Arts and Entertainment Kiwi pop star Lorde channels Kate Bush on-stage

She might be riding high in the US Billboard charts, but Lorde – Ella Yelich-O’Connor, a 16-year-old sensation from New Zealand – chose a cramped Soho basement for her debut UK performance. Surveying the packed audience, all straining for a glimpse, she observed: "I'm pretty sure if there was a fire we wouldn't all be here."

What new webs theatre will weave

Is it a play? No. Is it a film? Uh-uh. Is it an opera? No way. It's Spider-Man: the Musical, coming to a movie-house on Broadway in February next year, with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge from U2. How exactly the producers plan to represent, on-stage, our arachnoid hero hurtling down the canyons of Manhattan skyscrapers, while squirting gooey web-strings from his wrist, is anyone's guess – but once again we're amazed by the adaptability of the musical-theatre form.

E Jane Dickson: Filling a void where love should be

Next week, my 11-year-old son is due to watch a schools sex information film. It’s an event viewed with no great enthusiasm by a boy who still covers his face with a cushion when James Bond moves in for a smooch. This seems to be a common enough reaction among his peers. “For the love of God,” as one small sophisticate put it on the way to Scouts, “do we really need to know this stuff?”

Do you speak geek?

For n00bs, internet chat can often be snarky and sometimes downright leet. If you’re feeling confused, it’s time to learn the lingo. Anna Leach reports on how the web is rewriting the dictionary

Pandora: Lawyers called in as Cox gets his (designer) toes trodden on

The unlikely business relationship between the celebrity shoe designer Patrick Cox and colourful society figure "Lord" Edward Davenport appears to have turned sour.

The First Couple: Dancing the night away

The new President and his wife attended 10 balls after his inauguration. Leonard Doyle reports

The feral beast: Jimmy shooed out of 'Guardian'

After years of planning, Guardian Media Group moves into new offices in King's Cross tomorrow. But spare a thought for Jimmy Blisset, the cheerful head of the post room at Farringdon Road, who will not be joining colleagues.

Uptown boy: Will screaming teenage girls and wild tabloid rumours destroy Chace Crawford?

Where's the best place to hang out with the ambitious, clever star of 'Gossip Girl', US television's hottest show? Definitely not a New York café packed with teenage girls. Guy Adams meets an all-American heart-throb

The papers would blush but anything goes on their websites

In-your-face celebrity stories have helped push Mail Online to the top spot for users, but do the figures tell the full story? asks Joy Lo Dico

Bush pokes fun at successors over dinner

Two years ago he had to sit by, smiling uncomfortably, as the comedian Stephen Colbert ripped apart his record and his administration, but at his final White House correspondents' dinner George Bush had the last laugh.

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there