Like Certain Ramarao of the Palace Company, Raghavachari also, with ceaseless effort and an insight, gained mastery in portraying the epic characters of Shakespeare, particularly those of Othello, Macbeth, Hamlet and Shylock, and earned appreciation from the western critic's resident in India. Though he was an outstanding representative of the amateur stage of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, his talent and achievement compared favourably with that of the best of the professional artists.
Life in Theatre for T. Raghavachari
Ranghavachari had a "stage personality", a good mastery of voice and was equipped with high academic education in literature and law. This served a double purpose by adding a culture to his performance and creating a favourable feeling in the people towards the stage, be it amateur or professional. Raghavachari came to be known for his brilliant interpretation of epic characters. He was at his best in mythological roles, of Harischandra, Dasaratha, Ravana Chanakya, Ramadas and Kabir. The author felt honoured if Raghavachari took up his plays. Contemporary artists like Sthanam Narasimha Rao of Andhra Pradesh or Telugu Theatre were convinced that he was inimitable in the great epic characters.
Historical Role Played by T. Raghavachari
Raghavachar's 'living the roles' of Ramadas and Kabirdas convinced his admirers of the legend that he was born of divine grace with the blessings of one, Avadhoota Basappa. To them he was more than a mortal, and for him, the stage was a sacred temple and drama, a mode of worship. This gave a holy touch to his art and earned him friends and admirers. His bearing and gait on the stage, his impressive portrayal of roles with a rare understanding, convinced his spectators that he was a prodigy in acting. Raghavachari lived as the soul and spirit of the Sarasa Vinodini Sabha of Bellary and also the Amateur Dramatic Association of Bengaluru.
The rigorous training he gave and the attention he paid to details of production made the plays attractive. His troupe staged plays in Kannada, Telugu, and English. Raghavachari's performances of Deenabandhu Kabir, a stage play written by Pandit Taranath, Ramadas by D. Gopalacharlu, Prahlada by Rajakavi Srinivasa Iyengar, Chitra of Tagore and Othello became widely known, and he led the A. D. A. troupe on a two months trip to Mumbai, Shimla and Kolkata in the year 1931.
His success, made an impression for the first time, on other regions of India, and gave them a glimpse of the theatrical art of Karnataka. Mahatma Gandhi, while in Bengaluru, witnessed the performances of Deenabandhu Kabir and also Samaja, a social play on the problem of untouchables.
Awards Received by T. Raghavachari
While in the west in 1928, to study the advancement of the theatre arts, there for the benefit of the Indian stage, Raghavachari was honoured as a representative of the Indian theatre by the well known Garric Club of London. The party arranged in his honour was attended by eminent British artists like Sir Forbs Robertson, Mr. and Mrs. Norman Forbs Robertson and dignitaries like Winston Churchill. Raghavachari also had an intimate interview with Bernard Shaw. The English Press greatly admired him for his approaching the International Theatre Society in order to bring about an exchange of theatrical troupes between England and her overseas colonies on periodical tours. After his return from the west, Raghavachari continued his service to the Kannada stage and later, was honoured by his countrymen with the title Natya Kala Prapoorna. The British Government honoured him with the title Rao Bahadur. Like Varadachar, Raghavachari also wrote stage plays in the last years of his career, and staged them with success.
He passed away in 1946 (April) at the age of 66
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