Arts and Entertainment Royal flush: a scene from 'Powder Room'

Nearly 50 years after John Osborne and Arnold Wesker gave the world the kitchen-sink drama, a new dramatic form has entered the fray: the bathroom-sink drama.

Forget rock'n'roll, the Myspace generation are having an acoustic boom

Stars such as KT Tunstall and Kate Nash are products of a burgeoning countrywide open-mic scene, says Simon Hardeman

Estelle: 'At last I can speak my mind'

She was hailed as the saviour of British soul, then vanished after a fall-out with her label. Now Estelle is back – with a new set of celebrity friends and some serious attitude...

Arctic Monkeys ape Oasis with NME triumph

Gordon Brown and Andy Burnham both claim to listen to them on their iPods, but the Arctic Monkeys received a slightly hipper seal of approval last night when they were called the "Oasis of their generation" by the New Musical Express.

Kate Nash, Astoria, London

Young fans' support boosts success of internet sensation

Elisa Bray: Brits deliver the goods

So is pop back for good? Not just yet. Amidst competition from Take That and Girls Aloud, it was indie band Arctic Monkeys who took the awards for Best British Group and Best British Album for Favourite Worst Nightmare – the first artist to win two years running.

David Hepworth: These silly awards are pop's most absurd anachronism

The annual Brit Awards, which will dominate ITV 1 tonight and, if things go according to plan, the front pages tomorrow, started out in the mid-1970s as a business initiative aimed at selling British music to Johnny Foreigner. Taken strictly on those terms, it's never really worked. The odd Amy Winehouse and Boy George apart, British pop music has never been less attractive to the export market than during the Brits era, and there's something about the ceremony that distills the reasons why.

A star is born: But is Adele worth all the hype?

Her debut album has shot to No 1, critics can't get enough of her, and like all the best pop stars she only goes by her first name. But has 19-year-old Adele got what it takes to stayat the top? Elisa Bray charts the rise of Croydon's latest soul sensation

Adele, UCL Bloomsbury Theatre, London

There seems little reason to complete this review, since this much is already written: Adele will be huge in 2008. By the end of the week, her debut album 19 will be number one. By the end of next month, it will have been downloaded by tens of thousands of teens, and by the end of the year their parents will have caught on, too.

Sarah Sands: Realism, not romance, keeps you in a marriage

Like Russia, marriage is a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. It can be the source of the greatest human happiness and the cause of its greatest woes. My position on the institution is one of the purest moral hypocrisy. I believe in the sanctity of marriage and its social virtue. I am also happily divorced and remarried.

Sam Duckworth: The caped crusader who wants his songs to change the world

The Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly star tells Elisa Bray why he's not being naive

Sophie Heawood: Lily, I love the music, but you are no feminist

Last year, a friend of mine received Lily Allen's album as a birthday present from her dad. This father hadn't been around much in his daughter's life, but he'd heard that Alright, Still was the sort of CD that a girl might like for her 21st birthday.

Scare over Pill linked to rise in abortions

Alarming new evidence has emerged of a huge increase in unwanted pregnancies following last October's scare over the safety of the contraceptive Pill.

With a little help, they can manage

Roger Trapp reports on a management training scheme for disabled people
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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...