Published on May 10th, 2024 | by Andrew Bistak

Ashleigh McCready Interview (Co-founder of Cirque Bon Bon) #Melbourne

We catch-up with Ashleigh McCready, co-founder of Cirque Bon Bon to discuss all things circus and this amazing new show that will be playing at the Athenaeum Theatre from 11 to 13 July.

Welcome to Impulse Gamer Ash! So tell us, how did you become involved in circus arts?

I started performing in shows when I was 14yrs old in a little theatre restaurant in Brisbane. The day I finished high school, when I was 17, I took my first overseas job in a show, dancing. From there, I danced in a multitude of shows all around the world from magic to circus, dance, cabaret, kids shows etc… and it was throughout my time performing around the world where I completely fell in love with the art of circus!

Growing up what did you love about the circus?

I loved watching super human people doing super human things! It always amazes me watching circus artists push the limits of their bodies with insane feats of flexibility and strength! I also love the escapism that comes with watching a circus show… as a child my imagination was allowed to run wild at the circus!

Can you walk us through how Cirque Bon Bon commenced as an idea and became a reality?

It was during the pandemic, I was living in LA at the time, I had to fly home to my family in Australia, leaving my life in LA because as we all remember the world was in a scary state with lock downs etc..  I   packed my bag thinking I’d be back to LA and Cirque Du Soleil in a few weeks, I left everything in my apartment!

When I landed home, My now partner, Julieann, who choreographs all the beautiful dancing in Bon Bon, called me to say we should put on a show together while I was home! We were given an opportunity to make a circus show for the Noosa Alive Festival in 2021 which is where “Cirque Bon Bon” was born! We sold out our shows on their first run at Noosa!

How did you come up with the theme and acts behind Cirque Bon Bon?

We love creating visually  beautiful, artistic and aesthetically pleasing moments that are fun, mind blowing, world class and something that is enjoyable for everyone! I had the pleasure of working on The Illusionists for many years all around the world including 2 years on Broadway , Sydney opera House, across Asia, the Middle East and all over America and throughout that time I became  obsessed with creating magical moments that audiences hadn’t seen before, or felt or heard…but I wanted them to love that feeling, I wanted it to make them happy and for it to be truly magical and something they would remember forever. So it’s from feeling that inspires the theme and acts behind Cirque Bon Bon.

Greatest challenge?

Having 2 children and running my own company creating shows.

And what about greatest reward?

Having 2 children while running my own company and creating shows!

How does Cirque Bon Bon differ from other circus shows?

Cirque Bon Bon has something for everyone that combines a huge line up of incredible soloists who are the best in what they do. When you come to Bon Bon you will literally see only the best of the best artists performing in the one show for you!  We also have an ensemble of 6 dancers who perform beautiful choreography that covers many styles. Most importantly, Bon Bon is for everyone, any one from 1 – 100 can come and enjoy Bon Bon.

Hard question (like choosing a favourite child), what is your favourite act and why?

Very hard question… they all are so unique, but if I have to choose 1… Shannen Michaela is our contortion foot archer. She shoots arrows with her feet while upside down contortion her body shooting into. Bullseye target. It’s incredible. She also holds the Guinness world record for shooting an arrow the farthest with her feet. The look on people faces when she performs this act is priceless! I love watching the audience reactions to her.

What are you most looking forward to bring Cirque Bon Bon to Melbourne? 

Besides Melbourne’s amazing coffee, I am most looking forward to sharing Bon Bon with more people around Australia, people fall in love with Bon Bon and come back each time we perform our show   and I positive Melbourne will too!
How would you sum up Cirque Bon Bon in a tweet?

Dear @elonmusk are you free for opening night?
Finally where do you see circus in 25 years time?

For me, circus is insane feats of human strength and flexibility therefore I believe circus will still have its traditional aspects that keep people coming back to see it…. Or run by robots… who knows.

About Cirque Bon Bon

Melbournians can prepare to be spellbound by an extravaganza of light, acrobatics, dance and comedy when CIRQUE BON BON arrives in Melbourne this July.

Hot on the heels of its sell-out run in Brisbane, CIRQUE BON BON’s all-star cast of contortionists, acrobats and dancers will transform the Athenaeum Theatre stage into a cauldron of excitement, drama and hilarity.

CIRQUE BON BON is the brainchild of former Cirque Du Soleil Assistant Creative Director Ash Jacks and choreographer Julieann Nugent, and has attracted over 14,000 audiences in Brisbane, Adelaide and Noosa since it began in 2021.

That moment when you hear the crowd gasp in awe, all at once, right as the music stops and the act reaches its climax, that’s the magical moment,” says Jacks.

Our world-class artists have performed everywhere from Broadway to Las Vegas and London’s West End, so we can’t wait to see the looks on everyone’s face in Melbourne when CIRQUE BON BON arrives! We’ve used every last trick in the book to make this show something you just can’t look away from,” she continued.

CIRQUE BON BON will be led by world-renowned comedy emcee, Mario, Queen of the Circus, and will star a multi-talented cast including contortionist and foot archery artist Shannen Michaela who holds the Guinness world record for shooting an arrow the farthest with her feet; world-renowned Cyr Wheel artist Alexandre Lane; Aerial Hoop contortion and Hula Hoop artist Ashleigh Roper; Australia’s own duo hand to hand and skating artists Emma Goh and Scott Lazaravech; as well as juggler Cody Harrington and Aerial Straps and mouth hang artist Liam Dummer.

In Melbourne for five shows only, CIRQUE BON BON promises to have audiences on the edge of their seat for 80 minutes of beauty and bravery, from 11 to 13 July at the Athenaeum Theatre.

Produced by Jacs Entertainment and Woodward Productions, CIRQUE BON BON is world-class cirque entertainment for all ages.

Tickets for CIRQUE BON BON range from $59 to $109 plus booking fee. Ticketmaster pre-sale tickets are available now, and tickets go on sale to the general public on Tuesday 30 April via Ticketmaster or at

About the Author

When he's not trying to save the world, Andrew enjoys travel (although loathes turbulence), going to the movies, reading and being a dad to his two dogs (and now twins) with his wife.

Back to Top ↑