FEW industries have been hit as hard by the pandemic as this one.

The performing arts saw an abrupt pause in March, with current restrictions still having a huge impact on the industry.

Alex Morrison, who says he auditions for parts ranging from aged 60 to 75, has not been in front of a camera since the start of the pandemic.

Alex has done everything from starring in a film about the life of legendary poet William Wordsworth, to upcoming British drama film Supernova starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci.

He lives in Langholm and is an actor for Lakeside Casting Agency based in Carlisle.

Despite the industry adapting to the new regulations, such as social distancing on set, Alex believes acting is not the same in the current climate.

“It can work but it’s not the same,” he said. “Actors need to be in a group.

“You are bouncing off each other and you have to get close to someone.

“It’s been very difficult for everyone in the industry.

“It’s been very tricky as a lot of people are self-employed.”

He also believes that reduced audiences in theatres would be detrimental, with actors not able to enjoy the same connection with the audience.

Phil McKay, who set up and runs Lakeside Casting Agency, has been in charge of casting for programmes such as The A Word and the Swallows and Amazons.

“The last big workshop we did at the Sands Centre out of this world on February 23 and we were planning the next one for the end of March,” he said.

“All of a sudden the workshops went right over the cliff edge,” he explained to The Cumberland News.

“We thought, what the hell is going on here.

“Not just that went over the cliff edge, but there was no castings, no auditions taking part at all, it was like the world crumbled in on the acting industry, filming industry and the whole performing arts industry.

“The whole thing collapsed.

“Without the arts, all these youngsters going to university to become singers, actors and dancers and they come to our workshops to become good actors and for me to see them to put them out to casting I will know exactly their capabilities.

“I couldn’t do that for six months.”

Phil says the decision to put the country into lockdown knocked him for six.

“I was absolutely thrown back, I’ve never ever felt anything like it in my life,” he said.

“It really took everything out of me, took my breath away completely.

“You’ve got actors that you’ve got to get out there and audition, all the workshops all the actors from 10-year-old right up to 65-year-old, and I’m thinking: ‘What am I gonna do?’

“This is my business and its fallen right off the cliff edge.

“It was just starting to pick up again too.

“Then it was announced you can’t have more than 15 in a group and they’ve got to be under a certain age.”

Phil said he had been planning a performance for Edinburgh Fringe, with the pandemic putting a standstill to those ideas.

He had also seen a return of acting workshops on Sunday, with the latest raft of coronavirus measures putting the future of those in jeopardy.