Review: The Lion, The B!tch and the Wardrobe

A queer alternative to C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia takes its audience on a hilarious and heart-warming journey

Polly Amorous leads the audience through the outrageous world of Narnia. Credit: Jorge Lizalde.

The Lion, the B!tch and the Wardrobe, 8 – 31 December, Wales Millennium Centre.

This queer alternative Christmas show is a celebration of the fabulous and the fantastical, giving everybody the chance to shine.

It is not at every performance that you can watch a person dressed as a faun do aerial acrobatics with a lamppost, or a striptease from Santa Claus.

But The Lion, the B!tch and the Wardrobe is not your average show. 

From the start, the show shines with witty comedy and jaw-dropping talent, leaving you grinning from ear to ear by the end. 

When she is on stage, there is not a moment without laughter from the crowd

The show takes C.S. Lewis’ Christian allegorical world of Narnia and transforms it into a land of sexual innuendo and parody. The audience is led through this world by the hilarious drag performer Polly Amorous, played by herself, who immediately settles us into the show with a Christmas medley filled with humour. 

Throughout the show, Polly comes across a variety of characters who resemble Lewis’ original cast with a queer twist. Mr Tumnus becomes Mr Bumnus (Eric McGill), a flirty faun who loves to be spanked. The heroic lion Aslan is now known as Ass-lan (Rahim El Habachi), adorned with jingly bells and a sensual voice. Along with her new friends, she must travel through the world of Narnia to defeat the White Queen (Bunmi Odumosu) who has a taste for sadism. 

The performers are part of a small queer collective, each bringing their own signature talents and charm.

Bunmi Odumosu soars over the crowd in an incredible display of aerial acrobatics. Credit: Jorge Lizalde.

The show allows them to have their own time on stage to dazzle the audience, whether through aerial acrobatics or operatic singing. There is never a moment of boredom or rest, and I found myself gasping at the incredible stunts. 

Viewers are also encouraged to step through the wardrobe along with the cast, bringing an inclusive and interactive atmosphere to the performance. The set especially adds to this idea. When audience members enter the performance space, they are immersed in a world of pink smoke and suspenseful forests.

Polly Amorous gives the stand-out performance of the show. When she is on stage, there is not a moment without laughter from the crowd. Her natural warmth and humour are perfectly suited to the role, and she showed herself as one of Wales’ most exciting talents in the drag scene right now.

The Lion, the B!tch and the Wardrobe is the perfect festive show, treating its audience to dazzling drag, burlesque performances and musical theatre.