FOR the cast of a pantomime, there is a lot on their plates with many performances crammed into a short space of time, in front of different audiences keeping them on their toes every step of the way.

For one member of this year’s Anvil pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it will be double the amount of stress and preparation.

Chris Pizzey is not only stepping on stage in the role of Muddles, he will also be the man behind the scenes, directing all of the action.

But, for the man who may be best known as Mr Stephen in The Basil Brush Show, this is not his first time pulling double duty so he knows what to expect.

“There is a lot do,” Pizzey told The Gazette.

“But being able to direct and be at the heart of the action you get a better feel of what is going on, what needs to be tweaked, what jokes aren’t landing etc.

“What we have to remember is even though we are doing this day after day, our audience is new, so we need to keep it fresh each time we step on to that stage.”

In the last 20 years Pizzey has performed in and directed many pantomimes - from playing Dick in Dick Whittington to Buttons in Cinderella, there aren’t many roles he hasn’t played.

So, what keeps the 41-year-old keep coming back to the pantomime? “The fact you can be part of someone’s first theatrical experience,” Pizzey adds.

“For many people their first exposure to the theatre is through pantomime, we as actors get the opportunity to provide a gateway into the world of theatre.

“Therefore, there is an impetus on us to get things right.”

Pizzey started his journey to the stage when he trained at the Rose Bruford College from 1995 to 1998 and also performing as part of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.

As well as being known for his roles in panto’s, Pizzey has appeared on The Sooty Show, The Bill and Doc Martin to name a few TV credits.

He is also the presenter of the Big Toe Books on BBC Radio 7 and BBC 4 Extra in the last tow years of the shows transmission. Pizzey’s voice has also appeared in many radio plays, voiceovers and narrations.

Pizzey is no stranger to Basingstoke having previously appeared at the Anvil as Silly Billy in Jack and the Beanstalk back in 2015.

He said: “It is great to come back to Basingstoke, I remember the audience being really lively so I am looking forward to getting back out in front of them.”

Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs will be performed at The Anvil from December 13 until January 6.

For more information and tickets visit