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Kylie, Prince and MONA FOMA take out 2012 Helpmanns

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Kylie, Prince and MONA FOMA take out 2012 Helpmanns

Kylie MinoguePrince and Tasmanian festival MONA FOMA were among the winners of the 2012 Helpmann Awards for live entertainment held last night at the Sydney Opera House.

Minogue’s Kylie Aphrodite Les Folies Tour 2011, presented by the singer and Frontier Touring Company, took out the Best Australian Contemporary Concert category. She was up against her own Anti-Tour show, as well as those by Cold Chisel and Keith Urban. Prince’s Welcome 2 Australia tour, through Van Egmond Group and Chugg Entertainment, won Best International Contemporary Concert over Foo FightersRoger Waters and Sade.

The night was also a triumph for one of Australia’s most inventive festivals, Tasmania’s MONA FOMA, which was recognised as Best Contemporary Music Festival in its fourth year in existence. Curated in 2012 by the Violent Femmes’ and The Breakers’ bassist Brian Ritchie with the Museum of Old and New Art, it showcases artists from new media, sound, dance, theatre, visual art and performance. Its music acts have included PJ Harvey, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Grinderman, Philip Glass, John Cale and Amanda Palmer.

Other nominees in the festivals category were BluesfestFuture Music and Vivid Live.

In other notable wins, Tim Minchin won Best Comedy Performer, the Sydney Theatre Company's Gross Und Klein took out Best Director (Benedict Andrews) and Best Female Actor (Cate Blanchett) in a play, A Chorus Line won Best Musical, Circa won Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production and Opera Australia won Best Special Event for La Traviata on Sydney Harbour. 

The JC Williamson Award for outstanding contribution to the live industry was shared by the late Dr Jimmy Little AO and performing arts publisher Katharine Brisbane AM. Dr. Little’s award was presented to his manager, Graham Bidstrup and his niece Esther Cohen.

Now in their 12th year, The Helpmanns are produced by Live Performance Australia and cover musicals, theatre, opera, classical, comedy, cabaret, children’s events and plays.  

Among those performing last night were Dan Sultan - as part of a tribute to Jimmy Little - and some of the acts on the Long Way To The Top tour.

The awards will be broadcast tonight on Foxtel’s arts and entertainment channel STUDIO, from 8:30pm. 

- Jenny Noyes with Christie Eliezer, The Music Network