Rural Ontario, Canada, 1930s
Todd and Myrna own a small General Store in Lucan, but Todd has dreams of a bigger life. One day, Todd sells the family store and buys an ailing capybara that he disguises as a ferocious rat and tries to set up a modest backyard sideshow. When the rat suddenly dies, Myrna decides to stuff the capybara, the sideshow takes off, and the couple plunges into the bizarre and colourful world of carnival life.
Along the way, they will encounter Jordan, the legless, armless boy, Voluptua, the fat lady, and Vicomte Smidgeon, the Russian dwarf. Over the course of the next 50 years, romantic entanglements and jealousies will ensue, babies will be born, Wendy the Chicken will come and go, but the love of the carnival will endure. The troupe finish the play at a retirement home for carnival acts, looking back at their checkered past.