The Team

Everyone at Fun Palaces works part time, and flexibly.  

Fun Palaces is a campaign to make the cultural sector fairer, more inclusive, richer and more fun. We strive to celebrate everyone’s cultural life, everyone’s voice, everyone’s uniqueness. Therefore, we take care of each other at work, develop our roles around the people in them, and respect people’s lives beyond the workplace. We are working on formalising our policies. Social justice and equity is at the heard of everything we do, and we are always working hard to do better. We want Fun Palaces to be a workplace in which people, whatever their background, can do their best work, wholeheartedly, where people can be vulnerable and feel safe, where people can grow, and change the world. We know that this looks different for everyone, and each team member works in their own way. We make space for that.

Kirsty Lothian

Makala Cheung

Alex Marshall
Amie Taylor
Orla Nicholls

Fun Palaces Co-Director 

Kirsty Lothian joined Fun Palaces as a producer when it first began in 2013, and has been part of it’s growth and development ever since, taking on the role of Co-director in 2021 when founders Stella and Sarah-Jane moved one. Before that she worked for theatre company Improbable for the better part of a decade, organising their Open Space events supporting the theatre making community; for Axon Publishing, managing several magazines and catalogues; and as a digital library assistant for the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford. 

She has also directed operas for the Anghiari Festival, made and produced theatre with Jumbled, and served fried chicken in south London.

Fun Palaces Co-Director

Makala Cheung is a community worker and music artist (known as KALA CHNG) from Bristol. Makala’s been working in her community Knowle West for nearly twenty years around creative projects. Makala currently works part time at Filwood Community Centre supporting the centre’s redevelopment and leading Filwood Fantastic, a creative community project supported by Creative Civic Change.

She’s also one of the city’s first voted Happiness Champions, was named a culture ambassador by Bristol & West of England China Bureau and helped create new youtube channel BESEA TV to celebrate East and South East Asian talent in the UK. Makala has also run and supported various community festivals both in her neighbourhood and with the Chinese community and is a familiar face in the city’s music scene.

Communications and Marketing Manager

Alex Marshall is a London-born musician, parent and marketing specialist for the cultural sector. He joined Fun Palaces in 2021 after holding a marketing role at Lewisham Education Arts Network.

When Alex is not at Fun Palaces, he provides horsey rides for his two young kids, as well as producing and performing his own music. Both as a solo artist and with his band, Crouton Cannon.


Amie Taylor joined Fun Palaces in Jan 2021. When she’s not working at Fun Palaces, she’s a writer, theatre-maker, workshop facilitator and producer. She has written two books for children and teachers: The Big Book of LGBTQ+ Activities and The Monster Book of Feelings.

She has made three theatre shows for children and has toured theatres, festivals and schools with this work. She founded and ran the LGBTQ+ Arts Review for 6 years, in which time the team reviewed almost 300 theatre shows.


Orla Nicholls is a tech enthusiast with a passion for planning, who joined the Fun Palaces team as the Co-ordinator in January 2023. She started her Fun Palace journey in 2014, creating the Luton Fun Palace over the October weekend of celebration, so is able to bring first-hand experience of being a Maker to the role. When not working at Fun Palaces, she lends her expertise to small business owners, helping them host virtual events and optimise their digital technology. She has a keen interest in the power of intergenerational connections for communities as well as amplifying underrepresented voices.

Previous Team Members

It has taken a huge team of people over the years to build and support the Fun Palaces Campaign – here we celebrate them and their contributions.

Stella Duffy (co-founder and co-director), Sarah-Jane Rawlings (co-founder and co-director), Mandy Colleran, Hannah Lambert, Amy Merrigan, Neelam Chhara, Daniel King.