Murder mystery set in medieval England, based on the novel 'Morality Play' by Barry Unsworth. Paul Bettany stars as Nicholas, a young priest who is forced to flee the wrath of his bishop and fellow monks after breaking his vow of chastity. On the road he witnesses the murder of one of the performers in a group of wandering actors led by the good-natured Martin (Willem Dafoe), and subsequently joins the troupe as a replacement for the murdered man. When the troupe arrive in an impoverished town to give a performance, they hear that a boy has been killed and a young deaf-mute girl, Martha (Elvira Mínguez) has been sentenced to death for his murder and witchcraft. Setting aside their usual fare of dramatised bible stories, Nicholas and Martin decide to look into the story as the basis for a new play. But they uncover more than they had expected, finding out that the townspeople know that the girl is innocent and have their own reasons for vilifying her. As in Shakespeare's Hamlet, the stage becomes the place where truths are told, and Nicholas, who has been racked with guilt since committing his crime against the priesthood, finally finds a dramatic way to atone for his sins.