Panti Bliss: High Heels in Low Places


Traverse Theatre (Venue 15)

10:30, 13:30 or 19:00 (varies wildly)

8-14th Aug


I was so incredibly excited to see Panti live again. I had the privilege of seeing her in St Andrews last February as part of the University LGBT Society’s LGBT History Month program, a few months before the historic passing of equal marriage in Ireland, for which she found herself a sudden figurehead.

So when I spotted she was bringing her High Heels in Low Places show to Edinburgh I had to see her. My giddy excitement then layered nicely with vertigo while finding a seat in the Traverse bunker. Head spinning, I awaited one of my queer idols.

Panti was charming, hilarious, self-deprecating and filthy. This was the flip side of the befrocked activist and while she was just as eloquent as she had been for her Noble Call (which she does talk about), for this show we see more of the hard-working hard-talking shit-kicking landlady of Dublin’s premier gay bar.

She’s also a National Fucking Treasure and something of a power bottom too. Getting older and being famous can be drawbacks when seeking pleasure with others but she gets by just fine with the floods of “big-dicked Brazilian immigrant tops in Ireland”.

In a nostalgic mood, she shares a window into her past as a guest on Maury Povich in New York with a fake sister and a suitcase full of bullshit. With plenty of sass and sarcasm the Queen of Ireland rules over her subjects in this underground queendom, dispensing wisdom and comedic cruelty with impunity.

OK, so maybe some of her barbs are a little stereotypical in terms of LGBT identity labels, like when my mother is charmingly racist. Panti herself states that she is uncomfortable having to be the good gay, the spokesperson, rather than someone who can open her mouth and sometimes say the wrong thing.

Regardless, I found myself enthralled and enchanted. I’m sure you will too.