Cate Blanchett was the big winner at a top Australian prizegiving on Monday night (18Aug14) as she took home her fourth Helpmann Award.

The Australian actress was named the Best Female Actor in a Play for her leading role in the Sydney Theatre Company's (Stc) production of The Maids. She previously won the same award for her work in Stc shows Gross Und Klein in 2012, Uncle Vanya in 2011 and Hedda Gabler in 2005.

Director Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom the Musical had six nominations in the theatre categories, and impressed the audience at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney with a glitzy live performance, but it scooped just one prize, with performer Heather Mitchell winning Best Female Supporting Actor in a Musical.

Other winners in the theatre categories included Angels in America (Best Play) and The King and I (Best Costume Design).

The trophies, recognising achievement in live performing arts, were also given out to Bruce Springsteen, who was named Best International Act for the second year in a row, and rock band Hunters & Collectors, who were voted Best Australian Act.