Swiss Theatre Award 2018
Oscar Gómez Mata
Driven by anger
Actor and director Oscar Gómez Mata was born in Spain in 1963 and co-founded Legaleón-T there in 1987, producing a number of works with the company up until 1996. In 1995 he moved to Geneva, where he set up L’Alakran in 1997. As the company’s artistic director he is responsible for production, conception and dramaturgy; but he also writes the scripts and occasionally takes to the stage himself. From 1999 to 2005 he was artist in residence at the Théâtre Saint-Gervais in Geneva, then in 2006 at the international artistic laboratory Les Subsistances in Lyon, which is dedicated to developing a new language for the performing arts. He is also involved in drama training and continuing education at institutions including the École de Théâtre Serge Martin in Geneva, and is a regular guest at the Manufacture drama school of French-speaking Switzerland (HETSR) in Lausanne.
The works of Oscar Gómez Mata and L’Alakran meander between comedy and serious theatre, comedic directness and critique of capitalist society; this is drama that plays with the here and now and actively involves the audience. They tour in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Latin America as co-productions with theatres from Switzerland and abroad. Oscar Gómez Mata’s most recent piece, 2017’s “Le Direktør” based on a script by Lars von Trier, was a triumph at the La Bâtie festival in Geneva; it now tours widely and made it onto the wish list for the Swiss Theatre Encounter 2018. “Entre” (2012), featuring students from La Manufacture, has also been performed both in French-speaking Switzerland and at the Avignon Festival. Oscar Gómez Mata’s first Swiss production, 1997’s “Boucher Espagnol” after Rodrigo García, had been performed more than 150 times by 2003 and received the Zürcher Kantonalbank Patronage Prize at the Theaterspektakel 2001.
“Oscar Gómez Mata has just celebrated twenty years of L’Alakran, the company he created when he settled in Geneva. Since 1997, building on the network and artistic vocabulary he developed in Spain, he has composed poems of words, pictures and bodies. They are also essays for the stage that dissect the failings of capitalist society. Behind the comic energy, what drives Oscar Gómez Mata is actually anger: an intelligent anger that he is determined to share. Each of L’Alakran’s productions establishes a relationship with the audience that is at once brutal and friendly: an inimitable blend of bitter and sweet.”
Danielle Chaperon, Jurymitglied