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Butlin’s: How I became a Redcoat and you can too

Rowena Kelly is a Butlin's Redcoat manager. Here she shares her career journey and job opportunities coming up in the company.

I’ve been working at Butlin’s for eight years and I can honestly say it has been one of the most incredible and rewarding things I have done.

I was 18 years old when I joined as a Redcoat in Skegness. My roles included hosting activities and interactive sessions, to being onstage with acts such as Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam and Scooby Doo, to name a few.

After a few years in Skegness, I was promoted to being the Redcoat Animation Team Leader. This meant moving down south to Bognor Regis. I am still based in Bognor and have since been promoted to Redcoat Manager. My journey so far with Butlin’s has been life-changing and fulfilling.

Choose a job you love

Auditioning for Butlin’s seems like a lifetime ago now as my journey has developed so much.

If someone had told me back then that I would be in the position I’m in today, I would have thought they were joking. Although I have been in the performance industry from a young age, I was incredibly shy and never even imagined that I could manage a team of 30. But being a Redcoat has given me confidence and skills I can use for the rest of my life. These skills will not only help me achieve my own goals but will also help my team achieve theirs.

There is a saying, ‘choose the job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ And being a Recoat couldn’t be closer to the truth. Every day is completely different. I get to meet so many people who have these amazing stories and you get lost in them.

A day in the life of a Redcoat

I’ll be hosting activity sessions, then going on to do a photoshoot with Peppa Pig. When our headline acts are on the resort, I might be hosting a venue for the likes of Diversity, Fleur East or Dick and Dom. I have been lucky enough to be onstage with Stephen Mulhern in his Centre Stage show, I’ve been pied in the face next to Sam and Mark, danced next to Mister Maker and laughed along with Justin Fletcher.

Lifelong friendships

One thing I will forever be in awe of is the friendships that I have built at Butlin’s. Next year I am going to my best friend’s wedding. We met seven years ago in Skegness when the three of us were Redcoats together. They are now part of the dance cast at Bognor Regis.

People often worry that working for big companies like Butlin’s means you may get lost as a person or just be another employee. In my time working for Butlins, I have never once felt like that. I am treated as a valued individual, and I’m given new opportunities that spark my interest and keep me developing everyday.

We have our annual Redcoat Auditions coming up this November. If you are looking to start a new journey, develop your skills, make some life-long friends, having an incredible time each and every day and getting paid for it, or if you just want to make memories that last a lifetime, you need to get yourself to the auditions and join our big-hearted team.

I will always look back on my time as a Redcoat as one of my greatest achievements.

Fancy being a Redcoat?

Open auditions are taking place across the country in the coming weeks for a variety of roles on offer in 2022. The Butlin’s entertainment team is expanding in a variety of positions ranging from the popular Skyline performance team and production vocalists and dancers to renowned Redcoat roles.

Mike Godolphin, entertainment director at Butlin’s said: “Entertainment is at the heart of what we do. Butlin’s has produced a host of incredible stars in the past and we’re delighted to be holding open auditions in Birmingham, Manchester, London, Skegness and Bognor for a variety of entertainment roles. We’re really hopeful we’ll find amazing talent who will take to the Butlin’s stage in 2022. If you’re passionate about a career in entertainment, then get down to an open audition or email over your showreel.”

Redcoat auditions

Open auditions take place from 9.30am so just turn up. The panel would like to see talent performed in a 60-second piece. Alternatively, bring plenty of energy and tell them about yourself.

Redcoat auditions will be held at:

  • Butlin’s Bognor Regis, PO21 1JJ – Thursday, November 11
  • Soho Theatre, London, W1D 3NE – Friday, November 12
  • Birmingham Conference & Events Centre, B5 4EW – Saturday, November 13
  • Crowne Plaza Manchester, M4 4AF – Monday, November 15
  • Butlin’s Skegness, PE25 1NJ – Tuesday, November 16

Skyline auditions

The Skyline performance team is casting triple threat performers to join the team. The Skyline Gang delivers exciting, engaging and memorable performances for guests with younger children. Performing n the Skyline stage, this role offers the chance to develop talent and gain experience in a professional environment.

Open auditions take place from 9.30am. All that’s needed is a current CV and performance of one of pre-selected audition tracks to sing which can be downloaded at www.butlinscareers.co.uk/entertainment/.

Skyline performance team auditions will be held at:

  • Birmingham Conferences & Events Centre, B5 4EW – Wednesday, November 3
  • Studio 25, Manchester, M4 1PE – Saturday, November 6
  • Dominion Theatre London, W1T 7AQ – Wednesday, November 10

Production vocalists’ auditions

Butlin’s is casting vocalists to perform in popular production shows in 2022. Vocalists must be versatile in their vocal style, with an excellent ear for harmonies and be able to move well.

Open auditions take place from 10am. Candidates will need to bring their CV and prepare two contrasting pop and/or rock songs with accompanying sheet music.

Production vocalist open call will be held at:

  • Dominion Theatre London, W1T 7AQ – Monday, November 8

More information can be found at www.butlinscareers.co.uk/entertainment/


Charlotte Harding
Charlotte Harding
Charlotte is a journalist and the co-founder of The Women's Work Collective.



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