YOUNG stage performers have been able to continue reading scripts together thanks to modern technology.

Members of the Tweed Theatre group, based in Peebles, stopped face-to-face meetings due to coronavirus restrictions.

But around 15 young people have been using Zoom to carry on enjoying scripts collectively.

Tweed Theatre treasurer Katherine Mathison said: "Everyone seems to enjoy it."

She added: "I wasn't sure it would work at first – I thought some may think it was naff – but we have the same group joining every week."

For a couple of hours every Tuesday, the group either reads through a whole script or part of one, depending on the length and whether they choose to perform musical numbers.

The first reading, on April 14, was of their Christmas play Scrooge of Peebles.

Since then, chosen works have included Hairspray, Grease, and Oliver!

Ms Mathison, who has been with the group for 16 years, said: "There are a lot of companies which have opened some scripts for perusal for free, so there's a lot of stuff to use at the moment."

"Our young people range from eight years old to 19, and they have a lot of ideas.

"They requested Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Peter Pan, and they love Mamma Mia! – but that's not currently available for free, so I've written to the company to ask if we can have a script to just read. But it all depends on what's available."

Like so many other companies in and around Peebles, Tweed Theatre has been hit by the COVID-19 lockdown.

A proposed production of Swallows and Amazons in March was shelved, with Whisky Galore (April/May) also cancelled.

Ms Mathison said: "We really don't know what the future looks like.

"Our Christmas production, Scrooge of Peebles, is still planned but we just don't know about social-distancing guidelines.

"We'll have to wait and see.

"I think it's good we've retained interest from the community – it's good for mental health to keep the kids involved."

Tweed Theatre was due to celebrate its 40th anniversary last month, but had plans scuppered by the pandemic.

Ms Mathison told the Peeblesshire News that once the company can regroup in person, members will be able to celebrate at a later date.

For more information and to join the virtual group, visit the Tweed Theatre Facebook page at