Ali is the general organiser of all things Funny Wonders. She was one of the first ever youth members way back when it was a Saturday morning make-things-round-the-table-at-Chris-and-Doug’s-house set-up. Since then she has delved in and out around school, university, working and travelling seeing Funny Wonders grow. Her involvement stepped up a notch for ‘The Silk Road’ production in 2008 and since, she has managed projects, became a Director of the company in 2009 and Artistic Director in 2017. Ali studied earth science at university and has a doctorate from the University of Manchester. She now has a number of part-time jobs in Buxton including tour guide, netball coach and administrator.
Artistic Director & Project Manager
Sandra is an accountant. As Financial Director, her role is to establish and supervise all matters relating to finance. This includes monitoring expenditure and supporting project leaders to manage their budgets. She has been involved with Funny Wonders since the days of the voluntary group in 2000. She has watched it grow from being a small entity to where it is today. She is also a support worker behind-the-scenes and is looking forward to all the great potential we have bringing life to many. She became Chair of the Board in 2017.
Financial Director & Chair of the Board
Anna is a mum to three girls, a school nurse and a paediatric nurse. Her involvement with Funny Wonders began with the inception of the voluntary organisation in 2000, which was set up in order to be able to raise funding for a gigantic elephant project called M.A.S.S.I.V.E.. Anna has previously run a Puppet Club at Buxton Infants School and been part of the Changing Faces team. She is now devising new projects for schools and continues to be involved projects in whatever capacity her other commitments allow.
Laurie has mostly listened to his mum talk about Funny Wonders and has spent a lot of his previous life being dragged around various Funny Wonders events(!) and every now and again gets to be a musician/part time technician. He has graduated from Salford University after studying music and is now a full time musician running workshops, playing in bands, giving private lessons and working with Funny Wonders – his own choice! Laurie is our Musical Director and with Liam Morson, has devised the Recycled Instrument Workshop building instruments from junk and rubbish. His hopes for the future are to continue playing as much music as possible and to be able to feed himself whilst doing it. He is now a drumming teacher based in Manchester.
Marcus is an award-winning artist, actor, puppeteer and writer. His TV puppeteering career began with Jim Henson's 'Puppeteering for Television Workshop' in the mid 80's. In 1989, he set up his own company, ‘Hands Up Puppets and since has been involved with over 70 children¹s TV Series. He has also performed live with Jim Henson’s Company in the improv puppet show ‘Puppet Up!’ and at the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His Educational work encompasses lecturing to universities about TV puppetry and teaching in mainstream and SEN schools and he has also taught and made Films with children in secure accommodation. Marcus is a Director of Funny Wonders offering a wealth of experience and advice.
The Board of Directors
Jason is an electrical and sound engineer. He first got involved with Funny Wonders by doing our PAT testing for a packet of biscuits. Since he has been involved in projects both technically providing electronic support and as a musician during our community and school workshops.
Technical Support, Musician
Kate is a performance and acting coach. She joined us in early 2020 to support our Changing Faces project.
Workshop Support Worker
Dan is a careworker and part of the Agnew-Watson clan. He helps support projects when and where he can and is a regular at Carnival.
Workshop Support Worker
Sarah is an actress and works in schools as a drama practitioner. She first got involved with Funny Wonders for the 2016 Buxton Carnival in our rollercoaster ride(!) and is now part of our team working in schools and other community projects.
Liam is a full-time musician and school-friend of Laurie who has been involved with Funny Wonders since 2007 playing in the house band “Shadowhouse” accompanying our summer youth productions. Liam graduated from the University of Birmingham and is involved with developing our musical workshops and accompanying our shadow puppet theatre productions in schools.
Viv first got involved with Funny Wonders for the 2016 Buxton Carnival in our rollercoaster ride!
Workshop Support Volunteer
Beth acts as our Safeguarding Advisor should any issues arise. Professionally, she was a social worker and worked on the Derbyshire Child Safeguarding Board.
Past Team Members
Joel joined us to support Changing Faces workshops in 2019.