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The Octagon was built in 1974 and opened as the multi purpose Johnson Hall. Within the first few years it became apparent that the venue was both more suitable and successful at staging performances than any of the other activities such as ballroom dances or exhibitions for which it was intended.
From the outset the Johnson Hall became home to Yeovil Amateur Operatic Society who have regularly presented two musical productions each year.
Another early user that has maintained its relationship with The Octagon up to the present day is the Yeovil Temple Salvation Army whose annual Christmas Carol services become ever more popular.
When, in 1984, a competition was run by the local press to find a new name for the then rather less than popular hall, the "Octagon" emerged as winner.
Although the name "Octagon Theatre" began to be used regularly from 1985, it really came into its own in 1988 when replacing the auditorium seating became necessary and the decision was taken to remove the retractable tiered seating and replace it with a permanently raked auditorium.
So began The Octagon's career as a major regional theatre. Numbers of performances and audience sizes all began to grow rapidly as did the mailing list which, prior to 1988, stood at little under 3,000 names. The mixed programme currently presented is 80% professional and 20% local amateurs. So popular has The Octagon become with visiting companies that the programme is usually fully booked for the year ahead with many events scheduled a year beyond that.
In March 2017 The Octagon Theatre gained a sister venue in Westlands Entertainment Venue. The newly refurbished venue now provides a new entertainment and conferencing facility for South Somerset and beyond. Westlands Entertainment Venue has its own dedicated website.
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