Entertainment is Butlins' middle name. There is never a dull moment in the Skyline Pavilion, with one show after another, from Billy and Bonnie Bear's morning workout, to Thomas the Tank Engine and our personal favourite - Titan the Robot.
Entering on his very own docking station (driven by 'Dave') to a Matrix style tune, he demands your attention from the very moment you set eyes on him. Towering over everyone, he starts by giving out some safety information. His show is performed on the floor rather than the stage (as it relies heavily on close interaction with the audience) and everyone has to stand during the performance. Presumably as anyone sitting on the floor may not be seen and could get trampled on! The Redcoats did a very good job of informing everyone of this before Titan appeared.
It's worth noting for this show that the crowds tend to be packed in closely, making it difficult to leave - and even more difficult to get back to your spot - so make sure the little ones go to the toilet just before it starts. Food and drinks won't be needed as Titan will take your full attention! Titan is very quick to react to the people in front of him. Seeing a baby in the audience, he strolled over and made babbling sounds towards him, then spotting someone with a beard he attempted to 'laser' it with water. Water becomes a common theme with Titan, so watch out, if you're near the front you're likely to get wet! While Titan can be quite intimidating when standing right in front of you (I'm not joking, there were some adults hiding behind their children!), most were mesmerised and in awe of him, trying to figure out how much of the act is human and how much is robotic. We've seen Titan a couple of times before and much of the material was similar to last time, but none the less this show is an absolute must for children and adults alike and we'd love to see him again in the future.
Of the shows we saw in Centre Stage, our favourite had to be Dick V Dom. We saw the hotel exclusive afternoon show rather than the evening show, so didn't think it would be half as busy as it was. On the first night we'd turned up to watch Snow White around 20 minutes before it started but there was absolutely no chance of us finding a seat! The doors opened for Dick V Dom at 2:15 for a 3pm start. We thought we'd wonder around the Skyline Pavilion from around 1:30 to see when people started to queue, but when we arrived at the Pavilion we were greeted by the queue which snaked around the edge and past the shops on the other side.
The time spent in the queue did seem to go pretty quickly. We did, however, think it might be a good idea to have fold out seats on the wall for people who are unable to stand for that long. The Princess and The Pickle sat on the floor for half an hour and played Angry Birds on Daddy's phone. It wasn't long before a Redcoat spotted them and came over to 'help' with their game, and then a second Redcoat came over to entertain them too!
We also played Dick and Dom word association... which mainly consisted of the kids shouting out "Bogies!" and other Dick and Dom related words, to pass the time!
The B-Line queue were let in just after 2pm, as they had bought special passes to fast track entry into the shows. At £20 per person for the half term week, this would have been way too much for us for the amount we'd actually use them. If The Pickle was a little bit older we'd probably have seen more of the evening shows but he tends to get overtired and grumpy if he's up too late! I can definitely see the appeal of the passes though, as you don't have to queue for too long and can get the best seats in the house. Having said that, we did end up with fairly good seats and managed to grab a table right at the front, to the side of the stage. The view from the side is restricted as you can't see the back of the stage, but luckily Dick and Dom were mainly at the front of the stage so that everyone could see. The show itself was hilarious and I hadn't thought I'd enjoy it so much, but it was aimed at the grown ups just as much as the kids and involved lots of participation from the mums and dads... Including me. I was asked to go up on stage at one point and had to wear boxing gloves and try to punch my way out of a giant paper bag. I did fail (in my defense it was a really strong bag....!) but had so much fun. The kids (and husband) of course found this highly amusing and they just couldn't resist getting lots of photos to ensure I never forget it! I did get off pretty lightly though, compared to the other 'volunteers', including the kids involved in a big custard pie fight at the end of the show!
With plenty of jokes, sing alongs and audience interaction throughout, Dick and Dom put on a thoroughly entertaining show. We'll be singing "My Bogies Lie Over the Ocean" for quite some time...
Another Centre Stage show we saw was Scooby Doo, which The Pickle absolutely loved. Since returning home he's gone Scooby crazy and wants to watch his Scooby Doo DVD every day or dance around to the theme tune on repeat play! Again, we had a front/side view, due to all the centre tables being taken. Unfortunately this time a lot of the action took place towards the back of the stage and we missed a lot of what was going on. There are screens at either side of the stage to show the full view but unfortunately they weren't turned on for this, it was a real shame. With a classic Scooby Doo mystery to solve, Scooby and the gang went in search of 'the creeper' and entertained us with catchy songs, choreography and more audience participation, such as shouting "Naughty naughty Scooby Doo!". The actors looked and sounded like the original characters, particularly Shaggy - I don't know how he keeps up that voice for the entire performance! This did help in making the younger children believe they were seeing the 'real' Scooby Doo.
Aside from the screens not showing the action on stage, we really enjoyed the show.
Even if you don't go and see any of the shows, you can't escape the Butlins entertainment - it is literally everywhere! From the Redcoats entertaining people in the queues, to businessmen in bermuda shorts wondering around the resort, chefs chasing giant chickens, the Skyline Gang hanging around the fairground to chat to everyone and of course the characters, such as Billy Bear, there is always someone around to make you smile.
Thanks for entertaining us, Butlins!
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We were invited to stay on a 4 night break at Butlins as part of my role as a Butlins Ambassador. All opinions are my own.