Ireland’s foremost “gender discombobulist” and “accidental activist”.
After attending art college in Dublin in the late 80’s she moved to Tokyo where she began her drag career as part of successful double act called “Candi Panti”. Returning to Ireland in the mid 90’s she became a fixture of Dublin’s nightclub scene. She ran some of Ireland’s most seminal club nights, and hosted and produced the legendary Alternative Miss Ireland pageant, which raised money over 18 years for HIV/AIDS charities.
Panti made her theatrical debut in 2007 with the critically acclaimed In These Shoes? and since then has toured extensively across Ireland, the UK, Europe, North America and Australia with her shows A Woman In Progress, All Dolled Up, Restitched, and High Heels In Low Places.
In early 2014, Panti landed herself in the middle of a media sh*tstorm that rocked Ireland and was christened “Pantigate”. Soon after, she became a YouTube sensation when a speech she made at the Abbey Theatre about homophobia which was lauded as “the most eloquent Irish speech in two hundred years”, went viral. It was broadcast around the world, debated in parliament, remixed by the Pet Shop Boys, and sparked a powerful conversation about equality.
Panti became an iconic figure for equality in Ireland, and in 2015 she played a major role in the successful referendum campaign for Marriage Equality in Ireland.
Panti’s memoir Woman In The Making became a bestseller in Ireland in 2014, and in 2015 a documentary film about her life, The Queen Of Ireland, was released in the UK & Ireland and broke box office records for an Irish documentary.
Panti has received many awards including a “Person Of The Year Award” and an honorary doctorate from Trinity College Dublin. Panti continues to appear regularly on stage and screen, and is much in demand internationally as a speaker. She can also be found in her popular Dublin city centre bar, Pantibar.
“A national fucking treasure”.