A PROMISING drama student at the Arts University Bournemouth, has died suddenly at the age of 23.

David Walsh, who was in his third year, was found unconscious at his student accommodation in Brassey Road on January 8 and died at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Around 45 shocked fellow students accompanied by staff, including course leader Doug Cockle, were travelling to Llanelli in south Wales to pay tribute to him and share memories at his funeral on Monday.

Sean Aita, senior lecturer in acting said: “He was a good character actor.

“He was certainly talented and he had the ability to do it. He had every chance of having a good career.”

The associate professor of theatre said he had directed him in the play Female Transport by Steve Gooch just before Christmas, when he played the Sergeant at Arms.

The death of the popular budding actor from Kidwelly in Carmarthenshire came as a great shock to the close company of performing arts students.

“We are so very upset about it,” said Sean.

“It’s very, very shocking, very surprising and nobody knows why.”

Dave was due to act in a production of Jane Austen’s Persuasion this weekend at Pavilion Dance and after considering cancelling it, fellow BA (Hons) acting students decided to go ahead.

“We have dedicated the performance to him,” said Sean. “One of his pals has taken over the role David was doing.”

He said the course students were very close. “They have worked together for three years and they become really, really close friends. It’s all about friendships and working together and trusting each other.”

Dave, who had a sister Hannah, 18, and brothers John, 25 and Joe, 15, was an active participant in lectures and had a love of Shakespeare and Dylan Thomas.

Money has been raised at the university towards a memorial to him in his home town.

“He was a very popular and talented young man whose sense of humour, energy and inquiring mind will be sorely missed by us all,” said Sean.