In 2014, Panti Bliss appeared on the Irish national broadcaster’s evening show where she discussed homophobia. In that interview, she suggested that some of the people in the media opposing LGBT+ equal rights were homophobic. A statement that launched lawsuits against her and a movement known as ‘Pantigate’. High Heels in Low Places is a show born from that series of events. Discussing the effect it had on her, the effect she’s had on others and how it’s changed her life, from a moderately successful club drag queen to and I quote, ‘a full-blown national treasure’.
Going into her show, I had no idea who Panti was, the catalyst she had been for marriage equality in Ireland or the span of her career (which is why I’ve given you a handy little run down). Leading me to say you do not need to know anything about Panti to find her show hysterical. All (and I mean all) of her jokes landed, I was crying with laughter within minutes of the show opening.
Panti opened the show by coming down from the stage and introducing herself to individual members of the audience, making friendly banter. The entire show was conversational. Sitting there in a room filled with a few hundred other people just feels like you’ve all just happened to show up to talk to an old friend… A very sassy old friend. Panti engages with the audience throughout the show, polling the audience, fielding questions and seeking responses. But she’s not going to force you into participation if that’s not your thing (mostly).
High Heels in Low Places was constantly upbeat and filled with well-balanced humour. She addressed political topics and discussed real issues – The status of masculinity and femininity in our culture, homophobia, marriage equality and the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. All without bringing down the mood of the show.
It’s a show I would recommend to anyone. I’d even say bring your mother (if she’s not too averse to seeing a man in heels) because Panti makes some excellent points; the more people that hear them, the better. If Panti comes to your city, be sure to buy tickets.