An outdoor play depicting muggings and street brawls performed on the canal paths around Birmingham's Brindleyplace has been accused of lowering the tone of the area.

The show called BOX is being staged by the Birmingham Repertory Theatre every day until the weekend.

It focuses on a young girl who is asked to look after a box which attracts the attention of a couple of crooks, amongst others, who attempt to steal it.

However, John Holt, an accountant whose £200,000 two-bedroom flat in Symphony Court looks out on to the canals, claimed the play created the wrong impression.

"They were shouting and screaming over the weekend. One was in the afternoon and the other was during the evening," he said.

"At first I thought I was seeing someone being mugged. I saw somebody stealing a bicycle off a girl and running away and then two people dressed as security guards chase after them.

"I grabbed my camera and decided to take some photos just in case it was a crime.

"The following day I was surprised to see a repeat performance."

Mr Holt, aged 43, said he begun to believe the tussle was some kind of con designed to extract cash from sympathetic boat owners.

"Then I got disturbed again by the family argument and realised it was some kind of stage production at which point I was very annoyed," he said.

"I paid good money to have a flat in a nice area - I don't really like the idea that the streets are unsafe and that you are going to have arguments and fighting outside your window. I don't think it is a responsible thing to do.

"God knows how many calls the police got."

The Rep stressed it had obtained all "necessary permits and licenses" for the project and had consulted with British Waterways, Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police.

"We are still taking advice from the Safety Advisory Group to ensure that all issues relating to public safety and security are covered and that respect for the residential community is considered before decisions are made," said the Rep's general manager Trina Jones.

"The aim of BOX is to provide an interesting and entertaining event that embraces Birmingham's canal heritage, is good for the local economy and provides performance opportunities for non-professional actors from the local community, certainly not to irritate or annoy local residents or businesses.

"The REP does not wish to create problems for anyone, least of all its immediate neighbours."

A spokeswoman at Steelhouse Lane police station which covers the city centre, said: "We haven't had a call from a single person. They have logged it with us in case we got any calls from the public but that hasn't been the case."

BOX, written by Sarah Waters, is the first Rep production to be staged on the canal system and on board a narrowboat.

It features a cast of five professional actors and about 50 people recruited from the local community to tell the story.

BOX runs until Sunday June 24 with performance times of 2.30pm/6.30pm on Saturday; 11.00am/3pm on Sunday and 6.30pm between Tuesday and Friday.