The Team

Kirsty Lothian

Makala Cheung

Alex Marshall
Amie Taylor

Fun Palaces Co-Director 

Kirsty Lothian 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. Alex previously conducted marketing for the Lewisham Live Festival at Lewisham Education Arts Network (LEAN). At LEAN, he established the Lewisham Creative Youth Council, championing youth voice in local community organisations. As a music and workshop leader, Alex has worked with Spitalfields MusicLondon Bubble Theatre Company and Felix’s School of Rock, among others.

He facilitates meaningful opportunities to create music and live performances with participants of all backgrounds and abilities. Alex is the founder, songwriter and guitarist of funk band Crouton Cannon.


Amie Taylor is 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, all featuring LGBTQ+ characters 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.

Previous Team Members

Stella Duffy
a photo of Sarah-Jane Rawlings
Sarah-Jane Rawlings

Fun Palaces Founder and Co Director

Stella Duffy Has worked in theatre for 35 years as an actor, director, playwright, improviser, deviser and workshop leader. She is an award-winning writer with over seventy short stories, fourteen plays (written and devised) and sixteen novels, published in fifteen languages.

Stella regularly writes and campaigns about the arts, women’s and LGBT issues, and increasingly writes and speaks about Fun Palaces and the campaign for community led culture.

She is an associate artist with Improbable. In 2016 she was awarded the OBE for Services to the Arts.

In 2013 she founded Fun Palaces with Sarah-Jane Rawlings, and was co-director for 8 years, until Spring 2021.

Fun Palaces Founder and Co Director

Sarah-Jane Rawlings’ work includes Meet Me at the Albany, a pioneering Creative Ageing initiative at the Albany, Deptford, in partnership with Entelechy Arts and Lewisham Council and a research project for the Lyric Hammersmith on data capture.

She produced Storm at the Lyric Hammersmith, (with Graeae and Push), a festival of training and participation for disabled, Deaf, and BME artists; designed and managed a series of networking events for Deaf and disabled artists, and spent time with Lisa Hammond and Rachel Spence developing their first show, No Idea. Sarah-Jane was General Manager at Improbable from 2007 – 2013.

She also worked as a Theatre Officer at ACE London, with a responsibility for contemporary performance, at the Lyric Hammersmith and Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, managing their Education Programmes.

In 2013 she founded Fun Palaces with Stella Duffy.