Karnak given to the people
THE son of James Bond, Jason Connery, and his sister, Giovanna Volpe, have gifted the Karnak Playhouse to the people of Douglas.
With the recent death of their mother Diane Cilento, they have taken the first steps to donate her beloved theatre in the rainforest to the Queensland Government.
Ms Volpe said her mother would be pleased that she and her brother had decided to gift the theatre to the people.
“We are pleased to have decided to give Karnak Theatre to the people who got so much pleasure from mum and all the other performers who showed off their craft at the wonderful theatre,” Ms Volpe said.
“It’s what she would have wanted.
“At this stage we are not sure when the handover will occur as there is a lot of legal work involved and the State Government has to decide they want the theatre and can use it as mum had intended.”
A notice of formal intent has been given to the Premier’s Department which has to be in place for six months before the Government decides if it wishes to accept the gift.
Jillian Gardner from Arts Queensland said the Queensland Government was notified by Diane Cilento months ago that she wished to donate the Karnak Playhouse to the state.
“Since Lady Cilento passed away, the Queensland Government has been in contact with the Cilento family regarding this most generous offer,” Ms Gardner said.
“We will now need to consider the Karnak Playhouse offer in detail.”
Meanwhile, a public tribute for the people of Mossman and Port Douglas is also being planned by Ms Volpe for April.
“We are busy organising that at the moment and we thought April would be the best time because the Wet season should be over and it was also mum’s real birth month,” Ms Volpe said.
“It will also be a night-time tribute because, like most artists, mum really did not like mornings and it was at night when she really shone.
“We are in talks with a number of artists’ agents including the extraordinary pianist David Helfgott, the flautist Jane Rutter and Australia’s leading playwright David Williamson to come and be part of the evening’s tribute.
“We have also chosen April because that is also mum’s birthday month and not October as has so often been published over the years.
Ms Volpe said her mum had also gifted over 1000 drama and art books to the Queensland University of Technology.
The collection also contains original scripts by Anthony Shaffer, her second husband, who wrote the British cult thriller The Wicker Man.
Diane Cilento died on October 6.
Full house: Diane Cilento in her final performance at Karnak