IT'S been 18 years since Love Actually was first released in cinemas, and I think I've watched it on TV pretty much every Christmas since.

There's just something about the characters, the interwoven storylines and, of course, the beautiful soundtrack that, for me, never gets old.

I'm clearly not the only one who feels this way – the concert hall at Lighthouse, Poole, was packed to the rafters for Love Actually in Concert on Friday evening.

A screen was erected at the back, to show the film, while the stage itself was dominated by the presence of the London-based Senbla Concert Orchestra, to perform what I suppose would traditionally be referred to as the backing track, but in fact is really what makes the movie just so special.

Within the opening four notes, I had goosebumps. I had expected this to be good, but I was unprepared for just how powerful it would be hearing this soaring music live, as the emotions of all the different relationships played out on screen.

There were a handful of moments where, had I not known the film so well, I would have struggled to hear what the characters were saying above the rousing orchestra but, for me, it didn't detract from the experience at all.

In fact, this only served as a reminder that the musicians were right there in front of me, as they were so spot on with timing that it was easy to forget their presence at times, as I got caught up in the storylines unfolding in the film.

With moments of comedy thrown in at the appropriate times, the whole performance was simply spectacular, enhancing the magic of this classic Christmas movie tenfold, with the evening ending with a well-deserved standing ovation.