THEATRE has been Joe Meighan’s world since he was four and attended the Helen Donoghue School of Speech and Drama.

He always wanted to be a director and producer.

He has achieved both those aims as artistic director at Pendleton School of Theatre and founder of the 10-year-old Meighan Youth Theatre, known as MYT Productions.

In 2008, he and his friend, Joe Hodgins, both aged 14, applied to Trafford Council’s Pot of Gold scheme to help fund a production.

They received £3,000 and, in 2009 put on Disney’s Aladdin at Wellacre Academy of Technology.

Joe said: “Tickets weren’t going well, but when my dad was selling them at the door someone said he needed help.

“There were queues waiting to come in.”

In 201l, the year Joe Hodgins left, they were able to hire the Garrick for a sell-out production of Grease.

Now their membership extends to the whole of the North West and their age range has changed from 13 to 20 to 16 to 25.

Since 2015, Joe, 24, has directed productions for the Garrick ­— Phantom of the Opera, Romeo and Juliet, the Secret Garden, Annie, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Alan Bennett’s People.

This will help him with MYT’s 10th anniversary play, The Crucible.

“I have a huge piece of my heart for Arthur Miller’s masterpiece,” he said.

“We have a brilliant cast, two of whom have been with us for eight or nine years.

“I have set it in the present. People still attempt to cast blame on others.”

The lead, John Proctor, will be played by Lara Hancox. She is looked down upon because she is a woman.

* The Crucible is at Altrincham Garrick on March 29 and 30.

• For tickets, priced £13, book online at or telephone 0161 928 1677.

• For information about Meighan Youth Theatre, see