REVIEW: PwC Panto 2019 (Sleeping Beauty)

Panto season is behind us. Oh, no it isn’t…

Christmas may be behind you, but that doesn’t mean the festive fun has to stop in January. A few pantos linger on for this miserable month, including the commendable charity panto produced annually by PwC.

About as professional an amateur production as you are likely to see, and an opportunity to see the lighter side of accountants! You can also be assured that your entry fee is being put to good use, with ticket sales subsidising free tickets for schools and children’s charities. (A shout out to the marvellous New Family Social, which is a support group for LGBT adopters and foster families! We attended as part of a large contingent of NFS members who were invited to attend as guests.) The production also tours to a different venue each year, and in February 2019 it will be visiting the Tyne Theatre & Opera House in Newcastle.

This is the 4th time we’ve been to the PwC panto. (Declaration of interest – Mrs Mummy used to work for PwC but acknowledges that cowardice prevented her signing up to participate. She would also like to make it known that not all PwC employees are accountants. Some do other things that also involve spreadsheets that nobody understands.) We’ve always been really impressed and this year was no exception. The production values were as high quality as ever, so much so that we sometimes have to remind ourselves that this is entirely a cast and crew of accountants (and associated other spreadsheet types). Of course it’s not going to be as polished as professional offerings, but it still has all the key elements of pantomime: Cross-dressing, barely concealed innuendo, awkward audience participation and the inclusion of hit songs and popular dance moves from about 6 months ago. It was also nice to see some familiar faces from previous pantos.

And just when Mummy was starting to think that Sleeping Beauty should be consigned to misogynist history, they neatly wrapped up the original story at the start of the second Act and spent the rest of the show with the Princess on a mission to save Prince Charming. A nice modern touch, perhaps expected from the business voted The Times’ No 1 Graduate Employer 15 years in a row.

Overall, a great way to spend a cold Saturday afternoon and kick off this year’s show calendar. Crotchet and Quaver both delighted in collecting autographs from the entire cast. (This is a distinct improvement on last year when Crotchet had a complete strop at the prospect of greeting some nice accountants wearing costumes, and refused to leave the foyer). We’ll make a fan girl of her yet. Meanwhile, Mummy is deliberating whether it would be easier to convince her employer to fund an office panto and get a bunch of colleagues to act in it, or just retrain as an accountant.