Muriel stars on night one of the Helpmanns

The musical version of the popular Australian film, Muriel's Wedding, has won big on the first night of this year's Helpmann Awards.

Muriel's Wedding The Musical, staged by Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures, took home four awards from the 20 that were announced on Sunday during Act I of the awards ceremony - which for the first time is split between two nights.

The musical's wins include Best Costume Design by Gabriele Tylesova, Best Music Direction by Isaac Hayward, Best Original Score by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall and Best Choreography in a Musical by Andrew Hallsworth.

Bangarra Dance Theatre also won big for its ambitious work Bennelong.

Head of design Jacob Nash was awarded Best Scenic Design, Nick Schlieper won Best Lighting Design and artistic director Stephen Page took home the award for Best Choreography in a Ballet, Dance, or Physical Theatre Production.

Bangarra's poignant collection of dance stories titled, OUR Land People Stories, which was performed across NSW and Queensland, was recognised as Best Regional Touring Production.

Singer and former Voice Australia contestant Mat Verevis won Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for his role as Barry Mann in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

Actor and singer Amy Lehpamer, who played Cynthia Weil in the musical staged by Michael Cassel Group, was awarded Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical.

The jukebox musical's director Marc Bruni also won Best Direction of a Musical.

Sunday night's awards were for the best creative, designer and supporting roles as well as for best presentation for children and best special event.

The remaining 23 awards will be presented at The Helpmann Awards Act II on July 16 at the Capitol Theatre.

Now in its 18th year, the annual awards ceremony recognises Australia's live performance industry across 43 categories with genres including theatre, music, opera and musicals.