TV series, 1982

Series about a small circus and its hapless performers. Goudini's Wonder Circus is forced to wander around the countryside after a big storm destroyed their tent. Nobody will allow them to settle on their land - not only is there a recession, but this small band of permormers are seen as a bunch of "gypsy outcasts". The small circus has no chance of competing with the big circusses and it seems their days are finally numbered - until a mysterious farmer offers them a place to camp on his farm. They set about resurrecting the circus and it's not long before they steal hearts. But will their good fortune last? Characters include grumpy circus boss Jimmy Norman, the beautiful trapeze artist Joan, knife thrower Stoney, clown and beloved father-figure Charlie and the little clown Piekie, small but brave. The "slampamper" in the title means idler or idleness and refers to the circus' aimless wandering. The trapeze actors were trained by well-known trapeze artist Tommy Kieser, and all the actors performed their own stunts.

Production summary: 

Premiere date:

11 January 1982






Drama series

Number of series:


Number of episodes:


Production company:



Fred Nel


Kobus Louw

Translation of title:

"Idler's Circus"

Cast and Crew: 

Dana NiehausJimmy Norman
Elma KrynauwMa Norman
Hans StrydomStoney
Sandra PrinslooJoan
Harriet PienaarWinnie
Ryno HattinghJohnny
Chris van NiekerkGeorge
Org SmalPiekie
Jaco van der WesthuizenCharlie


Episode 1
Original air date: 11 January 1982

After a storm has destroyed their tent, the Goudini's Wonder Circus is left to wander from one small town to the next. Nobody trusts this small band of “gypsys” and they struggle to find a place to stay.

Episode 2
Original air date: 18 January 1982

Just when it seems that all is about to end for the struggling circus, a mysterious farmer offers them a place to camp out. The performers try one more time to get the circus off the ground.

Episode 3
Original air date: 25 January 1982

Everyone’s astonshed at Stoney’s decision to throw knives again – who would agree to be his target?

Episode 4
Original air date: 1 February 1982

The repair work is almost done. But as the time to leave again draws near, a few hearts are in danger of getting broken.

Episode 5
Original air date: 8 February 1982

Opening night arrives with great expectations.

Episode 6
Original air date: 15 January 1982

Finale. Goudini’s Wonder Circus has the whole countryside talking, and people flock to see the wonderful performance. The performers are in seventh heaven – but will it last?


  • Ansi Brits en Antoinette Snyman, Afrikaanse Televisie op sy Beste. Radio en TV Dagboek, 11-17 January 1982, pp.20-22.