The 11th annual Helpmann Awards were held at the Sydney Opera House last night to recognise achievements in Australian performing arts. Mary Poppins, which is currently playing at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney, had a successful night and won eight awards out of its 12 nominations, including best actress for Verity Hunt-Ballard, best actor for former So You Think You Can Dance judge Matt Lee, and best musical. As he accepted his award, Matt said, “There was a time it was uncool to be in theatre, or even be a dancer — growing up a male dancer, you know it wasn’t cool and you know to get here, and get something like this to be recognised in a group of your peers makes it all worth it.” Cate Blanchett’s husband Andrew Upton accepted her best actress award for the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Uncle Vanya, while Geoffrey Rush won best male actor for his work in The Diary of a Mad Man. The Helpmanns were attended by a host of film and theatre stars including Miranda, Gracie and Barry Otto, Lucy Durack, Marina Prior and Jason Coleman.
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