"Thus they revelled. Thus they became erotic geniuses. Thus it broke."
At the University, a special kind of Educational Institution where everybody is gay, all teaching relates to male homosexuality, and everything pulsates of eroticism and power games, the strict School Master works. In a secret relationship with the enchanting pupil Charles – everyone's wet dream and the projection surface for all the boys' longing – the Shool Master has developed the Discipline Games, an extended S/M play where Charles makes mischief and the School Master punishes.
One summer holiday leave has passed since last time, and they are longing; for each other and for the games. But a mysterious engraving by the School Master's office causes his orderly existence to crumble. Someone has reminded him of his past, to which he has closed the door firmly. He assumes it is Charles who has taken their games one step further. But when it turns out it is not so, despite Charles' attempts to falsely claim it is, their elaborate S/M play suddenly feels faked and embarrassing. This leads to the School Master leaving Charles, and instead he tries to find a new form of sexuality, a new affinity. One that is true.
In the void that opens up, he becomes drawn to the boy quartet who always stick together. Tim and Fred. Paul and Noak. They, in turn, are engulfed by the selection process for the “Singing March” - to be included in this magnificent companionship, which in December, before everyone's eyes, shall walk in procession throughout the school. Tim, the extraverted diva and leader of the group, is determined to become First Marcher and carrier of the magnificent Singing March Candelabra. The selection process and the dream of being at the center of attention – blows deep cracks between the four friends. It becomes impossible both to be one unit and to compete against each other.
The School Master imagines that what he longs for might just be found within their seemingly genuine fellowship. He wants to approach them, but he doesn't quite know how. His everyday life goes on, on the outside, as usual, constantly traversed by Frank, an administrator at the University. Frank is in love with the School Master, but the School Master doesn't see him. Inside the School Master is a longing for something real, and the longing for Charles has turned everything on its head.
When the anxious Paul is appointed First Marcher, Tim gets mad with envy. The group splits and suddenly they all stand alone, with a desire to belong once more.
It is when Tim tries to stab his friends in the back, and when it turns out it was Frank who carved the mark in the School Master's door as a final desperate attempt to reach the School Master – that the School Master realizes that he is in love with Charles. Although that love is expressed in elaborate, violent arrangements, it is as true as anything else.
The Singing March acts as a crescendo. This is when it glitters the most, and also when sorrow and despair reaches its peak. Still, the School Master and Charles are reunited and may finally disappear from the limelight and indulge in each other. And then fire ensues. And the University is completely destroyed. And through the flames, the School Master carries Charles. And from the ruins Tim carries the Singing March Candelabra.