Queen of Ireland Patti is Rooting for Australia

Drag superstar, Youtube sensation, ‘accidentalactivist and comedy queen Panti, returns to Sydney for a bespoke Mardi Gras show about sex, love, politicsand sex.

In between making movies and playing a central role in Irelands recent Marriage Equality triumph, gender discombobulist Panti has spent the past two years touring her smash-hit shows to packed houses and rave reviews around the globe.

Following a string of sold out nights in Sydney in 2014 and 2015, Panti returns to the city that has made her feel so very (very) welcome, despite the 1am lockout.

Infusing raucous stand-up with trademark polemic, Panti arrives with salacious tales about her adventures across Australia thus far, and has a thing or three to say to anyone standing in the way of marriage equality down under.

In a first for the now legendary drag superstar, Panti will create a special Sydney Mardi Gras edition of story, stand up and music for old friends and new followers in the sumptuous setting of Paddington’s Chauvel Cinema.

Panti exclaims: “Despite an unfortunate and traumatising picnic at Hanging Rock, Australia has always been good to me. In particular, Sydney has always shown this ageing showgirl a good time, and I’ve been delighted to reap the benefits of the low standards of the city’s amorous homosexuals. So in return I’ve decided to do the giving for once! I’ll be bringing my old-lady glamour to Paddington’s Chauvel Cinema where I’ll be passing on some of my hard-earned wisdom on life, love, and marriage equality. With glitter. It’s the least I can do.”

In addition to this never-to-be-repeated theatre event, Panti will be once again leading the acclaimed Sydney Queer Irish float at the Mardi Gras parade on March 5th, with a very special message for audiences everywhere.

According to Fran Bowron Co-Chair of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras: “Panti’s participation in the Parade and her show ‘Rooting for Australia’ reminds us all of what can be achieved when we work together and that every journey is important.”

Presented by THISISPOPBABY in association with Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and Irish Consulate General.

‘funny and vulgar, dignified and dishy, sometimes earnest, never acid.– New York Times

Your first encounter with the phenomenal drag queen Panti is a little like suddenly discovering a new planet in the solar system. – The Irish Times


When: Sunday 28th February (SOLD OUT), Monday 29th February & Tuesday 1st March (JUST ADDED)

Where: Chauvel Cinema, 249 Oxford Street, Paddington, NSW 2021

Time: 7.30pm

Duration: 70 minutes, no interval

Tickets: $35 + booking fees

Book: On sale now from www.thisispopbaby.com/book

PANTI is 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, 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.


Over four days this February (24-27), Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras showcase their brand spanking new event series, The Harbour, presented by Canon.

With incredible views of Sydney’s shoreline all from the comfort of Mrs Macquarie’s Point fans will be treated to special screenings ofMadonna’s hit documentary, and the cult classic Mamma Mia! as well as a once in a lifetime concert by ARIA Hall of Fame recipient,Tina Arena, ending with Canon’s Tails by Light, a fascinating series of documentary films.

Jump under the covers for a night of debauchery (Wed 24 Feb) with the outdoor screening of In Bed with Madonna, presented by QueerScreen. The film follows the gay icon during her Blonde Ambition Tour and was first screened at Cannes in 1991, quickly becoming the highest grossing documentary of its time.

Relive the daring costumes, catchy tunes and iconic moments that pushed the boundaries in this 25th anniversary screening celebrating the Queen of Pop. With grandstand seating and a massive screen anchored on the water’s edge, views of the film and the stunning Sydney Harbour are completely uninhibited – no matter how many people come wearing their cone bras!

The following night (Thurs 25 Feb) Australian pop icon, Tina Arena performs an intimate concert at Tina Arena at The Harbour with all the classics like: I Need Your Body, Chains, and I Want To Love You.

Presenting a different show and set-list from her sold-out “One Night Only” tour performances, Tina Arena at The Harbour is an intimate affair with only 1,000 tickets up for grabs, ensuring for a one-of-a-kind experience under the stars.

Head on down to the Harbour’s edge for a scented sing-a-long screening of the musical Mamma Mia! (Fri 26 Feb). With a popular soundtrack featuring classic ABBA tracks like Dancing Queen, Take a Chance on me and, of course Mamma Mia¸ the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir are on hand helping keep the spirits high and the notes on key.

LUSH Cosmetics join in on the fun by providing a full sensory cinema experience filled with LUSH scents to enhance viewing pleasure. Each guest receives a box filled with seven unique scents and a scent menu from LUSH cosmetics. The menu guides viewers through the film and where to inhale smells to match the scene or mood.

Rounding out the four day extravaganza is the six-part series of documentaries Tales by Light. The series follows five extraordinary photographers as they push the limits of their craft in little-known, little-covered and little-understood corners of the Earth.

Presented by Canon, these mind-blowing stories go behind the lens to experience the challenges, successes and moments of joy as these masters of their fields work to capture their unique perspective.

Nestled in the heart of the lush Royal Botanic Gardens, accompanied by spectacular views, The Harbour promises to be an unmissable event in the Festival’s spectacular summer program.

For more Mardi Gras mania head to the website www.mardigras.org.au

Sydney’s 2016 Mardi Gras kicks off

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival is back. The Festival kicks off on Friday 19 February and runs for two weeks, until Sunday 06 March, 2016; with a jam-packed program of events, performances, exhibitions and activities.

The 2016 theme is ‘MOMENTUM’, evolving from Mardi Gras history in the fight for social justice and self expression. Born from a night of political protest in 1978, Mardi Gras’ spirit lives on 38 years later, in joyous celebration. A shining light across the world, that demonstrates just how far the community has come; whilst acknowledging the journey and challenges ahead. With the theme Momentum, Mardi Gras is saying: it’s time to stand up and be counted; turn passion into purpose, and let it ripple out and resonate around the world.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO, Michele Bauer said, “This year absolutely represents every colour of the rainbow, to match the incredible diversity of our community. The Festival really is the most amazing two week long celebration, an opportunity for everyone to get involved and have their voices heard. From visual arts, theatre, film, the Parade, outdoor family activities; whether you’re eight or 89, there is something for you.”

Join over 80,000 people in Victoria Park for Fair Day, proudly supported by ANZ; a free, fun filled celebration of LGBTQI family and community on Sunday 21 February, 2016. From pooches and Pad Thai, to markets and music; dancing and drama, to rides, comedy, and crazy fun for the kids; Fair Day is for the whole family.

Queer Thinking gives audiences the low down on some of the meaty LGBTQI community issues for 2016, both at home in Australia and abroad. Inspiring, entertaining and provocative, Queer Thinking delves into what ‘momentum’ can mean from both inside and outside the diverse LGBTQI communities. The talk fest will take over venues across Sydney for the first time.

Gender Trailblazers returns to celebrate the courageous individuals, who take transgender rights from strength to strength on Friday 4 March, 2016. Gender counsellor and leading psychologist Dr Elizabeth Riley will host a riveting night of Trans* community conversation with speakers across the spectrum of ages and experiences. The evening at Monkey Baa will be a lively night of discussion, ideas and outlook for the community.

The Harbour is a brand spanking, shiny new, Mardi Gras event series on Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquarie’s Point, presented in partnership with Canon. An epic series of film, talks, concerts and musical spectaculars, glittering from our favourite shore. Headlining the series is In Bed with Madonna, presented by Queer Screen to celebrate the film’s 25th Anniversary! Australian pop icon, Tina Arena will perform an intimate concert at Tina Arena at The Harbour with all the classics like: I Need Your Body, Chains, and I Want To Love You. There will be a Sing-a-long with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir to the film Mamma Mia as well.

The parade that captivates a nation and reverberates around the world; The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is back for its 38th year! Over 200,000 people will line the streets of Sydney’s traditional Gay and Lesbian district in support of the 10,000 fabulous parade entrants who have united for a glittering spectacle of sparkles and self-expression on Saturday 5 March, 2016. The event is once again supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

Parade Sideshow is the ultimate way to experience the Parade in style. Hosted by acid tongued Drag diva Portia Turbo and TV host Andrew Mercado no sequined jockstrap passes without comment, or wardrobe malfunction missed. Leave the milk crates at home with some premium seating, exclusive access to bars, food stalls, live screens, and bathrooms.

The Diamond Club, for Mardi Gras members and their guests only is an exclusive ticketed viewing area in the heart of the Parade celebration, presented in partnership with ANZ.

The Official Mardi Gras Party on Saturday 5 March, 2016, has over 12,000 partygoers from all over the world. This is the largest LGBTQI party in the Southern Hemisphere held at the Entertainment Quarter. Shiny and spectacular, the Party is a piping hot line-up of local and international DJ’s, shows, and world class production that will soon be announced.

Send off Mardi Gras with a bang in a final event extravaganza between The Beresford and Flinders Hotel on Sunday 6 March, 2016. A cherished tradition of the Festival, The Laneway has evolved from a portable stereo on Hill St to a full blown street party. Expect live music, diva drop-ins, pop-up shows and world class DJs across a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces.


Mega-watt stars of Australian drag Courtney Act & Trevor Ashley team up for their Gentlemen Prefer Blokes, Seven-Year-Itch reunion tour, and take on some of history’s greatest duos as a part of the Rainbow Room. For three nights only from Thursday 3 – Saturday 5 March, the Sydney Opera House will transform into a hot-bed of comedy, chaos and cabaret as a line-up of stars take to the stage to paint the sails rainbow.

Shift from 1958 to the present and back again with The Pride at the Eternity Playhouse from Friday 5 February – Sunday 6 March 2016. Alexi Kaye Campbell’s award-winning theatre piece promises to be a remarkable reflection on society’s journey towards sexual attitudes, both past and present.

With Mad Max: Fury Road and The Great Gatsby under his belt, iOTA will put on a show just as high octane and memorable as his on screen performances on Friday 4 March 2016. Combining musical talent, amazing theatrical presence, and outrageous outfits, this will be an unforgettable showcase of old favourites as well as hits from his brand new album ‘Wolf Number Nine’.

5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche is the uproarious, award winning theatrical show about a women’s society forced to confront the future during their ‘Annual Quiche Breakfast’. After taking America by storm this smash hit performance will have audiences at Belvoir Street Theatre coming back for second helpings from Tuesday 16 February – Saturday 20 February.

The sexy and hilariously raunchy double bill The Ultimate Lesbian Double Feature explores what Sappho and Virginia Woolf may have sexted to their lovers (had sexting been around during their time); and puts a lesbian twist on a 1950s American instructional video on how to prepare the perfect dinner party from 23 February to 05 March.


A festival within a festival for all things furry and cuddly, the Harbour City Bears’ Bear Festival will be returning across multiple venues. As well as the highly successful pop-up, Bear Bar at the Burdekin Hotel. There’s nine days of themed party nights, tasty beers, live performances, delicious food, great DJs, and a big ol’ bear hug awaits at Sydney’s woofiest bar, Friday 26 February – Thursday 3 March.

Get outside and make the streets of Sydney a dance floor with Silent Disco Tours, a series of one hour magical disco adventures at Sydney hot spots from Saturday 21 February to Friday 4 March 2016. Don disco gear and a set of special discoD headphones to ‘Get Physical’ with new and old favorites.


Australian pop icon, and newest ARIA Hall of Fame inductee, Tina Arena will send shivers up the spine at Tina Arena at The Harbour, presented in partnership with Canon on Thursday 25 February, as well as the State Theatre on Friday 4 March, 2016. With a name synonymous with Australian music, Arena fans can catch all the classics like: I Need Your Body, Chains, and I Want To Love You.

Bearded beauty and 2014 Eurovision Song Contest winner, Conchita Wurst, is teaming up with Sydney Symphony Orchestra to bring her new show From Vienna with Love to Mardi Gras. Rising like a Phoenix from the steps of the Sydney Opera House, Wurst will be joined by special guests Courtney Act, Trevor Ashley and Paul Capsis at the Concert Hall.


William Yang: Stories of Love and Death features several strands of Yang’s photography for which he is now well known, including his portraiture of celebrities (Patrick White, Brett Whiteley, Cate Blanchett) and historic Mardi Gras documentary work. Investigate the importance of identity through photography from Wednesday 17 February – Saturday 5 March.

Raw, sassy and proud Fierce Femme brings together professional and amateur works in an exploration and celebration of the Femme Identity, Thursday 3 March. Telling the stories of Femmes within the LGBTQI community, the exhibition analyses what ‘Fierce Femme’ looks like through the eye of a lens.

The beard obsessed (and admit it, aren’t we all!?) will revel in The Bearded Men Project; a series of oil portraits showcasing contemporary male presence and beauty at Blank_Space Gallery from Saturday 20 February to Friday 4 March. The exhibition aims to highlight there’s more to gay men than “abs, bums, sneers & pouts”.


The most stylish run in Sydney, the Little Black Dress Run, returns to Darling Harbour on Sunday 28 February 2016. Rock your frock for the 3km run/walk around Darling Harbour in the name of charity. The event has become a “must do” for the Mardi Gras season, so frock up and stretch out those hamstrings and heels!

Break out the hairspray and blue eye shadow for 80s themed The Mardi Gras Disco Climb. This is Sydney’s highest disco dance party, with retro track list; climb leader guides; and the most fabulous ascent over Sydney Harbour Bridge, from Thursday 25 February – Wednesday 9 March 2016.


The ever-popular Mardi Gras Film Festival presented by Queer Screen is on again in 2016 at Event Cinemas George Street, from Thursday 18 February – Thursday 3 March. Opening with Summertime, a lesbian love story; and the hotly anticipated documentary Remembering The Man, the real-life story behind Holding The Man.

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