Since reopening The Octagon Theatre and Westlands Entertainment Venue to the public again following our forced closure during the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve had a number of new full-time faces join our team. We’d like to introduce them and give them the chance to say hello!
In August, Jo Way joined our team as Finance Officer from South Somerset District Council’s finance team. Jo has a real passion for theatre and has been regularly attending shows for many years at both our venues. After being appointed, Jo said, “Joining the Arts & Entertainment team gives me the opportunity to fully understand the financial procedures at The Octagon & Westlands and I’m excited to get stuck in as be part of the team.”
Martin Hacker joined in September as our new Marketing Manager – again coming from South Somerset District Council, but this time the Communications Team. Martin’s passion for promoting and clear messaging will bring added value to our Marketing Team as we move forward, particularly with our redevelopment of The Octagon Theatre. After joining, Martin said, “I’m really glad to be part of the management team that takes both The Octagon & Westlands forward in to the future. Having lived in Yeovil all my life and been responsible for the communications of the Yeovil Refresh programme, I’m thrilled to be working in the Arts & Entertainment service because I recognise the importance of the arts to everyone locally and what the redevelopment of the theatre will bring to the area. This role brings new challenges to me and I’m eager to bring my fresh ideas to the team.”
Our Catering team expanded in October with Kiran Seelaboyina joining us as the new Catering Manager. Kiran has years of experience not only as a chef, but also running catering for some well-known restaurants in the UK. We are excited to see our menus be refined and influenced by Kiran’s knowledge of food, but also our offering be expanded across both the venues. Since joining the team, Kiran has managed to successfully implement a new lunch menu for Westlands. Kiran said, “This is a great challenge for me and I am thrilled to be able to use my knowledge to extend the menus for both venues whilst also creating a new lunch menu for Westlands. Come and join us for a bite to eat over lunch with our new menu now fully up and running.”
Our Front of House team also got a new (but familiar…) face, with Richard Graham being appointed as a full time Duty Manager. Richard has been with us for many months now as a casual Duty Manager but successfully was appointed full time in January. Richards beaming smile welcomes many patrons to our shows (normally under a face covering!) and after being given the role full time, Richard said, “I’ve really enjoyed being a casual member of the Duty Manager team, but I’m very pleased to become a full time member of the Front of House team – I hope to see many of you at forthcoming shows. Any problems during your visit, please come and see me.”
We have also welcomed many new casual members of staff to our teams over the past few months, particularly our Front of House / Catering teams and also our Box Office team. Welcome to the team everyone. It really has been ‘all hands on deck’ during our busy pantomime season, but everyone has done fantastically well and we look forward to welcoming you to the venues over the coming months.
Joining us very soon this month in February will be Felicity Holmes who is set to become our new Marketing Officer. We are looking forward to Felicity joining after losing our previous Marketing Officer in December as we head into a busy period over the coming months at both venues. Marketing is a very important role as ultimately, it’s about getting information out about our venues and what is happening so you can enjoy our shows, classes and events.
In other staffing news, AJ & Romily, our apprentice chefs, have completed their apprenticeships and both qualified with NVQ Level 2 in Catering & Hospitality. Both now become casual members of our team. Congratulations to you both!