ACE lutenist Elizabeth Kenny gets together like-minded performers to create dramatic programmes of largely English music from the 17th century, under the umbrella of Theatre of the Ayre. Monday’s menu focused on the Interregnum, when music was driven underground.

She had just three accomplices here: Alison McGillivray on viols, tenor Nicholas Mulroy and bass baritone Matthew Brook. Kenny modestly – and sadly – restricted her own contribution to accompaniment with her long-necked theorbo, with the exception of a gently rambling lute fantasy by Robert Johnson.

Not that the evening lacked spice. Mulroy and Brook launched straight into Gather Ye Rosebuds by William Lawes, coupling it with perhaps the earliest-ever Brexit song, John Hilton’s England, Once Europe’s Envy. John Fletcher’s lyrics for the theatre proved fruitful ground: Mulroy was beautifully languid in Johnson’s Care-charming Sleep; Brook conjured a roisterous Falstaffian image in 'Tis Late and Cold, Stoke Up The Fire.

Italian songs and styles were much favoured at this time. Qual Musico Gentil by Nicolas Lanier revealed Mulroy’s skill in highly embellished lines, while Brook was quietly passionate in wooing the ubiquitous Amaryllis. Robert Hollingworth was successfully co-opted into a vocal trio singing Hilton catches, none more effective than David’s lament for Absalom.

Dialogues featuring appeals to Charon and a love-lorn Colin marked a vivid second half. McGillivray proved an adept soloist several times, especially on her lyra viol in a John Jenkins suite. The musicians hugely enjoyed their romp. So did we.