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Willy Waltz (Aart Staartjes), manager of the unpopular family circus, has health issues. Despite that, he doesn’t want to quit. The show must go on. He has three (mature) sons: Bruno (Theo Maassen), Felix (Barry Atsma) and Enrico (Coen Wouterse). Their mother, Waltz’ ex-wife Mimi (Marja Kok), still travels along with the circus. Meanwhile, Waltz has a new Russian girlfriend, Olga (Olga Louzgina).

When Waltz is diagnosed with a brain tumor and finds out he hasn’t got much longer to live, he decides to keep it a secret. The show goes on until it has to end. He invites the circus impresario Vicky Borelli to design an anniversary program with him, because the circus exists for 95 years in the upcoming year, and Waltz would like to make it spectacular for one last time. 
However, his illness inevitably affects Waltz and his surroundings. His family is shocked when they hear the bad news. In order to put Olga in a stable position after Waltz’ death, he marries her. He realizes that he has to take some necessary precautions so that the future of his circus, which he worked for his entire life, is safe. 
The eldest son Bruno is not going to take over the family business. He’s a homosexual and will not have any children. His second son Felix does have a wife and children, but is too weak to lead the circus according to Waltz’ belief. Enrico is the reckless one and doesn’t get along with his father at all.
The tumor is getting worse and it reaches the point where Waltz loses his sight. Olga, as his new wife, expects to run the business now, but surprisingly enough Waltz decides to pass the circus onto the three brothers all together.
The brothers turn out to be incapable of co-operating and deal with their new responsibilities. Without knowing any better, Felix and Enrico continue a tour that has been terrible so far, and go to Germany.
The end is getting closer for Waltz. When he’s on his deathbed, the family Ihem keeps the truth from him and tells him that the circus is a huge success in Germany. Then Waltz tells Bruno that he’d like to get a surgery. Olga doesn’t agree with this: the sooner it’s over, the better. Nevertheless, Bruno takes his dad back to Holland. 
While Waltz has to undergo surgery that carries a very high risk of death, the circus turns out to have huge debts. Olga and Felix are forced to sell the business to a campground owner from ‘Brabant’. The family can still work for the man, but the circus will not remain the same.
Against all odds, Waltz survives the surgery and recovers miraculously, even to such an extent that he regains his sight. But when he returns and sees that his lifework has been ruined, he can’t believe his eyes.
The circus – which has been a Waltz business for many generations – is nothing more than a fairground attraction. Waltz has reached a point of realization and finally sees how stupid he has been the last couple of years, thinking so much of his circus. Knowing this, his world collapses, just like the circus, which doesn’t seem to belong anywhere, anymore…

Year 2005
Age AL
Length 7 x 50 minuten


Screenplay: Robert Alberdingk Thijm

Director: Norbert ter Hall

Broadcaster: NPS, VARA, VPRO

D.O.P.: Richard van Oosterhout

Executive Producer: Han van der Werff

Gaffer: Hidde Boorsma

Sound: Jac Vleeshouwers

Production design: Gerard Loomand

Costume Design: Margriet Procee

Make-up & Hair: Hennesien van Walderveen en Marjon Hoogendoorn

Editor: Wouter Jansen

Sound Design: Peter Warnier en Giel van Geloven

Music: John Parish



Aart Staartjes

Theo Maassen

Barry Atsma

Koen Wouters

Olga Louzgina

Astrid van Eck

Orlando Mac Bean

Marja Kok

Lidewij Mahler

Siebe Schoneveld

Cleo Staffleu

Monic Hendrickx

Kenan Raven

Waldermar Torenstra



2007 - Nominated Best TV Drama - Prix Europa (Germany)

2007 - Nominated Best TV Drama - Cologne Conference Television and Film Festival (Germany)

2007 - Nominated in categories Fiction and Best Actor - Sound and Vision Awards (The Netherlands)