In 1380 England, the priest Nicholas (Paul Bettany) flees his village when found in flagrante delicto with a married woman. During flight he witnesses a group that has Euthanasia a member to give relief from his long recurring internal pain. He becomes known to the group and is captured. The group is a travelling acting troupe who think he is a robber and they explain the killing. Reluctantly, they allow him to join their troupe to replace the member killed. On their journey to the next town they are forced to travel to a new district after a collapsed bridge stops them taking their normal route and to mend the cart that carries their goods although they have no money. The troupe reach a strange town with castle under reconstruction and find a woman being sentenced to death for killing a boy upon the testimony of Benedictine Simon Damian (Ewen Bremner). The troupe perform a biblical passion play, but, as told by the group's leader Martin (Willem Dafoe), so few attend they are unable to bury the dead troupe member and fix their cart.