Harry Potter likely to nab Helpmann Awards

Two cast members from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have been nominated for Helpmann Awards.
Two cast members from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have been nominated for Helpmann Awards.

Witches and wizards will be up against a Sri Lankan-Australian family at the 19th annual Helpmann Awards.

The event, which celebrates Australia's live entertainment and performing arts industry, will take place at Melbourne's Art Centre on Monday.

It follows a separate industry-only ceremony on Sunday which recognised the work of those behind the scenes, including creatives, designers and technicians.

Plays Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Counting and Cracking have received the lion's share of nominations this year, with eight nods each.

Set almost 20 years after JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the play is nominated for best production and its stars Paula Arundell and William McKenna, who play Hermione Granger and Scorpius Malfoy respectively, are nominated for best actress and best supporting actor.

Belvoir and Co-Curious' Counting and Cracking has also been nominated for best production, as well as best new Australian work and best play direction.

Premiering at the Sydney Festival before a season at the Adelaide Festival, the multilingual play follows a family from Colombo in the 1950s, through the Sri Lankan civil war, until they arrive in western Sydney in the 21st century.

Counting and Cracking has also received nominations for best actor, best supporting actress and best supporting actor.

The Sydney Theatre Company's The Harp in the South: Part One and Part Two, the acclaimed adaptation of Ruth Park's trilogy of novels is not far behind with six nominations.

The awards night will be hosted by comedian Susie Youssef and SA State Theatre's Mitchell Butel, with performances by the cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as well as the Victorian Opera, the Australian Ballet and the Bangarra dance group.

Australian Associated Press