As a teenage barman at Lighthouse, Josh Tucker dreamed of returning one day to take to the stage at his local arts centre. 

And this month he takes a giant step towards achieving that goal when he comes back to Lighthouse with his own theatre company Paper Mug to work on a new piece he hopes to premiere in Poole before taking out on tour. 

Paper Mug – Josh and fellow East 15 Acting School graduate Lucy Yates – are at Lighthouse from 23 to 27 August to work on their script The Misadventures of Michael Recycle as part of the SANCTUARY artist development residency set up with support from the Garfield Weston Foundation. 

And he can’t wait…  

“SANCTUARY is such an amazing opportunity to be in an artistic environment and work on new work without any boundaries. I’ve known Lighthouse all my life – I grew up in Poole, was at the Jellicoe Theatre and went to Baden Powell School. We did some school things at Lighthouse, and I was there with Poole & Parkstone Productions, and of course I worked behind the bar there. 

“I love being in an artistic environment so to be coming back to Lighthouse to work on a piece is a thrill. To be honest, I hope it’s the start of a fruitful relationship – it’s a great place that does some really interesting things. Plus, it’s a ten minute walk from my parents’ house!” 

The Misadventures of Michael Recycle is a musical based on Lucy’s developing script that addresses the climate crisis in rhyming couplets aimed at younger audiences. 

“I’m interested in climate change and climate justice,” explains Josh, “and the script we have concentrates mainly on issues around plastic waste but given what’s been happening here in London and other places in recent weeks that could evolve and I’ve a feeling we might look more specifically at issues around flooding. 

“We pitched it as a children’s show, although we’re very aware that when we get in the room it might change and shift. I like the idea of a children’s show that we could take to children’s theatre or even into schools as they are the people who will have the impact in the future that will hopefully make a difference.” 

Since graduating from East 15, Josh has worked consistently, touring in the one-man musical comedy Drip by Tom Wells and Matthew Robins, taking a show called A Partnership to the Edinburgh Fringe before a London transfer and tour, touring in Box Clever’s stripped back production of Macbeth and with Tramshed’s Hare and Tortoise. 

“I’m a person who needs variety,” he says. “I’m an actor and a musician and I love performing, but I also like to be involved as a director and producer. Paper Mug means I’ll be in a creative room with another professional and making things happen. I’m excited to see where this goes as there have been climate change shows before that end up preaching to the choir, taking a message to those who already get it, but with children it’s a whole new experience, especially those who might not go to the theatre.  

“They can see theatre as a vehicle for ideas and we can have the positive impact that I’m seeking as an environmentalist and a bit of an activist.” 


Published 12 August 2021