About John MacDonnell

John Mac Donnell is acknowledged as Australia's longest serving Circus Ringmaster. Over a varied career spanning three decades, he has blown the whistle and presented programs in many of the major circuses in Australia and New Zealand, including Stardust Circus, Royale American 3-Ring Circus (three rings performing at once), Ashton's, Sole Bros, Lennon Bros, Circus Royale - the list goes on.

Originally a political journalist by profession, John worked in association with twelve Australian Prime Ministers and a galaxy of State leaders in New South Wales and Queensland, with forays into other states and territories.

Born at Miles, Queensland, where his mother owned the District Hospital, his heart remained in the bush.

Today, as Ringmaster/Proprietor of Eden Bros Good Time Circus, John brings good times and circus entertainment to many parts of Queensland - more than 100 communities and more than 40 schools in the past three and a half years alone. More than thirty percent of engagements in 2006 have been repeat bookings - proof that John supplies what Queensland wants.

Eden Bros Good Time Circus Program

Eden Bros Circus program includes acts and animals from around Australia, including performing monkeys, ponies and dogs, balancers, jugglers, unicyclists, wire-walkers - and John's own idiosyncratic whip-cracking act, involving members of the audience.

Usually John opens the show with a multi-voice, multi-piano singing number, in which he sings with himself. There's another multi-voice number to end the show - all specially written and recorded by John, just for the show.

The tone is set for double Royal Command performer Walter Lavarre to present his golf-stick balancing act - and the show's away to an impressive start.

Eden Bros comes from the traditional Australian circus heritage. Right at the beginning, John tells viewers, "If you like something, give it the thumbs up, clap your hands, stamp your feet - make as much noise as you like." And they do. (Purists would say that Eden Bros comes from the "larrikin" school of circus, with lots of audience participation.)

"That's the difference between us and TV", says John. "At an Eden Brothers' show, you don't just watch - you have an entertainment experience."

The name comes from old Eden Cells, one of the last members of a family that operated a three-elephant circus around Australia and New Zealand for more than 80 years.

Eden himself bred, raised and out-lived the oldest known macaque monkey in the world - Joycie was 44 years old when she died - and had performed in Eden Bros Circus in the 1970s.

"Eden set new standards of care and affection with his animals, and I'm proud to have been associated with him," John says.

Let the good times roll!