"Let's do the whole combination facing away from the mirror... 5, 6, 7, 8."

It's an iconic line from one of the most iconic musicals, and these are big shoes for the cast of Big Little Theatre School's production of A Chorus Line to fill. But the young performers – all members of the school's Professional Development Programme – showed passion, grit and true talent as they brought the characters to life.

The intimacy of Bournemouth School for Girls' drama studio was the perfect setting – as audience members we felt all the blood, sweat and tears of the auditionees as they bared their souls in a desperate bid for to be picked for the chorus line.

With the sounds of New York traffic playing as we took our seats, and the cast drifting in one by one to warm up, we were instantly transported to a hot and sweaty dance studio from 1975.

The stripped back nature of this show – no fancy costumes (until the finale) and no elaborate scenery – mean the emphasis is purely on performance, giving the cast a chance to shine as they share their stories, secrets and fears one by one.

With every single one of these talented youngsters performing as if their lives depended on it, you could literally feel the passion oozing from each of them.

Jennifer Baron as Diana, Eloise Briscoe as Maggie and Maia Bayliss as Ruby showed off beautiful tones with their vocals. Megan Shaw as Sheila, Jacob Skipper as Gregory and Piers Middleton as Mark stood out with their sharp dance moves, and there was some impressive tap from Ollie Owen as Mike.

Abby Grindey, playing Cassie, proved herself the ultimate triple threat – a beautiful voice, with strong dancing and acting skills. But the stand-out moment for me was the emotionally charged speech by Sam Trotman as Paul. You could have heard a pin drop as he emotionally delivered Paul's heartbreaking story – utterly mesmerising.

Some of my favourite musical numbers too, At The Ballet, What I Did For Love and, of course, the showstopping One.

Spine-tinglingly good.