Over 200 employees from professional services firm PwC will be swapping ‘bean counting’ for the theatre as they hit the New Alexandra Theatre stage with four performances of Jack and the Beanstalk for the firm’s 30th annual charity panto production.  What started out 30 years ago as three shows at the Chaucer Theatre in London, is now a full scale theatrical event that runs for eight shows in London’s Peacock Theatre and a regional tour, which will take place in Birmingham this year.

Over 3,000 children will see the show in Birmingham thanks to a free ticket scheme funded by PwC and distributed through inner city schools and charities. More than 130,000 children have seen the PwC panto during its three decade history.

The pantomime is entirely 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 band.

This year’s cast includes staff from right across the firm, and of all different grades. Jack, Jill and Dame Dottie Stropp are swapping their day jobs in tax, legal and deals, respectively, to take on their new characters.

Running from Thursday 4 February to Saturday 6 February at the New Alexandra Theatre, the audience will be treated to cameo appearances by, amongst others, regional chairman of PwC in the Midlands, Matt Hammond, who will have a very special walk-on role!

Matt Hammond, regional chairman of PwC in the Midlands, said:

“For three decades the show has given children, families, staff, and clients the chance to see accountants swap spreadsheets for the spotlight. The PwC panto is more than a piece of theatre. It’s a great example – albeit a noisy, glittery one - of our broad commitment to education and social mobility through long-term partnerships with charities and schools.

“It is also a great chance for our people to use their talents in different ways, while giving something back and making a real impact in the communities in which they live and work.

“We’re thrilled that the show will be in Birmingham in February, and proud that we can give so many local school children a fantastic theatrical experience. I want to thank all the staff and alumni who give up their time to bring an evening of laughter and fun to children in Birmingham.”

This year’s chosen charity is Beanstalk, a national literacy charity that recruits, vets, trains and supports volunteers to work in primary schools with children who have fallen behind in their reading.

The PwC panto is just one aspect of PwC’s wider community contribution. In 2015, 573 of our people in the Midlands volunteered 5,792 hours of their time to help in the local community.