Stratford Shakespeare Festival artistic director Des McAnuff and his creative team have earned seven Helpmann Award nominations for the new musical Doctor Zhivago.
The show, which premièred in Sydney, Australia, this past winter, was nominated in every musical theatre category including Best Musical and Best Direction.
Named after the Australian dancer, actor, director and choreographer, Sir Robert Helpmann, the Helpmann Awards recognize distinguished artistic achievement and excellence in Australia’s live performing arts sectors.
“I’m deeply honoured that Doctor Zhivago has been nominated for these prestigious awards,” says McAnuff. “Robert Helpmann was the brother of Max Helpmann, a long-standing member of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival company in its early years. For me, that relationship adds greatly to the significance of this most welcome news.
“I’ve always been entranced by the romance of Pasternak’s novel,” he adds, “and I’ve always felt that setting this moving and powerful piece of literature to music would open up a whole new dimension of its meaning.”
The Festival’s general director, Antoni Cimolino, extended his congratulations, lauding McAnuff as “a true artistic visionary whose limitless imagination and creativity are producing some of the world’s most inventive and evocative theatre.”