Kar­nak given to the peo­ple

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

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

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