THE pantomime dame is traditionally seen as the comic relief of the tale.

A man in women’s clothing with over-the-top hair and make-up, just on appearance alone the hope is it will bring plenty of laughs.

But it isn’t just the audience’s laughter that is important for the dame, they are also navigators of the narrative.

At this year’s Anvil pantomime of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the role falls to Jamie Steen, who will be playing Nursie.

“She [Nursie] has a certain charm to her,” Steen told The Gazette.

“When you play the dame you have a lot to think about, you need be able to have fun, not take yourself seriously and, most importantly, make the audience laugh.

“With Nursie, she is helping move the narrative along and helps direct the audience’s attention to certain aspects of what is happening on stage.”

No stranger to pantomime’s, this is Steen’s 25th year of appearing in pantoland. He has played almost every role from comic and dame to principal boy and ugly sister.

He added: “I just absolutely love it.

“It is theatre at its absolute purest for me, it is a time where everyone comes together and to be part of creating memories, which is what the theatre is all about.”

This is not Steen’s first time appearing as Nursie, - he donned the costume in 2014 when he appeared at the Pavillion Theatre, in Rhyl. He then continued the role in Snow White at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool a year later and in 2016 at the Assembly Halls, in Turnbridge Wells.

“You do kind of become attached to a character in a weird way,” Steen added.

“You are in this world for such long periods at a time, so you are bound to make some kind of connection to them.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play Nursie in a number of towns across the UK so I am looking forward to seeing what a Basingstoke audience have to offer.”

Steen has enjoyed a lucrative career on the stage, but people may have seen him on the screen playing Joey in Happy Campers and last year he played the role of Dennis in the film Prawn, which was a contender in the UK directors’ 48 hour film challenge and screened at BAFA.

But it is the stage where Steen believes memories are made and being part of this year’s panto, he hopes to create new memories and traditions for families.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be performed at the Anvil from December 13 to January 6. For more information and tickets visit anvilarts.org.uk/snow-white.