Theatre was his first love
Kolkata: Legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee's first love was theatre and had remained so till the end.
"Theatre is my first love and will remain so throughout my life. In theatre, you get a reaction from the audience directly and when they appreciate your acting it inspires you to perform better," said Chatterjee to this correspondent during a chat.
He considered acting with Sisir Bhaduri in Prafulla where he played the role of Suresh was an eye-opener. "Acting with Bhaduri was a life-time experience. Once he told me you have a powerful voice, but you do not know that you have one. You must know this, you must know where the strength of your voice lies," Chatterjee had recalled. It was Bhaduri who taught him how to improve his intonation and delivery of dialogue in theatre.
He also came in contact with another great theatre personality Ahindra Choudhury when he joined his workshop as a Post-Graduate student. As a student of Calcutta University's Bengali department, he took part in a play titled Mukhosh which had bagged the first prize in the inter-university drama contest in Delhi in 1956.
Bidehi, another play acted by him was appreciated by the audience. He, along with actress Nilima Das, presented Namkibon at Kashi Viswanath Mancha which was a grand success. In 1988, he wrote and directed Nilkantha which was a great hit.
Rajkumar, Tiktiki, Atmakatha and Raja Lear established him as a great theatre personality.
He, along with Nirmalya Acharya, had edited and published Amar Katha, an autobiography of Noti Binodini, who played the role of Nemai in Chaitanyalila directed by Girish Chandra Ghose. He along with Acharya used to publish Ekkhon, a magazine of exceptional quality.