Background Of Eden Circus

An early Australian circus family operated a small circus throughout the colonies, back in the 19th century. It became Cells Bros Circus in the early 1900s, and operated that way for more than 60 years. Members of the Cells Family still alive recall having three elephants before World War II, making it one of the country's larger shows. All played musical instruments - most professionally, some outstandingly. They were acrobats, gymnasts, aerialists and clowns, and some married members of other Australian circus families.

Eden Cells was descended also from the Bauer Family, one of Europe's oldest circus families. Like most of the family, he was an expert animal man, training dogs, monkeys, camels and elephants. Too old to go to World War II, he was the obvious choice to look after the elephants at the zoo set up behind Surfers Paradise Hotel. Jim Cavill, the Olympic swimming champion who ran the hotel and gave Surfers Paradise its name, specially invited him to do so.

After the War, Cells Bros was the first circus to marshall enough transport to go back on the road. Their whirlwind tour of all Australian Capitals and most New Zealand cities, plus one-nighters in the country, led to a conscious decision to retire, with most members retiring to Sydney, including Eden Cells.

Marie and Eden Cells couldn't settle, and performed with their monkeys at agricultural shows, Capital Cities, theatre, and later, cinemas and TV. Benny Cells performed the oldest and largest chimp in the world: Mr Muggs made paint commercials that were used world wide, before his death at 47. At his peak Muggs was 10.5 stone, Benny only 9.5 stone.

Eden trained dogs and monkeys right up until the 1980s. He trained the oldest performing Cappuchin monkey in the world (Josie, 42 when she died), and the world's oldest Rhesus monkey (incredibly, 44.) All animals performed happily, and snuggle up to Eden during the act: the public loved him for it. Diabetic for many years, he died in the 1990s. His devotion to animals lives on in Eden Bros Circus, where he showed from 1976.

Eden Bros Circus is founded on happiness and enthusiasm, in the tradition of the old Australian side-show circuses. If you want to laugh, clap or cheer, hiss or boo, you're welcome - and the louder the better. The audience helps get out of this show, what it puts in. (The same as the artistes.)

We believe the audience is our whole reason for being here, doing what we like to do. If we can entertain better, that's what we'll do. Our mission is to bring a smile of enjoyment to the faces of young and old, delivering them from their humdrum, everyday world. We say at the start, "Welcome to a world of fun and fantasy," and we mean it.

We like to deliver value for money, and we keep our admission prices down to suit the whole family. When things are tough in the country, our prices go down - but our smiles never suffer. The audience are our friends, and we like to treat them the same way good hosts would.

For that reason, we like to bring a range of animal acts (with happy animals and presenters), acts of skill and training on the ground and in the air, plenty of laughs (all sympathetically with the audience), and value for money.

Why Circus Is Such A Winner At School

1. Size
2. Grounds
3. It's LIVE!
4. Family Entertainment
5. Not Highbrow

1. Size
As big circuses become larger, smaller local areas often miss out on regular visits. Big circuses cost a lot to run, and can't afford to go where takings could be expected to cater to be small. Now, there's a new circus, set up especially to cater to smaller communities and schools. Often, these areas have NOT had a circus for a whole generation of school-goers. That circus is Eden Brothers Good Time Circus.

2. Grounds
Councils are under pressure from increasing use of their limited open spaces. So there are fewer publicly-owned sites where a circus can set up locally - even though circuses have toured Australia (and were once the main form of professional entertainment in the nation) since the 1840s. (In 1997, the sesqi-centenary, 150 years of circus in Australia was marked by the Post Office issuing four sets of stamps, now collectors items.) So there's a need for SMALLER circuses, to perform where the needs are greatest; for children and their family units, at places where it doesn't cost them a lot. Schools often have enough ground, ideally situated in areas where the presentation can be controlled. So this traditional use will increase.

3. It's LIVE!
Aristotle taught that experience was the only true teacher, and that second-hand experience was a poor substitute. Today, children sit before screens from pre-school age. What's more, they learn "Media Studies", so they know what constructions go into making anything to be seen on video. There is an increasing meed for live entertainment, and up to now, a de-creasing availability. Circus brings to within the distance normally used in a classroom, the reality of what they have already been told on film exists. A real acrobat performing a back-flip can be an exciting discovery for a child; he has learnt that ordinary human beings can do extraordinary things. He could not learn it in a more graphic, experimental way, because most small suburbs and towns have nobody who can perform this simple feat so show him. The same with animals: without the circus, many local children will never see a real, live monkey, or hear about elephants (there are only nine circus elephants left in Australia, since it became illegal to import them since 1963, and even publicly-owned zoos fare worse: they have only eight elephas maximus, the Asiatic elephant). So somebody with real knowledge and experience has to tell them about elephants - and other exotic animals - even if we can't bring them all.

4. Family Entertainment
There are NOT many forms of entertainment that can involve the whole family. Circus is the only one flexible enough to come to your very own school. These days, schools notice that the illusionists (children learn that magicians are in fact, illusionists), involve them in their acts - and adults and teachers, too. They learn, in a fun way, that because you get out of life a proportion of what you put in, it's more fun, and achieves more, if you participate. Not all children are good at sports, and that's the only alternative that teaches participation. Everyone joins in, and everyone loves it. Memories that last a life-time, for less than the cost of a packet of cigarettes.

5. Not Highbrow
In the city, where everything is available, children can be exposed to elitist culture. That option is not available in the country of smaller suburbs. Circus is extremely attractive ad accessible. And it's fun!