M. Butterfly is a play based on the true story between French diplomat Bernard Boursicot and Peking opera singer Shi Pei Pu. Shi Pei Pu pretended to be a woman and spied on the French government for twenty years during his affair with Bernard. The characters have been renamed as Rene and Song. Rene Gallimard is a French man working for the French embassy in China. He fell in love with Chinese opera diva Song Liling who he thought was a woman but actually is a man. Drama ensured and Bernard eventually discovered about Song’s true gender.