Ci­lento trib­ute at­tracts crowd

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

A PACKED house greeted the or­gan­is­ers of the trib­ute to ac­tress Diane Ci­lento at her beloved Kar­nak Play­house on Satur­day to mark the 12-month an­niver­sary of her death.

Ci­lento’s daugh­ter Gio­vanna Volpe con­firmed to the au­di­ence that a foun­da­tion in her mother’s name, the Diane Ci­lento Foun­da­tion, had been formed and in con­junc­tion with Queens­land’s two main uni­ver­si­ties would en­sure that the Kar­nak Play­house would live on and be a train­ing ground for up­com­ing young artists.

The mood at the trib­ute was one of joy as about 500 peo­ple came to see Ci­lento “per­form for them one last time”.

And in true the­atri­cal style, she did - it buck­eted down rain, the mi­cro­phone died, son Ja­son Con­nery, who is now a film di­rec­tor in Los Angeles, tried to de­liver a recorded com­men­tary from LA but the DVD sys­tem de­liv­er­ing his mes­sage had lost its sound and lo­cal artist and Davvyd “bird­man” Brown had trou­ble keep­ing his two cock­a­toos quiet while flautist Jane Rut­ter and her son Ber­tie Boeke­mann sang the Paul McCart­ney clas­sic Black­bird.

But the crowd could not care less - they loved ev­ery bit of it.

Many other artists who were un­able to at­tend the trib­ute night sent well-wishes in­clud­ing one of the world’s great­est pi­anists David Helf­gott who sang the praises of his late friend.

And Jane Rut­ter spoke of her 20-year friend­ship with Ci­lento and she re­ally was a “bright light and at times she was not afraid to scorch you with that bright light”.

And then al­most on cue it be­gan to bucket down and Jane had to fight to be heard above the fall­ing rain.

“I can al­most hear Diane say­ing, ’ Well of course it’s go­ing to rain, it’s a rain­for­est’, and I can see her stick­ing out her tongue to taste the rain and we should all do the same - it’s mag­i­cal,” she said.

Then on cue again, the rain stopped, the mi­cro­phone re­turned to work­ing or­der and fur­ther trib­utes and po­ems were able to be read out and this time ev­ery­one heard “take two” of Ja­son’s mes­sage from LA - the sound on the DVD record­ing had mirac­u­lously re­turned and the stage had been set for a per­fect night.

Then ev­ery­one went down­stairs and out­side armed with pop­corn to watch the western clas­sic Hom­bre, on a big screen, star­ring Paul New­man and Ci­lento.

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