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Honest Betrayal is inspired by real events in the life of Frank and Gail Zappa. Frank invites another woman to live with him and Gail, ménage-a-trois. How will Gail, the mother of their three children, deal with that?


The play takes place at the Dorchester Hotel in London over one week in 1975 when Frank sues the Albert Hall for cancelling his concert there three years earlier. He auditons a young soprano for a part in his film and the play takes off from there.

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The play had a trial run of five performances at Hampton Hill Theatre in April 2019 directed by Nadia Papachronopoulou.

Emily Tucker played Gail Zappa, Lucie Fletcher was Melanie Bowes-Lynn (a conglomeraton of several women), and Matthew Houlihan was the barrister, priest and man with a gun.

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Pauline Butcher Bird is the author of Freak Out! My Life with Frank Zappa, a memoir of her four years living and working in the Zappa household in Hollywood 1968 to 1972. BBC Radio 4 adapted the story into an afternoon radio play in 2014, Frank Zappa and Me. 


Pauline maintained friendly relatons with Frank and Gail until their untimely deaths in 1993 and 2015 respectively. Honest Betrayal is Pauline’s first stage play and covers later events with the Zappas in England in 1975.

Pauline Butcher Bird