A man from a local theatre group chained himself to a lamppost in protest last Friday after a phantom Christmas Grinch convinced the council to pull all advertising for their production.

Southfields Theatre group put posters advertising their local production of Ali Baba, called 1001 Arabian Nights on lampposts on Replingham Road in Southfields and Wimbledon Park Road when an anonymous resident called Wandsworth Council to complain.

The council then told the theatre group to take them down.

Michelle Worthington, 45, a spokeswoman for the theatre group says the group are appealing to the council, but has criticised the phantom caller for attempting to ruin the spirit of Christmas.

She added: ”They know who we are, but we don’t know who they are. I have to ask this person, where is your christmas spirit? It’s a bit of a Grinch-like thing to do isnt it?”

Mark Doherty, who plays Dame Barber in the production, chained himself to a lamppost, complete with promotional poster to protest against the decision.

A spokesman for Wandsworth Council said: “We did have a complaint about these signs from a member of the public and so we asked the theatre group to take them down. These types of organisations normally advertise events by asking local shopkeepers if they can place posters in windows and front doors and this seems to work well. This is what we would advise them to do from now on."

Do you know the Phantom Christmas Grinch? Call the newsdesk on 020 8330 9531.

A four-night run of 1001 Arabian Nights will start on January 6 at St Michael’s School, Granville Road, Southfields. For more information call 07535 117 169 or visit 1001-arabian-nights.co.uk.