(Last Updated on : 30-03-2012)
Singanallur Venkataramana Iyer Sahasranamam was a Tamil actor and also a director. He was a great dramatist as well. Singanallur Venkataramana Iyer Sahasranamam stressed sincerity in choice of story and, generally, in Tamil theatre
. He was born in Singanallur, Coimbatore district
in 1913 in the Indian state
of Tamil Nadu
. He studied up to the seventh class before entering the professional stage, where he worked till his death. As a 12-year-old, he enrolled in a boys' company and learnt the skills of acting. Later he joined the T. K. S. Brothers, and N. S. Krishnan's troupe, attaining fame in the mythological roles of Kama and Yudhishthira. For Krishnan, he also staged P. Neelakantan's patriotic Nam iruvar or "We Two". This was filmed in 1947.
Singanallur Venkataramana Iyer kept abreast of trends in Western theatre practice and was keen on implementing its professional standards in his productions. In 1952 he formed the Seva Stage and started performing plays that he wanted to. In 1957 it began a three-month course in drama for interested youth. Among them Komal Swaminathan was very important. Of the various shows it gave on tour, Sahasranamam refers to Panchali sapatam or "Panchali's Vow" in 1961 at the Tagore Centenary celebrations in Kolkata
as uniquely memorable. During a visit to the USSR, he learnt of the state support extended to theatre there, and spoke at length about the need for such systems in India. He encouraged community cultural centres and programmes for children.
Sahasranamam was the first Tamil director to dramatize modern works. He has nearly forty plays to his credit. He was best known for writing and acting in Paittiakkaran i.e. "Mad Person". Famous productions include N. V. Rajamani's Kankal or 'Eyes', Irulwn oliywn i.e. 'Darkness and Light', T. Janakiraman's Nalu veli nilam or 'Four Measures of Land, B. S. Ramaiya's Terotti makan i.e. "Charioteer's Son", Ramaiya's adaptation of Subramania Bharati's Panchali sapatam, and K. Alagirisamy's Kavichakravarti. Since he had a great interest in contemporary literature, he approached prominent authors to compose new scripts, while his reputation attracted film stars like Sivaji Ganesan to act in them. He performed in quite a few movies himself, such as the Krishnan-Panju classic Pamsakti or "Goddess" in 1952, and as the lead in Bhimsingh's President "Panchatcharam in 1959, from the popular play adapted by Ramaiyafrom Gogol's Inspector General.
Singanallur Venkataramana Iyer Sahasranamam died in 1988.