Famous Georgian actor Ramaz Chkhikvadze's statue opened in Tbilisi

Ramaz Chkhikvadze created an entire era in the Georgian theater, Ivanishvili said when speaking about the actor's legacy.
Agenda.ge, 20 Nov 2013 - 00:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

In the 9th April Park, a statue of  famous Georgian film and theatre actor Ramaz Chkhikvadze designed by also famous Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli was opened today. Opening ceremony was attended by the former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili with his wife and the author of the monument himself.

"A man, whose performance lit up the 1979 Edinburgh Festival -- thats what the world knows about Chkhikvadze.

After seeing Richard IIIplayed by Chkhikvadze, Simon Callow, English theatre director, wrote: "There were no subtitles; the play was done in Georgian, but it was always perfectly clear what he was saying. He had an awful excitement: this man was dangerous to his black-gloved fingertips. During the coronation scene, Chkhikvadze snatched the crown from the Archbishop of Canterbury and put it on his own head: A shudder ran through the auditorium: England was in the hands of a madman. It was epic and personally terrifying: a perfect Shakespearean moment.

Ramaz Chkhikvadze created an entire era in the Georgian theater, Ivanishvili said when speaking about the actors creativity.

"We all remember how he used to bring the audience in admiration, how he surprised even Shakespeares country with his own improvisation and that he managed to make his creativity immortal during his lifetime. Ramazi was a friend of me and my family and we are very proud of this, Ivanishvili said.

The first film Ramaz Chkikhvadze appeared in was 'The Dragonfly' (Chrichina) in 1954. During his lifetime, he starred in over 60 films and won the award for Best Actor at the 8th  Moscow International film festival for his role in 'The Saplings'. However, he played his most influential and sensational role on stage in the Rustaveli Theatre production of Shakespeares play as Richard III during the 1997 Edinburgh Festival. The epochal actor passed away on October 17, 2011 at the age of 83 in his apartment in Tbilisi from cancer.

"I first saw Ramaz's work at the Edinburgh festival in 1979. Sturua's company did Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle, in which Ramaz played Azdak, and a superb Richard III, with Ramaz in the title role. Michael Coveney's review dubbed him the "Laurence Olivier of the Caucasus". We decided to take Richard III to the Roundhouse, where I was the director. For all of us connected with that production and the events surrounding it, the memory is as fresh as though it were yesterday, - Thelma Holt, a British theater producer and former actress wrote in her obituary, published in the Guardian in 2011.

Azdak, the character played by Chkikhvadze in Caucasian Chalk Circle play has become the source of inspiration for the monument being opened today in Tbilisi.