London is in the grip of an icy winter and Westfield's Men are out of work. Invited to perform at a manor house in Essex, they accept willingly even though the offer comes with two conditions: they must perform an entirely new play and agree to take a new apprentice, Davy Stratton, into the company. |
At first it seems as though Davy is a talented and eager addition to the theater troupe. However, he soon disrupts the group's camaraderie when he quarrels with the other apprentices and runs away on a reconnaissance trip to Essex. Nicholas Bracewell just manages to hold the group together during the rehearsals for their new play, The Witch of Colchester. But when the lead actor succumbs to a series of strange illnesses, identical to those which afflict his character in the play, some members of Westfield's Men fear there may be a witch among them. Then a prominent audience member dies during the opening night performance, and Nicholas Bracewell has to confront the deadliest foe of all.