Our Cast

Pete Ashmore
John Weaver. Vulcan, Mr Wordly

Pete trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he developed a life-long passion for single malt whiskey and long walks in inclement weather.  

His theatre credits include: The Jungle Book, A Christmas Carol (Watermill Theatre); Venice Preserved, The Provoked Wife (RSC), The Lovely Bones, Treasure Island (Birmingham Rep); Arms and the Man (Watford Palace Theatre); Private Lives, A View from the Bridge, The Winter’s Tale, Under Milk Wood, David Copperfield (Mercury Theatre);  The Itinerant Music Hall (Lyric Hammersmith); Mansfield Park (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds & No. 1 tour); Grimm Tales (Library Theatre); The Jungle Book (Lyric Theatre, Belfast);. Macbeth (National Theatre); Vernon God Little, The Ruffian on the Stair, The Queen of Spades, The Lady Aoi, La Musica, Venice Preserved, Nothing (the Citizens Theatre & E59E59); Public Property (Hampstead Theatre); One Snowy Night (Chichester Minerva Theatre). Television includes: Silent Witness, Holby City and The Bill


Artur Zakirov
Louis Dupré / M. Pygmalion (Pygmalion)
Louis Dupré / Mars (Mars and Venus)


Upon his graduation from the Kazan Choreographic College in Russia in 1998, Artur Zakirov ecame a member of the ballet ensemble of the Kazan National Opera at the age of seventeen. Following a collaboration with the French choreographer Karine Saporta in 2001, he joined the National Choreographic Center of Caen in France where he worked in
contemporary dance.  Since he discovered Baroque dance for himself in 2011 through collaboration with Natalie van Parys, he has regularly collaborated with her company Les Cavatines and the company L’Eventail performing in many choreographic creations by Marie-Geneviève Massé.


Among the most notable performances in which he has participated have been the production entitled Amadis de Gaule and staged at the Royal Opera of Versailles, Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie at the Paris Opera and Pygmalion by the same composer at the Potsdam Musik Festspiele. He also performs in important halls such as the Rudolfinum in Prague with "A night for the King'', and travels with the production "Rameau, Maître à danser" such places as the Bolshoi in Moscow, Barbican Center in London, BAM in New-York and Seoul’sArts Center. Artur Zakirov also collaborates with other choreographers and renowned stage directors of
historical works.


Romain Arreghini 
Louis Dupré / M. Pygmalion (Pygmalion)
Louis Dupré / Mars (Mars and Venus)

Born in Toulouse, Romain Arreghini trained at the ESDC Rosella Hightower dance school and the Rudra Béjart Lausanne. His first professional work was with the French choreographer Redha in 2009, followed by the baroque dance company L’Eventail. He worked as part of the cabaret La Coupole des Anges dance crew and the contemporary dance company Christine Hassid Project.


He has also worked with Françoise Denieau and with Les Art Florissants on Rameau, maître à danser, as well as with the German contemporary dance company Tanzcompagnie Giessen. In France, he was in the baroque production of Les Amants Magnifiques. He is the founder of the contemporary dance company Dhyana Dance Lab.


Chiara Vinci

Hester Santlow / Galatea (Pygmalion)

Hester Santlow / Venus (Mars and Venus)

French-Italian performer Chiara Vinci was born in London. She trained at the Arts Educational and Ballet Rambert schools. She works professionally as a dancer, actor and opera singer. She also trained and works closely with her singing teacher Jenny Miller, director of Barefoot Opera. Her recent roles for that company include Serpina in La Serva Padrona and Gianetta in L’Elisir d’Amore.


Most recently, Chiara created the role of Sophie Kroll in Maxwell Davies’s opera Kommilitonen with Welsh National Youth Opera. Future work includes the role of Carolina in Il Matrimonio Segreto with Pop-up Opera and the lead role of Susan in the new musical Paris Snow written by Patrick Kealey.


Matt Devitt
John Weaver / Mr Worldly (Pygmalion)
John Weaver / Vulcan (Mars and Venus)

Matt Devitt began his professional career as a performer and Director in 1982 at The Bubble Theatre Company. He has worked extensively in theatre, television, radio and film with his performance as Cookie in the original cast of the cult musical Return To The Forbidden Planet receiving an Olivier nomination for Most Outstanding Performance By An Actor In A Musical. He also starred in, directed and co-produced another West End transfer with the Bob Carlton musical From A Jack To A King. Despite a long a varied television career his most notorious TV role was as DOG in one early episode of Red Dwarf. He was a mainstay of The BBC Children’s Department for much of the late 80s and early 90s including the ultimate accolade, an appearance on Jackanory!


 Matt has an independent video production company, Devision Films, specialising in developing dramas for use in the teaching of English as a foreign language and has co-authored publications on the use of music and drama within the English Language classroom. He is a member of The Helbling Academy.


Jim Fish -  John Weaver / Vulcan (Mars and Venus)

Jim’s acting credits include, The Winters Tale, King Lear and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (RSC), The Tempest and Adventures in Wonderland (Teatro Vivo), Purposeless Movements (Birds of Paradise), Two, Gold Dust and Four Play (Deafinitely Theatre) Day By Night (The Albany), Seven Jewish Children (Hackney Empire), The Tempest (Nottingham Playhouse), Master Juba (Fittings Multimedia), The Perfect Spot (Cartoon Theatre), Fire in the Fields (Theatre and Beyond), For Once I Was (The Silent Collective), Body Checks (Yvonne Arnaud), Transmissions (Birmingham Rep), La Cage Aux Folles (Tour).


He is also a principal actor for the Krazy Kat Theatre Company. For TV, ‘Doctors’ and ‘Davina McCall A Comedy Roast’. Film credits include ‘The Brits are Coming’, 'High Rise’ and ‘The End'.


Evelyn Nallen / Recorder

Music director and producer Evelyn Nallen, creator of this project, made her BBC debut as a recorder player at the age of nine and since then has appeared on BBC TV and BBC Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4. Together with harpsichordist David Gordon, she formed the innovative early music/jazz group Respectable Groove. Their take on Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas integrates improvisation with written compositions. Evelyn devised a programme with Respectable Groove and the French baroque dancer Gilles Poirier called Dido’s Got the Blues.


In 2012, Evelyn worked with the baroque dancer and dance historian Moira Goff to create the score for The Loves of Mars and Venus which underpins the present entertainment. She teaches at the Royal Academy of Music, Junior Department.


David Gordon / Harpsichord

Harpsichordist, jazz pianist and composer David Gordon trained as a mathematician at Bristol University before turning to music full-time, and he has since toured all over the world with: the gypsy-tango band Zum, the baroque orchestra The English Concert, the piano-led jazz group David Gordon Trio and the early music/jazz group Respectable Groove, and also violinists Nigel Kennedy, Christian Tetzlaff and Andrew Manze and singer Jacqui Dankworth. A self-taught jazz player, he appears on countless CDs as composer, leader and sideman; many of his works have been broadcast worldwide, and he has compositions regularly commissioned by festivals, publishers and fellow musicians.

Recent activities include the writing of a concerto for recorder and strings, entitled 'Romanesque', premiered at the Ryedale Festival, the release of the David Gordon Trio's latest CD, Alexander Scriabin's Ragtime Band, solo appearances in Germany with Concerto Köln (harpsichord) and in Finland with Sinfonia Lahti and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra (piano and melodica). His community opera Semmerwater, commissioned by Swaledale Festival, won a coveted Ability Media International Award. Plans include a jazz setting of some the psalms for Jacqui Dankworth, to take place in abbeys and cathedrals around the country, recording and touring - possibly in Japan - a new CD with David Gordon Trio, entitled Pachyderm, writing and arranging for a project with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, and writing the soundtrack for an independent British film


Lesley-Anne Sammons / Harpsichord

Lesley-Anne Sammons, harpsichord, is a freelance Musical director, Repetiteur and Coach and has worked for: Glyndebourne Festival & Touring Opera, English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Opera North, Royal Opera House, Grange Park Opera, Opera Holland Park, Longborough Festival Opera, ROH2, European Opera Centre and New Sussex Opera.

She has been a regular vocal coach at The Royal College of Music, The Royal Academy of Music, The National Opera Studio, Dartington International Summer School , The Complete Singer Summer School,  Ardingly  International  Music Summer school.

Lesley Anne has conducted for Opera Box (La Traviata, Madama Butterfly, The Pearl fishers, Dido and Aeneas), Opera Holland Park with the Royal Philhamonic Orchestra (Madama Butterfly, I Barbiere di Siviglia) and Longborough Festival Opera (Die Zauberflote).

She is also an Associate Lecturer at Chichester University, teaching, coaching and nurturing young people in Classical Singing, Piano Accompaniment and Musical Theatre.


Lucy Mulgan / Double bass

Lucy is a composer, songwriter, arranger, educator and bass player from Aotearoa New Zealand, living in the UK. She intertwines classical contemporary music with a jazz sensibility and a sense of humour. She loves working with words - writing for and working with children, vulnerable adults and other community groups.

Her music has been performed by BBC Philharmonic, NZSO, NZ Opera,  Northern Sinfonia, Weaver Ensemble and broadcast on BBC Radios 3&4 (UK) , BBC World (TV) and Radio NZ. She is a regular arranger for the London Gay Men’s Chorus and Military Wives Choirs. Lucy is currently working on a community commission for the Wakatipu Music Festival in NZ which will be premiered in April 2022.

She is a founding member of jazz punk group DOLLYman and has performed as a bassist with Barefoot Opera, Longborough Festival Opera and Blackheath Halls Opera.

Lucy has a PhD in Composition from University of York (UK) and a Diploma in Jazz Performance from Massey University (NZ). 


Derek Scurll / Percussion

Derek Scurll plays drum kit and orchestral percussion, and has a busy gigging life as well as teaching. He moved to Cambridge in 1995 to study music at Selwyn College Cambridge, and has stayed in the Cambridge area ever since. He has been playing with Prime Brass regularly since 2007 and has recorded with St John’s College Choir and with the composer and conductor Bob Chilcott


Jamie Akers / Baroque guitar

Jamie Akers was born in Scotland and studied lute and early guitars at the Royal College of Music, London. Following a Junior Fellowship at Trinity College of Music, London, he began a varied career as a soloist, accompanist, orchestral and session musician and teacher. He has performed or recorded with many leading UK based ensembles and soloists, including I Fagiolini, the Scottish, English and Irish Chamber Orchestras, the Dunedin Consort, the Ulster orchestra, the Scottish Ensemble, Alison Balsam and Damon Albarn.


Jamie has worked with the opera companies English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North and Innsbruck Festival Opera. He has performed often in the theatre, including at Shakespeare’s Globe. Jamie has given recitals throughout Europe of lute and early guitar music. He is a lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.


Gareth Deats / Cello

Gareth Deats gained a first-class honours degree in music from Southampton University, where he was also awarded the Peter Evans prize for outstanding performance. He completed a post-graduate course at the Guildhall School of Music. He has recorded for television, radio and on compact disc and has performed extensively throughout Europe.


He has performed as principal cello for La Serenissima, New London Consort, Classical Opera Company, the Avison Ensemble, the Galeazzi Ensemble, Charivari Agreable, the Feinstein Ensemble and the Cambridge Baroque Camerata and has recorded concertos and chamber music with several of them.