A 19TH CENTURY novel following the lives of four American sisters is brought to life in stunning fashion in the latest production of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.

The audience at the atmospheric Shelley Theatre was captivated as it followed the lives of the four March sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy - from childhood to adulthood.

The classic story was beautifully told by a company of just 16 performers from the renowned BIGLITTLE Theatre School.

BIGLITTLE never backs away from a challenge and this version of the well-known tale from across the Atlantic pushed the cast to its limits.

This musical has it all moving from laugh-out-loud humour to a tragic death scene within minutes.

And the acting, vocals and overall stage performances were of the incredibly high standard audiences have come to expect from the talented young cast.

The recently-renovated theatre has a relatively small stage but the story moved effortlessly from an attic to a ballroom to a beach with little fuss thanks to the strong and believable performances from those on the stage.

The performers are aged between 16 and 19 and are currently training under the watchful eyes of top industry professionals.

One such current professional is director Susan Raasay who has been working with the students for three months to create the Little Women production.

Susan is highly regarded as both an actress and director and brings her unique style to her work with the students alongside musical director and producer Colin Billing who also has a string of top professional theatre credits to his name.

All the performers are members of BIGLITTLE's Professional Development Programme which sees students head off to top acting and musical theatre schools year in, year out.

It runs at the Shelley Theatre in Bournemouth until Friday night and is certain to provide a great night out for theatre-lovers.