When word hits the streets that La Madre is dying, Monte, a blue blood son of Sydney’s high society sees his chance to expand his kingdom. But who will he take with him down El Camino de la Muerte?

Mortido is a break-neck ride from the dirt-poor barrios of Chilpancingo to the hipster hub of Kreuzberg; from the edge of the Amazon; to the café-lined streets of Paddington; from the piss troughs of a CBD nightclub; to the pho-infused backstreets of Cabramatta.

And Death is always just around the corner.

Mortido is a crime thriller that travels from Sydney’s Western suburbs, to Berlin, through Bolivia, and back to leafy Woollahra, following a trail of cocaine. It stars Colin Friels as a hard-bitten detective looking for one big scalp before his imminent retirement. It will be directed by Betzien’s long-time collaborator Leticia Cáceres (Miss Julie, The Dark Room).

Mortido is at the Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide until 16-31 October before moving to Sydney’s Belvoir Theatre 6 November – 17 December


Listen to Angela discuss her inspiration for Mortido

Radio National interview in Adelaide with Sarah Kanowski and Angela Betzien

What the reviewers have said…

“This is a riveting portrayal of people caught between a death wish and a dangerous impulse to tenderness that spiral one around the other. It is a wild ride”.  Sydney Scoop – review by John Lavarack

 “Mortido speaks of the human desire to flirt with death, to take life to the extreme edge and still return, ideally but rarely, unscathed. It is compelling and very filmic in its pacing, multiple settings and gritty content.” The Clothes Line – review by Nikki Fort

“It’s a heady brew, made all the more exhilarating by an inexorable ratcheting up of tension. Though not always subtle — Betzien is not beyond the occasional grand gesture or eruption of shock and awe viciousness à la Sarah Kane — it is effective, and undeniably true to the reality of the war on drugs.The Daily Review – review by Ben Brooker


 “… Betzien’s dialogue is possessed of a rapier sharp wit, and moments of unexpected gallows humour abound.” Glam Adelaide – review by Brian Godfrey

 “Mortido is not a fun night out at the theatre; despite moments of effective comic relief, it is ultimately a depressing and pessimistic work.  Also, though it strives to present shocking subject matter in a thoughtful and tasteful manner, its depictions of sex n’ violence are not for the squeamish. But if hard-hitting, edgy contemporary drama is what you’re after, it doesn’t get much better than this.” Glam Adelaide – review by Brian Godfrey

“… despite the dramatic shocks, this complex story is wrangled into a disturbingly persuasive narrative, one that spares no justice when exposing the cruelty of the drugs world.” The Guardian – review by Emma Froggatt

“…if hard-hitting, edgy contemporary drama is what you’re after, it doesn’t get much better than this.” The Stage Whispers -review by Benjamin Orchard

“A nice touch is that while nearly all the stage characters are male, the driving forces of the plot and Friel’s anecdotes are females — mothers — who wield all the power in this man’s world. Like the blooded fighting cocks that are a constant reference in the play, these men are playing out someone else’s game of blood and death in some kind of Freudian conceit”. Indaily – review by Greg Elliott


Images by Shane Reid

Buy Mortido

Mortido thumbA quintessential Sydney tale about crime, globalisation and the killer desire for a bigger house.
Mortido is available for purchase from Currency Press
Cast : 10M; 2F, doubling possible

Currency Press | 978-1-92500-549-3 | Sales rights: worldwide | PB



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