Beautiful: The Carole King Musical has won three Helpmanns so far.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical has won three Helpmanns so far. Ben Symons

REVEALED: First round of 2018 Helpmann Awards winners

BEAUTIFUL: The Carole King Musical and Muriel's Wedding The Musical are amongst the early winners in the first act of this year's Helpmann Awards.

For the first time this year, the Helpmann's 43 awards categories are being presented across two nights and two events in Sydney.  

Maggie McKenna (left) as Muriel and Madeleine Jones as Rhonda perform during a media preview of Muriel's Wedding The Musical at the Roslyn Packer Theatre in Sydney.
Maggie McKenna (left) as Muriel and Madeleine Jones as Rhonda perform during a media preview of Muriel's Wedding The Musical at the Roslyn Packer Theatre in Sydney. DANIEL MUNOZ/AAP

"Two shorter shows enables us to better highlight the artistry and excellence in our dynamic live performance industry," said Live Performance Australia Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson.

"Over the past 18 years the Helpmann Awards have received nearly 11,000 entries and announced over 2,750 Nominees which highlights the scale of the live performance industry enjoyed by 18.4 million people each year in Australia".

Tonight the first 20 awards were presented at an intimate cocktail hour event held at the Sydney Town Hall.  

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which officially opens at QPAC in Brisbane this week, took home the awards for Best Male and Female Performer in a Supporting Role in a Musical thanks to the stand-out performances of Mat Verevis and Amy Lehpamer as New York-based songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (Lucy Maunder has since taken over role of Cynthia).

Mat Verevis as Barry Mann and Lucy Maunder as Cynthia Weil in a scene from Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Supplied by QPAC.
Mat Verevis as Barry Mann and Lucy Maunder as Cynthia Weil in a scene from Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Supplied by QPAC. Ben Symons

Beautiful's Marc Bruni also won the nod for Best Direction of a Musical.

The Sydney Theatre Company's highly-anticipated stage adaptation of Muriel's Wedding took out four creative awards for Best Costume Design, Best Music Direction, Best Original Score and Best Choreography in a Musical.

That awards haul was only matched by The Bangarra Dance Theatre, which won Best Lighting Design, Best Scenic Design and Best Choreography in a Ballet, Dance or Physical Theatre Production for Bennelong and Best Regional Touring Production for OUR land people stories.

OUR land people stories performed by Bangarra Dance Theatre.
OUR land people stories performed by Bangarra Dance Theatre. Vishal Pandey

The State Opera of South Australia's production of Hamlet took out Best Female Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera and Best Direction of an Opera.

The remaining 23 awards will be presented tomorrow night at Sydney's Capitol Theatre and will be broadcast on the ABC at 9.35pm.


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