Was driven to acquire and read this book through a third party; it had been included in their reading list as part of a dissertation for an MA Course; I was to provide an opinion afterwards.
Apart from the great Bard et al, M. BUTTERFLY is the only modern play one has read from cover to cover. The title is loosely based on Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly; the play is set in the late 1950's, during French occupation of Vietnam. If there is a connection between play and opera, it is a tenuous one; since one hasn't delved at all into the background details of the opera, in order to be able provide a more substantive and authoritative portrayal of the character of Madame Butterfly. The plot has many story-lines; some of which will stretch the Reader's imagination! For example, the French Diplomat had a 20 year relationship with a Chinese Concubine....who turned out to be Chinese... but no Concubine!
Overall, the play was creative and entertaining; the psychology underpinning it, had very dark undertones . After reading the play, one was left with a tantalising thought in regard to Puccini's Prima Dona!
I was lucky enough to see a production of this play at The Haymarket Theatre, Leicester, before its London run in 1989. Anthony Hopkins was incredible: the scenery, sets and manangement of the piece was incredible and that's before I've even reviewed the play.