AN ANVIL favourite is making his return to the theatre in this year’s pantomime.

Chris Pizzey, who previously starred and directed in the 2018 production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, will return to Basingstoke in Christmas 2020.

Famed as playing Mr Stephen in Basil Brush, Pizzey will be playing Louis la Plonk, in the Anvil’s production of Beauty and the Beast.

One of the most popular fairy stories, Beauty and the Beast makes its Anvil Christmas debut to tell a tale as old as time. Tickets went on sale at the beginning of January and the theatre say that advance sales have been the fastest ever, with some schools performances already sold out.

Beauty and The Beast is the story of Belle, who finds herself imprisoned in an enchanted castle by a prince who has been transformed into a hideous beast by an evil sorceress. Can Belle see beyond the Beast’s appearance and fall in love with her captor? Will the Beast return to the world he once knew and win the hand of the girl who has melted his heart?

With larger than life characters, side-splitting comedy, sumptuous costumes, fabulous scenery and a thrilling transformation scene, this traditional family pantomime, written by Jon Monie, won Best Script at the Great British Pantomime Awards 2019, and has received 5 star reviews and broken box office records since it was first produced.

Pizzey, who also previously appeared in the 2015 production of Jack and the Beanstalk, as Silly Billy, previously spoke to the Gazette about his fond memories of Basingstoke.

He said in 2018: “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.”

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 pantos, Pizzey has appeared on The Sooty Show, The Bill and Doc Martin to name a few TV credits.

He has also presented the Big Toe Books on BBC Radio 7 and BBC 4 Extra. Pizzey’s voice has appeared in many radio plays, voiceovers and narrations.

The production will open up on December 10.

Further star casting to be announced soon. The Gazette are proud sponsors of The Anvil’s pantomime.

To book your seats for Beauty and the Beast, call The Anvil box office on 01256 844244 or visit