I'm going to be honest.
The word 'Butlin's' seems to bring about a reaction in most people akin to 'marmite'; you either love it or hate it. In Butlin's case it seems that people have a stereotypical image of the type of holiday that they will have, yet when they actually experience what the Redcoats have to offer very few continue to have the image of knobbly knee competitions, Hi-de-Hi style entertainers and dodgy chalets with pencil thin walls and lino floors.
And I think one of the aspects of Butlin's which astounds people and leaves them wanting more is the entertainment.
Our first stay back in 2011 was when The Boy was 2.5 years old and we were so busy with the softplay or messy play that we didn't actually experience any of the shows. I also thought that The Skyline Gang sounded a bit twee. Admitting that is a slightly embarrassing thing now as I'm a rather big fan of theirs and am one of the first to bagsy a seat on the floor with The Boy so we can both have a good view.
I'm also an ambassador so surely I should fly the flag for all aspects of the holiday?
Not if I don't think it's worth it, I only write honest reviews.
However, last year The Boy was nearly four years old and he wanted to watch Mike the Knight and Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine and Barney. We dutifully dragged ourselves to the Skyline Stage in the Skyline Pavilion, and soon had a very big realisation; the shows are actually very good.
Butlin's spends a lot of time and money investing in relevant shows which will interest children, and parents alike. Last year we saw an I Can Cook show, during the Summer season last year Stephen Mulhern performed with his magic show (he started as a redcoat) and this year Mister Maker is prevalent throughout the main season. Also new in 2014 to the entertainment package are Dick and Dom, Cirque du Hilarious, Scooby Doo and an acrobatics troupe over the Summer holidays.
The resident entertainers for Butlin's are The Skyline Gang. At first glance they can be a bit daunting with their funky and bright costumes, heavy stage make-up and zany personalities, however their enthusiasm and happiness, commitment to entertaining the children and ensuring their enjoyment during the family holidays is infectious. We watch every Skyline Gang show and we all love them, and with an improved stage (LED lighting around the curtains, large screen above the stage for additional films which enhance the shows) in the Skyline Pavilion, every show is full of more pizazz than ever before.