Chat with 67-year-old theatre artiste from Hasthinapuram

Seven movies. 37 serials. Hundreds of dramas. This is the track record of Natana Sabhapathy, a 67-year-old artiste from Hasthinapuram. ‘‘I started theatre as a hobby, when my friend introduced me to this field’,’ he begins excitedly. ‘‘I got my breakthrough in the year 2015, when I played Adhithya Karikalan, a famous character from Kalki’s ‘Ponniyin Selvan’. I had only three scenes in that play, but the response from the audience earned me name and fame’,’ says Sabhapathy.

‘‘I have played a lot of characters including Narasimha Pallavan from Paarthiban Kanavu, Dhronar, Mahendhra Pallavan from Sivagami Sabatham and many others. Post retirement, drama has become my full-time profession’,’ he says.
‘Describing his personal favourite in his career,’ he states, ‘’Adhithya Karikalan is my all time favourite. It is very tough to play that character.’

There are so many emotions that need to be shown, anger, bravery, calmness, love and more. I loved playing him’.
In a stage play, all the elements are equally important. Background score, dialogues, make up, costumes, all of these should be in the right proportion for the show to become successful, notes the actor, adding, ‘I get inspired from old movies. I admire the acting skills of Sivaji, MGR and other great actors of that era. I try to learn from them and infuse it in my style’.

Talking about one of his memorable experiences, he says, ‘’When I played Adhithya Karikalan in 2015, there was a guy who came to meet me after the drama was over. Suddenly, he broke into tears and told that his father who was no more, was an ardent fan of Ponniyin Selvan and that he would have been happy if he had seen this play. He also told me that it was the first time he saw this and understood why his father loved it so much’. ‘Throughout my career, I always had a wish. I want to play the character of ‘Veera Sivaji’. I hope I will get a chance to play that role’, he concludes. He can be reached at 99626 41271.

M Anandavalli