A DORSET actress who plays a vampire in the hit show Circus of Horrors has revealed she is allergic to stage blood.

Stephanie Mercury, from Corfe Mullen, pictured left, is one of the Sinister Sisters in the production which is at Bournemouth’s Pavilion Theatre tonight.

She said: “It’s a real pain in the neck. During the show I perform a death defying aerial act, after which I have my throat cut, an illusion that uses half a litre of blood in each show.

“All of a sudden I developed a terrible allergic reaction and my whole neck and shoulders felt like they were on fire.”

Her symptoms got worse until she discovered the nappy care ointment Bepanthen.

She said: “I had no idea what to do. The pain was excruciating. When people suggested putting a cream for baby’s bottoms on my face, neck and shoulders, I thought they were joking, but once I used it there was no going back and I now use it as a barrier before I perform the stunt.”