A YOUNG actor, writer and director has been entertaining crowds in stage shows across Greater Manchester - while coming "full circle" and returning to his Leigh acting school to teach young performers.

Joe Walsh, from Bedford, has been acting since he was seven, and after impressing in youth shows across the borough, decided to turn his passion into a profession around five years ago.

Joe, 23, has been involved in a number of successful shows across the region over the past few years, and is currently on a run of 47 sold-out, "hectic" pantomime shows throughout December at the Salford Arts Theatre - playing 'Danny the Handyman' in the all singing and dancing portrayal of Sleeping Beauty.

Leigh Journal: Joe with the cast of 'Sleeping Beauty' at the Salford Arts TheatreJoe with the cast of 'Sleeping Beauty' at the Salford Arts Theatre

In 2019, the young actor also notched his first UK touring show in 2019 as he was cast in the lead role in 'New Dawn Fades'; performing as Ian Curtis to portray the Joy Division front man's life, love and music through to his untimely death.

In addition to his acting accolades, the former St Mary's High student has also been slowly working on writing and directing his own shows; putting on his first show in Atherton a couple of years ago.

Leigh Journal: With the band for 'New Dawn Fades' (Pic: Shane Rowan)With the band for 'New Dawn Fades' (Pic: Shane Rowan)

With his own shows going down well, this gave Joe the confidence to do even more, and he has recently written and directed his "biggest show" to date at Salford Arts Theatre in October.

'Hold Me Close', performed by Deborah Sekibo from Coronation Street and Jake Talbot from Drowning is a kitchen sink drama which focuses on the melodramas of the two working-class northern protagonists.

Joe said: "I've been acting professionally for a little while now, and I started writing around two or three years ago. It's all going really well so far."

"My passions switch from time to time now. With writing you put so much effort into it for months and months, it becomes your baby. But being back on stage recently has been amazing.

"As I write a lot of comedy, it's always nerve wracking to see if the jokes are good or as funny as toothache. If audiences start laughing, then I can relax!".

Leigh Journal: Joe and Deborah Sekibo rehearsing for 'Hold Me Close' (Pic: Shane Rowan)Joe and Deborah Sekibo rehearsing for 'Hold Me Close' (Pic: Shane Rowan)

After learning his trade at A Will and the Way acting school in Victoria Mill on Atherton Road, the actor explained he has come "full circle" as he now coaches young, budding actors and performers from the area.

When his hectic Sleeping Beauty run ends at the end of the month, Joe will not be resting long as he is organising a theatre night in Manchester which will show six different plays from six different writers in February.

Leigh Journal: Joe Walsh (Pic: Shane Rowan)Joe Walsh (Pic: Shane Rowan)