As she gears up for a star turn at Tiger Dublin Fringe show, ‘RIOT’, national treasure Panti Bliss talks about Zayn Malik, Hilary Clinton, country farmers and same-sex marriage in Australia…
Hey Panti! First things first, in no more than ten words tell us what RIOT is all about.
It’s a mash up of theatre, cabaret, circus, clubbing, glitter and SHOWBUSINESS!
What will you be doing in the show?
I’ll be inciting a riot, changing outfits, helping undress a hot circus performer, and getting hoisted into the air. And other stuff.
What’s been the most surprising result of your rise to status of national treasure?
When elderly country farmers up in Dublin for the day stop me on the street to talk to me.
How do you think the same-sex marriage campaign is going in Australia?
I think there are a lot of great committed people doing great work, but I would be a little worried if the proposed plebiscite goes ahead. Unlike us, Australia doesn’t have many national referendums, so referendum campaigns are not something they are used to. Australia is a huge country, and while the opposition is well organised and well funded, surprisingly Australia doesn’t have a national LGBTI network or organisation ready to fill the role of national coordinator, so they’ve had to set one up from scratch. It’s a massive job.
Tell us about your new radio show, Pantisocracy.
We call it a “cabaret of conversations” which is for, and about, the Ireland we live in today. It’s recorded in front of a live studio audience with guests that are a mixture of artists and academics talking about big themes in (hopefully) a fun and accessible way.
What is your greatest ambition?
To hoover more.
Who is your biggest influence?
Maggie Smith in the 1968 movie The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie.
If you were to bring five famous people to dinner who would they be and why would you invite them?
Madonna, because whether you love her or hate her, everyone is interested in her.
Zayn Malik, because if there was a lull in the conversation we could just look at him and quietly sigh.
Hillary Clinton because she’s probably about to become the first woman to have the most powerful job in the world.
The taxi driver I got yesterday who spends half the year living in Spain as a pub and cruise ship singer. He was gas. (You might not know him, but he’s famous on the Costa Blanca).
Angela Landsbury, in case someone gets murdered.
If the world were ending tomorrow, what would you do today?
Zayn Malik and Usain Bolt.
The meaning of life according to Panti?
There’s always time for a dance.
Panti appears in RIOT at the Spiegletent @ Merrion Square from September 16-25, as part of the Tiger Dublin Fringe (September 10 – 25). Tickets here.