PwC blows away winter blues at Wizard of Oz panto

The 32nd annual PwC Panto, the Wizard of Oz, is a dazzling display of technicolour talent and energy with 200 PwC staff and alumni performing the show, sharing the fun with 8,000-plus kids from inner city schools and charities, who get to go for free, not to mention the grown-ups

The wonderfully scary ‘Wicked’-green Witch of the West kicks it all off. The monochrome opening chorus scene, set in a Camden café, contrasts beautifully with the introduction of the world of Oz and its cheery munchkins. The singing, music, dancing, characterisation, set and costumes combine to deliver an amazing show throughout.

There’s a touch tour before the audio-described show so the blind/partially sighted children can go up on stage to feel the costumes, hear the instruments and meet the crew, band and cast. Another of the shows is signed for the hard of hearing.

The pantomime is produced and performed by PwC staff and alumni who work on all aspects of the production in their spare time - from acting, singing, dancing and directing to costume design, make-up, lighting, sound, backstage crew and playing in the live band.

Cameos from PwC's executive board, included Kevin Ellis, PwC's chairman and senior partner and Laura Hinton, head of people. Every year the PwC panto supports a different chosen charity. This year it is UK Youth, which aims to empower all young people to build bright futures, whatever their background or circumstances.

This year’s pantomime Company includes staff from right across the firm, and at all levels, including:

  • Helena Bennett, senior associate, technology consulting - playing Dorothy
  • Ed Pocock, associate, cyber security - playing the Tin Man
  • Shane King, manager, deals - this year’s pantomime director
  • Ben Gasson, director, data & analytics - scriptwriter
  • Andrew Cole, senior manager, PwC’s Strategy& - musical director
  • Emily Newell (senior secretary, assurance) and Rachel Washington (senior manager, learning & development) - co-producers

The whole endeavour takes a huge amount of time and energy from the around 200 PwC staff and alumni involved, and lifts the lives of the children who come - the letters of thanks they write afterwards say it all.

After the show, the audience was elated and singing the praises. ‘It was the funniest, biggest, gargantuan show I have ever seen. I loved it!!!’, enthused Medeina, age 9.

‘I could not resist dancing along, it was like a magnet drawing me in,’ said Destiny, still tapping her foot.

The show was held in the Peacock Theatre London in January and is currently on tour at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh (8-10 February). Tickets for the Edinburgh shows are still available and start at £15. Book here

Report by Julia Bowyer
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