Dracula’s curse is felt on and off stage in Friday the 13th horror

Two broken arms, a partly- severed finger and a dog attack... They're all part of the real-life horror story that unfolded for a Norfolk drama group as it prepared for a Dracula stage show.

Already more real blood has been shed than the fake stuff in the Creakes' Drama Group production of Dracula The Panto, a modern version of the Bram Stoker classic, which opens at North Creake, near Fakenham, tomorrow night.

In the story so far:

* A member of the chorus, John Tagg, broke both arms when he fell over a wall.

* Lighting and sound technician Doug Beebe suffered a partially-severed finger when the ladder he was on collapsed beneath him.

* Set builder John Green was out of action for several days after being bitten on the hand by a dog.

Philip Quin, publicity officer for the group, said all three men were in their 60s or 70s.

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Mr Quin, who is also playing the role of a werewolf called Boris, said: 'There has been plenty of real blood in rehearsals, and it's been a bit chaotic, but it is a classic case of 'The show must go on.'

'John fell over a low wall, and he didn't realise there was a 4ft fall on the other side and he broke both arms.

'He is recovering and, unfortunately, won't be able to perform in the shows, but he is up and about and will be able to see it at least.

'His accident happened about a month ago, and we've been able to juggle people around a bit.

'Doug had a bad bite on his hand from a large dog about two weeks ago.

'And John had a bad fall when the ladder he was on collapsed when he was putting some lighting up last week.

'They are both bandaged up and they were determined to not let us down, so, fortunately, they will still be involved in the shows.'

Members of the group are hoping all the real-life dramas are behind them – even though the first performance falls on Friday the Thirteenth...

Mr Quin said: 'We're hoping that we've had all the bad luck that we're going to get, touch wood, and the shows will go well.'

Dracula the Panto is full of slapstick plus popular songs made famous by the likes of the The Beatles and Frank Sinatra.

It is the first chance to work offstage for actors turned co-directors Sally Wiskin and Harry Stud, who have worked with a group of actors aged from six to more than 60.

The show will be performed at North Creake Village Hall tonight and tomorrow and on January 20 and 21 at 7.30pm, with a matinee at 3.30pm tomorrow.

Tickets are �8 for adults and �4 for under-16s, available by calling 07818 696660.

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