Following the presentation of 20 Helpmann Awardslast night, the other 23 awards covering classical music, opera, theatre, musicals, dance, comedy and cabaret were presented tonight at a black-tie gala event at the State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, hosted by writer/actor Susie Youssef and Mitchell Butel, the newly appointed Artistic Director of State Theatre South Australia.

Prakash Belawadi as Apah in Counting and Cracking. Photograph © Brett Boardman

Once again it was Counting and Cracking’snight. S. Shakthidharan’s epic new play produced by Belvoir and Co-Curious at the 2019 Sydney Festival and Adelaide Festival, won a further three awards, on top of the four from last night, making it the biggest winner of the 2019 Helpmann Awards. At tonight’s Act II ceremony, it was named Best Production of a Play and Best New Australian Work, while Prakash Belawadi was named Best Male Actor in a Play. Surprisingly,  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child , which won a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards in London and six Tonys on Broadway, won only one Helpmann for lighting – with voters favouring the homegrown  Counting and Cracking.

Best Female Actor in a Play went to Kate Mulvany...