Theatre critics of London present a prestigious award, the “Critics’ Circle Award for Best Actor,” that actor Edward Lionheart (Vincent Prince) arrogantly expects to receive. Instead, due to his refusal to appear in anything other than Shakespeare's plays, they honor another actor. Lionheart, in his grief and self-pity, throws himself off a bridge and into the Thames River. Soon after his apparent death, the critics who overlooked him begin to die. Their deaths mirror scenes from Shakespearean plays. The deaths are all somewhat ironic: an alcoholic is drowned in wine and a vain woman is electrocuted by her curling iron. The police have no idea where to turn. Their first suspect is Edwina Lionheart (Diana Rigg), the actor's daughter.