The theatre has an auditorium with 622 seats, a Studio space for meetings or classes, and a café/bar area housing our Prelude Bistro. Over the course of a year we bring around 250 productions to Yeovil and welcome over 200,000 visitors to the building for shows, meetings, participatory classes, art exhibitions and much more.
We offer a diverse programme which aims to present something for everyone whether that’s comedy, live music, dance, opera, or children’s productions. Recent years have welcomed visits from renowned artists such as: Nicola Benedetti, Alan Carr, Mister Maker, Lee Evans, Nigel Kennedy, Mary Berry, Gok Wan, the Russian State Ballet and Opera House, Richard Alston Dance Company, Ben Portsmouth, and The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain to name a few.
We have a fantastic team of volunteers who steward in the venue, The Foyer Club. This 80-strong group will be the people who take your tickets, sell you your ice creams and show you to your seats. They are also fantastic supporters of the theatre by providing financial grants through their fundraising endeavours. The Foyer Club became a registered charity in 2014.
Our most recent Christmas pantomime was seen by over 27,000 people. Since Evolution Pantomimes have produced productions, from 2012, each successive pantomime has been a record-breaking year. This year, ‘Peter Pan’ is already our fastest-selling production to date and we are delighted to offer three different access performances to ensure our production is open to everyone: British Sign Language interpreted performance, Stage Text captioned performance and our first ever Relaxed Performance. Our charity bucket collections during the festive season have also raised over £70,000 for good causes over the years.
We are proud to be at the heart of the community in South Somerset with many local groups and societies staging events or holding meetings with us throughout the year. Where possible we strive to support the local economy by sourcing the best quality products that showcase Somerset producers.
The Octagon Theatre regularly works in partnership with other organisations to contribute to the local community through various projects. Most recently, we worked with the respected conductor Charles Hazelwood and the London-based Philharmonia Orchestra to bring classical orchestral music to local schools. We also present an annual not-for-profit festival, The Yeovil Literary Festival, in partnership with the Yeovil Community Arts Association, Waterstones and Somerset Libraries. 2016 marked the festival’s fourth year and saw over 4,700 tickets sold for events across a three day weekend in October.
The Octagon Theatre has now been awarded with a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for 2015 and 2016. This accolade is awarded to organisations that consistently achieve outstanding reviews on Trip Advisor and those that demonstrate hospitality excellence and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the world’s largest travel site.
From March 2017 The Octagon Theatre team will also be running the entertainment side of Yeovil’s newest Sports and Entertainment facility, Westlands Yeovil as a sister venue to The Octagon Theatre.