Updated: Jun 2, 2022
Actress Suchitra Krishnamoorthi has adorned many, if not countless, hats in her wide career spanning generations. Suchitra started her career with the TV series Chunauti while still in school in the year 1987–88.She has been a successful model in the early nineties, endorsing products such as Palmolive soap, Clearasil, Sunrise Coffee, Limca, and Colgate toothpaste.
We know her charmingly for her film, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa opposite Shahrukh Khan. Her Malayalam film Kilukkampetti is opposite Malayalam star Jayaram.
She carved a music career parallelly in the early nineties with hits like Dole Dole, Dum Tara, and Zindagi.
Some of Suchitra's successful films and web series are Odd Couple, Romeo Akbar Walter, Mittal V/S Mittal,Karma, Confessions and Holi, Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag,My Wife's Murder, Vaade Iraade,Jazbaat, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa,Kilukkampetti, Mujrim Haazir ( TV Series ),Chunauti (TV Series), Never Kiss Your Best Friend,Kaash... What If,Guilty Minds,Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2,Margaon the Closed File (currently filming. )She is a classically trained vocalist in the Gwalior Gharana style of Indian classical music. She is also a painter and poet trained in India, London, and New York. Suchitra's first novel, The Summer of Cool, was released by Penguin India in January 2009. The second book in the series is called The Good News Reporter. Drama Queen, a first-person memoir by Suchitra released in November 2013. All Drama Queen, All her writing have received rave reviews.
RAD TIMES did the below interview in a telephonic chat with Suchitra maam on her play and movies with Editor-in-Chief Deepak Sinha.
RAD TIMES: Good morning, Maam!
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: Good morning
RAD TIMES: We are delighted to be speaking about your new play, Drama Queen, Refreshed.
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: Thank you!
RAD TIMES: Thank you so much for doing this. This is something so beautiful, reporting on theatre close to our heart at our Editorial at RAD TIMES.
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: ya!
RAD TIMES: How was your morning? Did you start with chai?
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: It was good.
RAD TIMES: We have previewed your other play, also EK HAAN. I think it came to Pune, once. One of the writers for the play is from Swatantra Theatre, Pune. And that is how we came to know about the play.
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: Yes, yes. So, you are based in Pune, is it?
RAD TIMES: yes, yes. We have been reporting on theatre for quite some time, in India and Broadway now. Theatre for us connects and empowers.
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: Yes, every medium is different. You know, Theatre and Films.
RAD TIMES: Yep, Let's start with your play. How long did you rehearse with the play and cast of DRAMA QUEEN, REFRESHED before staging it before audiences?
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: I took two or three months because I wrote it myself. And put together the whole thing myself. The dialogues and the music. It's really, you know, very challenging. I had to put everything together from scratch. So, it was three months. I can't remember exactly now. And it's an ongoing process. It is constantly being refreshed and revived and add and subtract. So, it goes on.
RAD TIMES: Wow!
RAD TIMES: I was wondering how many cast members are there and are they also singing in the musical?
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: No, no, no. It is live music. Most people think it is recorded music, but it is live music. So, the music is completely live through and through! Also, there are only voice actors. It's only me on stage! Rest is all voice actors..
RAD TIMES: As a general audience, we feel that it's very easy for a famous personality to talk about their personal life. How was it, talking about all your life on stage? Was it refreshing, empowering, cathartic?
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: You know for people to speak their personal lives, it's their choice. But, I have never hitched from speaking my mind. When I wrote Drama Queen, Refreshed, of course, I have to be sensitive as I am using the names of public figures and to get their legal permission. You know my publishers needed clearance from everybody. But, you just can't take names of people like that. And the intention was never to offend. I think. You reach a stage where you can tell your story without feeling bad or abusing anybody and unnecessarily creating a stir. Because everybody's journey is very individual. And that is what I have done, with DRAMA QUEEN, Refreshed.
RAD TIMES: But, maam, do you think it is empowering for us to come up on stage and speak our personal lives? Because of the trend that is of bashing people, people are not so free to express themselves?
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: I really don't know. But, I have had women coming to me and clutching my hand and crying and saying that they identified so much with the play. This is our story; you are our Amma; and thanks for putting out things that we could never identify.
So, the responses have been phenomenal. Of course, there is one freak incident where there was one woman who came back and started yelling at me for not putting my child over myself. How could you think of yourself before your child? Otherwise, I have people coming to me, especially women who really identify with it. Because somewhere all our stories are quite universal. The circumstances may be different, but ultimately, our journeys are quite universal to see a woman understand and evolve.
RAD TIMES: Maam, you also say you plan to take the play to U.S and U, K. Would you love to take the play on Broadway? Could you share details of internationally where you plan to take the play?
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: Absolutely. I would love to take my musical to the Broadway theatre. I would absolutely love to take the play all over the world. In fact, we were supposed to do the U.S last year. And the third wave came. And then we were supposed to do Singapore in July and then the fourth wave came. So, nothing is certain, as the world is in flux. All things good and fingers crossed, we should be able to do U.S and U.K in the next six to nine months.
RAD TIMES: Wow! And I think Indian plays need to tour all over the world. Could you tell us something more about the writing process, because we talk a lot about the writing process? How much of it did you improvise on, let's say, the novel that you wrote? Some actors stick to the writing and some actors, let the script for a toss? Let the space take over. Let the moment take over. So, could you talk about that? How about adapting it to the stage? That you yourself have written it, so there are advantages and disadvantages because you are too involved in it. So when you wrote it and adapted it on stage, how did you get feedback from people, and how did you start feeling that it is coming all in place?
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: It's a process. There is no start process and an off button. It's a continuously evolving process. And yes, because I have written it. It's a direct extract from my book. And in that sense, the dialogues were already written. The dialogues were already done. But to make it easier for an hour. It is one story within the book. To put it all cohesively together was definitely challenging. And keep it entertaining. I was afraid that it will get very serious. I don't want it to get heavy at any point. Because we all have to learn to smile and laugh to what happens in our life. So I was very conscious of that. And once, when Randhir came onboard, he has a very commercial eye. So he was also able to give it a very different perspective, from how I would have seen it.
RAD TIMES: We were watching the teaser, and we loved the musicality of it. It is so alive; it is so peppy. It has such a Broadwayish feeling to it. We don't know if this is a correct question, but as you are a well-known singer, the fact that you sing, has it helped in building, from the musical perspective?
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: My play DRAMA QUEEN, Refreshed is like a play, genre in itself. So, it's not that suddenly, I am breaking into song. So the dialogue and verse take the story forward. Sometimes, in words, sometimes in tunes. So just verse. It was a very organic process for me. So, as I have written it myself and composed it myself, so I had the sense about that, so I would take off here on and come back here. There the song goes again. It was a very organic process.
RAD TIMES: An excellent clarity would be there because you have devised the whole thing!
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: Yes
RAD TIMES: How does being an actor, musician, painter, doing films, and web series help an actor who is multi-faceted help in devising a play?
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: I don't know. I just feel and do what I do. And in DRAMA QUEEN, Refreshed you see all facets of my art and craft! So you will see me as an actor, as a singer, as a writer, as a painter. So, I have a kind of encapsulated all of that in my play of mine.
RAD TIMES: What is the language of the play? Is it Hindi, English, Marathi or mixed?
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: It's English!
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: It was so long ago. I have no memory of it. It was so long ago. My fans keep reminding me of it. My fans keep showering me with love for it. So, I am happy.
RAD TIMES: We are done with our questions, ma'am. Would you like to share any stories, or anecdotes about/around the play? If there is an interesting story, that you would like to talk about?
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: There are many anecdotes. I find it very moving when people respond with so much passion, with so much emotion, when they come and meet me after the play,
or when they leave reviews on the internet and stuff like that, so to know that I have touched an emotional cord and not just making people laugh, and have enjoyed my play. But, to touch an emotional cord, somewhere they see their own story in mine. I find that a victory and happy!
RAD TIMES: Thank you so much for chatting and best of luck with your play!
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: Thank you RAD TIMES and Deepak!
Produced by Suchitra Krishnamoorthi and Drama Queen Creatives
Creative Direction by: Etienne Coutinho
Directed by Randhir Roy
Voices on stage : Sujata Kumar, Suchitra Pillai and Arif Zakaraia (they are not physically present on stage)
Duration: 80 mins
DRAMA QUEEN, Refreshed is playing in New Delhi on 4th June and Gurugram on 5th June.
You can book tickets here: https://in.bookmyshow.com/plays/drama-queen-refreshed/ET00328282
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To book for the play to tour your city or a venue in U.S and U.K and Australia you can fill out the Business Form here: https://suchitra.com/