Na Muthuswamy, the famous playwright and founder of the prominent theatre group, Koothu-P-Pattarai, which has introduced actors like Vijay Sethupathi, Pasupathy, Vinodhini, Vemal, Guru Somasundaram and Vidharth to the Tamil industry, breathed his last on Wednesday at 11 am, at his residence in Chinmaya Nagar, Chennai.
Muthuswamy, born in Punjai, moved to Chennai in the late 50s. He founded Koothu-p-pattarai in 1977 with a focus on training actors for his plays. Considered the first modern Tamil playwright, he gained prominence after staging the play, Kaalam Kaalamaga. The theatre crew has been performing across the country without charging the audience a rupee since the day of its inception, and Muthuswamy himself actively mentored actors till 2016. He then took a break owing to a decline in his health.
He has also mentored some of the leading actors in Kollywood that includes Vijay Sethupathi, Pasupathi and Vemal amongst others.
Actor Vijay Sethupathi shared a condolence message on his Twitter.
The 'Vikram Vedha' star in his tweet said, "With deep sorrow, I share this news, the father of Koothu Pattarai and our mentor Muthuswamy Ayya passed away today."
Speaking about his guru, actor Vidaarth says, “I froze on hearing the news. Muthuswamy ayya was the one who turned me into a complete person. When I met him for the first time, I hardly knew anything about life. Almost all his students are from villages and come from humble backgrounds, but he always treated them with respect.”
TFPC president and Nadigar Sangam secretary Vishal, tweeted out saying, “I still remember my days with him when I joined him before my debut in Chellamay. May his beautiful soul rest in peace.”Actor-politician Kamal Haasan released a condolence video. “The loss of certain personalities can only be compensated by an entire generation. Na Muthuswamy was one such achiever,” he said. The veteran playwright, who was a recipient of the prestigious awards like Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Padma Shri, is survived by his wife and son.
(The above translation of Vijay Sethupathi's Tamil tweet, is a rough English translation)