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The First Murder
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1154, Oseney Priory, Oxford. When the first performance of The Play of Adam ends in tragedy, the author pens a grim warning for the generations that follow: 'Beware the sins of envy and vainglory, else foul murder ends your story' But his words are not heeded, and throughout the ages, bad luck follows all those involved in the play's production. 1199. A snow storm diverts two parties of travellers to the market town of Carmarthen, where an enigmatic stranger suggests a staging of the play. But on the eve of the performance, the actor chosen to play Cain is found dead. 1361. When the play is performed in the city of Ely, the townspeople fear the play has unleashed a demon after a gruesome discovery is made in the Cathedral. From Shakepeare's London to war-time Surrey, no matter the time or the place, each production always ends in disaster. Perhaps it is simply the curse of thespian rivalry that is to blame. Or does the story of man's first murder somehow infect all who re-enact it?
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