Why do the wrong people travel, travel, travel ... to the theatre, sit behind me and talk all the way through the first half of Chess? Now Chess is quite a loud show ,which they felt gave them carte blanche to chatter and giggle like, well not like schoolgirls, who are generally better behaved. The perpatrators were three middle aged women from Fife (that is coincidental - I heart Fife). Before the show started, we had been made aware that Betty wasn't there because she hated the last show she saw with them at The Playhouse. The show in question was the rather harmless and cornily enjoyable White Christmas, which says a lot about hard-hearted Betty.

Tonight at the Edinburgh Playhouse, I did my usual of turning round but not saying anything. That didn't work and I did my unusual when they started to do the same thing after the interval. That was to glare menacingly, ask them, assertively, to shoosh and hoped they were NOT going to ruin the second part too. I so wished they had stayed at home with miserable old Betty. That did shut them up though and they were on their best behaviour throughout the second act.

I felt rather empowered by my Playhouse action -  something of a first for me. I normally do that Scottish thing of feeling aggrieved but not wanting to cause a scene, so say nothing out loud. So to all those sweetie rustlers, kwenchy cup sookers, ice cube rattlers and incessant talkers, watch out or better yet, stay away from the theatre and vegitate at home watching Big Brother or whatever the replacement is.

The serious point is that behaviour in the theatre is deteriorating. I don't think it is just me becoming a grumpy old man as I lurch towards 50. Why do people feel the need to eat noisy sweets? (and why do theatres sell them ?- yes I know but they could sell quiet ones). Can people not work out their bladder requirements in advance to be able to sit through an hour and a half. Yes, I am aware some pee-pill have problems, so sit at the end of a row. And don't get me started on the hacking coughers. Shirley MacLaine had the right idea (same theatre oddly enough) in her concert, which she stopped and asked one of them to go and get a drink of water and then come back.

My dander is well and truly up. So if you are guilty of any of the above annoyances, watch out! The sad thing is that I know that plea will fall on deaf ears as you are not likely to be reading a blog on Whatsonstage - are you?