Theatre

Grand old ‘appa’ of Crazy Creations

ENTERPRISING PERFORMER: Ramesh Krishnamoorthy. Photo: R. Ashok   | Photo Credit: Photo: R. Ashok

Be it the love obsessed middle aged bachelor in Crazy Mohan’s Meesai Aanaalum Manaivi or as a flautist yearning for a chance to perform in Chocolate Krishna, Ramesh’s acting has kept the audiences glued to their seats. If he is an integral part of Crazy Creations today it is due to his on stage quirks and eloquence that have endeared him to all.

Little did he know that his performance in Ore oru nimisham for Doordarshan would be the turning point in his career. He donned the central character ‘Uppili’. “It was a hilarious script by Rangachari Mohan. I ner thought I would continue to travel with him for the next 38 years,” says Ramesh. The play was a big hit in those days and was telecast more than 70 times.

Crazy Mohan wanted Ramesh to be part of his team when he started his production house Crazy Creations. At the age of 28, Ramesh became ‘appa’ to his contemporary Maadhu Balaji in Alladdin and 100 Waats bulb, and continues to be so.

His love for Tamil and English languages started in his school days and won him several prizes in oratorical skills. He also acted in dramas in school and college and nurtured his passion for acting even after joining banking service. His colleague and poet Erwadi Radhakrishnan always preferred Ramesh as a hero in his plays. He played the villain Nagan in R.S. Manian’s Manasuketha Mappillai and hit the limelight.

As a founder member of Crazy Creations, Ramesh does not miss a chance to perform for the troupe. “Though we were called amateurs, as most of us were acting part time, we were on par with the professional actors. When I was working in the Thirukoviloor branch far from Chennai city, I would rush to the auditorium in my scooter for the weekday performances. There would hardly be any time for make up, leave alone the rehearsals. Straight away I would jump onto the stage and deliver dialogues,” he recalls.

After 37 years of service, Ramesh opted for voluntary retirement from the bank. “I could work for so many years because Mohan and Balaji took care to fix shows only on weekends. They would even be ready to cancel a show depending on my dates of availability. Such was our friendship,” he says.

Ramesh remembers both his friends with gratitude for their gesture in Hong Kong where he went to perform in Mathil Mel Maadhu. It was an important role but on the eve of the performance his father expired. On hearing the news, Mohan swung into action and helped Ramesh return to Chennai to perform the last rites of his father. “It was Christmas season and all flights were booked. They got me a business class ticket and helped me to reach in time,” he says.

He is very fond of his role as a grandfather longing for progeny in Oru Babyin Diary Kurippu which won him critical acclaim. Having done creditably well as an actor Ramesh has now plunged into direction with Thenali Raghavan and To Hell with Yama, which he directed for Shrishti, a group of IT professionals turned stage performers.

Ramesh’s obsession for writing propelled him into Pen Paartha Pothu a play he wrote for for All India Radio. An avid blogger he writes on social issues and also on sports especially cricket.

At 67, Ramesh’s only wish now is to repeat Moliere’s act. The French actor and playwright died while playing the title role in his play Le Malade imaginaire (The Hypochondriac).

FACTFILE

Ramesh has also acted in movies including MGR’s Anandha Jothi (as child artiste),

K. Balachander’s Poi kaal Kuthirai, Prabhu-Gowthami starrer Raja Kaiya Vacha, Pandia Rajan’s Kathanayagan.

He has acted as a rural land lord in comedy film starring Pandia Rajan and S.S. Chandran in Vaikozhuppu. Recently, he has acted as Poet Nayanar in the epic film Vedanta Desigar.

He has been part and parcel of Crazy Creations since its inception and has done more than 6500 shows across the globe.

Bharathidasan University conferred ‘Nataka Thendral’ title on him.


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Printable version | Jul 23, 2021 8:40:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/ramesh-krishnamoorthys-passion-for-acting-and-respect-for-crazy-mohans-writings-have-been-the-driving-force-behind-his-successful-journey-as-stage-artiste-spanning-five-decades/article19377453.ece

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