, Griffin Theatre Company and Hayes Theatre Co continue to punch well above their weight, as is reflected in the nominations.”

“It’s hard to believe this is the 14th year of the Awards, but wonderful to be able to say it was a vintage year, from mainstage to independent,” Stagenoise’s Diana Simmonds said. “The quality and ambition are thrilling, particularly in new Australian works, and the participation of women of all ages is growing and we want to see no going back on that.”

The winners of each category and the Sydney Theatre Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced at the awards ceremony on January 21 at the Seymour Centre.


Nominations for the 2018 Sydney Theatre Awards

BEST MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Blackie Blackie Brown (Sydney Theatre Company)
The Harp in the South (Sydney Theatre Company)
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Sydney Theatre Company)
Saint Joan (Sydney Theatre Company)

BEST INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

The Flick (Outhouse Theatre Company in association with Seymour Centre)
Metamorphoses (Apocalypse Theatre Company in association with Red Line Productions)
Stupid Fucking Bird (New Theatre)
There Will Be a Climax (Red Line Productions in partnership with NIDA)

BEST DIRECTION OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Leticia Cáceres (random)
Imara Savage (Saint Joan)
Kip Williams (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)
Kip Williams (The Harp in the South)

BEST DIRECTION OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Craig Baldwin (The Flick)
Alexander Berlage (There Will Be A Climax)
Dino Dimitriadis (Metamorphoses)
Warwick Doddrell (Stupid Fucking Bird)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Claire Lovering (The Feather in the Web)
Zahra Newman (random)
Sarah Snook (Saint Joan)
Megan Wilding (Blackie Blackie Brown)

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Jimi Bani (My Name is Jimi)
Jack Finsterer (The Harp in the South)
Yalin Ozucelik (The Norman Conquests)
Hugo Weaving (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Gabrielle Scawthorn (Ironbound)
Ella Scott-Lynch (King of Pigs)
Nikki Shiels (They Divided the Sky)
Bishanyia Vincent (Nell Gwynn)

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Justin Amankwah (The Flick)
Mansoor Noor (Stupid Fucking Bird)
Jeremy Waters (The Flick)
Elijah Williams (The Rolling Stone)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Kate Box (Top Girls)
Julie Forsyth (Accidental Death of an Anarchist)
Michelle Lim Davidson (The Feather in the Web)
Contessa Treffone (The Harp in the South)

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Mitchell Butel (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)
Ash Flanders (Blackie Blackie Brown)
Colin Moody (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)
Guy Simon (The Harp in the South)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Morgan Maguire (Home Invasion)
Wendy Mocke (Moby Dick)
Annie Stafford (Stupid Fucking Bird)
Kaitlyn Thor (Stupid Fucking Bird)

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Simon Burke (Strangers in Between)
Damon Manns (The Rolling Stone)
Mandela Mathia (The Rolling Stone)
Christopher Stollery (Ear to the Edge of Time)

BEST STAGE DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Robert Cousins (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)
David Fleischer (The Harp in the South)
Elizabeth Gadsby, Oh Yeah Wow and Verity Hampson
(Blackie Blackie Brown)
Jonathon Oxlade (Accidental Death of an Anarchist)

BEST STAGE DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Jonathan Hindmarsh (Metamorphoses)
Isabel Hudson (Cry-Baby)
Isabel Hudson (The View UpStairs)
Maya Keys (The Wolves)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Alice Babidge (A Cheery Soul)
James Browne (Josephine Wants to Dance)
Renée Mulder (The Harp in the South)
Renée Mulder (Top Girls)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Mason Browne (Cry-Baby)
Elizabeth Franklin (In the Heights)
Nicholas Fry (There Will Be A Climax)
Jonathan Hindmarsh (Metamorphoses)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Damien Cooper (Top Girls)
Verity Hampson (Blackie Blackie Brown)
Nick Schlieper (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)
Nick Schlieper (The Harp in the South)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Benjamin Brockman (Metamorphoses)
Martin Kinnane (The Flick)
Trent Suidgeest (Darlinghurst Nights)
Trent Suidgeest (The View UpStairs)

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Nate Edmondson (The Harp in the South)
Stefan Gregory (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)
Max Lyandvert (Saint Joan)
Jethro Woodward (Sami in Paradise)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

William Barton (The Long Forgotten Dream)
Stefan Gregory (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)
The Sweats (The Harp in the South)
Clemence Williams (A Cheery Soul)

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION

Nate Edmondson (The Flick)
Ben Pierpoint (Metamorphoses)
Ben Pierpont and Mary Rapp (Stupid Fucking Bird)
Clemence Williams (The Wolves)

BEST NEW AUSTRALIAN WORK

The Almighty Sometimes (Kendall Feaver)
Blackie Blackie Brown (Nakkiah Lui)
The Feather in the Web (Nick Coyle)
The Harp in the South (Kate Mulvany)
Kill Climate Deniers (David Finnigan)
The Sugar House (Alana Valentine)

BEST NEWCOMER

Marty Alix (In the Heights)
Justin Amankwah (The Flick)
Damon Manns (The Rolling Stone)
Grace Truman (Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam)
Nadia Zwecker (The Wolves)

BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL

The Book of Mormon (Anne Garefino, Scott Rudin, Important Musicals and John Frost)
Cry-Baby (LPD in association with Hayes Theatre Co)
In the Heights (Blue Saint Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co)
The View UpStairs (Invisible Wall Productions and Sugary Rum productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co)

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

Alexander Berlage (Cry-Baby)
Luke Joslin (In the Heights)
Lee Lewis (Darlinghurst Nights)
Shaun Rennie (The View UpStairs)

JUDITH JOHNSON AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Tina Arena (Evita)
Caitlin Berry (She Loves Me)
Loren Hunter (Evie May)
Ashleigh Rubenach (Cry-Baby)

JUDITH JOHNSON AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Ryan Gonzalez (In the Heights)
Ryan Gonzalez (Jersey Boys)
Justin Smith (Darlinghurst Nights)
Rowan Witt (She Loves Me)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Beth Daly (Cry-Baby)
Laura Murphy (Cry-Baby)
Zahra Newman (The Book of Mormon)
Bishanyia Vincent (Evie May)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Marty Alix (In the Heights)
Joel Granger (She Loves Me)
Jay James-Moody (She Loves Me)
Rowan Witt (The Book of Mormon)

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

Lucy Bermingham (In the Heights)
Geoffrey Castles (Aspects of Love)
Nicholas Griffin (Cry-Baby)
Max Lambert (Darlinghurst Nights)

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A MUSICAL

Leslie Bell (She Loves Me)
Amy Campbell (In the Heights)
Madison Lee (The Wild Party)
Cameron Mitchell (Cry-Baby)

BEST CABARET PRODUCTION

Bosom Buddies (Nancye Hayes and Todd McKenney)
Meow Meow’s Pandemonium
Since Ali Died (Omar Musa)

BEST PRODUCTION FOR CHILDREN OR YOUNG PEOPLE

Alice in Wonderland (Sydney Festival)
Charlie Pilgrim (atyp)
Josephine Wants to Dance (Monkey Baa)
The Wider Earth (Queensland Theatre and Dead Puppet Society)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

To be announced at the Awards ceremony