All of us know that MGR and his brother M.G.Chakarapani started their career as Drama artist. While he was studying also, he acted in School Dramas. And then one day his education came to an end due to poverty and succeeded his brother and joined Madurai Original Boys Company in 1924.His acting talents were polished by Kali N.Rathinam. MGR’s debut as Drama artist was in Mahabaratham Drama in a small role and the character name was Uthran.
MGR acted in almost all the characters in that drama. M.S.Sachithanandam Pillai the Proprietor who knew the acting prowess promoted MGR to bigger roles. MGR acted in mythological as well as in Patriotic characters. It was a period ruled by British and freedom struggle was in the peak. MGR acted in dramas such as Kadar Bakthi, Kathirin Vetri, Pathi Bakthi, Desia Kodi and Desa Bakthi. As the youngester of those days MGR was also absorbed by the Leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. Being Gandhian he liked Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose.
MGR participated in many stage companies of those years including Krishnan Ninaivu Nadaga Sabhai, Uraiyur Mohideen Drama company etc. These all happened before 1935. After entering Cinema MGR’s stopped acting in Drama’s after surviving in Cinema he started a Drama Company in his name “MGR Nadaga Mandram” by 1952. Supervised by his brother M.G.Chakrapani. R.M.Veerappan was appointed as MGR’s Manager through MGR Nadaga Mandram. Film Actress like G.Sakunthala and Pusphalatha were in his drama Company.
A special mention about Pathi Bakthi it was later turned into movie under the name “Sathi Leelavathi” produced by Manorama Pictures. When in Drama MGR got a prominent character but when made into film he was promised for the same role but he got a small role as Inspector Naidu. The story Pathi Bakthi is about evil of drinking. The original concept is from Mrs.Henry Woods (which I searched the net and would not find any details about the Novelist, if anyone know about the novelist please tell me) Novelist who wrote a book called “Danbury House”. The same concept was taken by S.S.Vasan and he wrote it as a story in Ananda Vikatan.
To be continued.