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The Dark Lady


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Henry Shakespeare is a street boy searching for his parents - his dark skin and curious name are his only clues. A thrilling new series set in a magical realist Shakespearean world, written by award-winning rapper, poet and writer Akala, founder of the renowned Hip-hop Shakespeare Company. When a rich family catch Henry stealing a book, it emerges that the young street boy, raised as an orphan, can read. Astounded, the family take him in as their servant. They soon become fond of Henry and allow him to develop a passion for literature and plays, attending those of his favourites such as Marlowe, Kyd and most of all Shakespeare. But then Henry inherits a vast sum from a mysterious source. Overwhelmed by the desire to find his parents, Henry leaves his adopted family and embarks on an amazing adventure. Perfect for introducing secondary school readers to Shakespeare and the Renaissance, The Dark Lady contains poems, rhymes and songs. Inspired by the Dark Lady (the fierce, independent black woman alluded to in Shakespeare's sonnets 127-154) and featuring Shakespeare himself and many of his key characters, this exciting new series brings to life through fresh eyes the visceral, violent and daring world of the Renaissance.
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About the Author

BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip hop artist, writer, poet and historian Akala is a label owner and social entrepreneur who fuses unique rap/rock/electro-punk sound with fierce storytelling. Jay-Z, M.I.A. and Christina Aguilera are just a few of the musicians Akala's toured with, his own stellar live show headlined eight UK tours and he regularly appears at festivals such as Glastonbury and Wireless. More recently known for his compelling lectures and journalism, Akala has written for the The Guardian, Huffington Post UK and The Independent, and also taken part in British Council arts education and music projects all over the world. In 2009, with Sir Ian McKellen's support, Akala launched the 'The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company', a music theatre production company which sparked worldwide media interest. Previous clients and collaborators include the BBC, Premier League, Mastercard, The Barbican and Ed Sheeran. Akala has also featured on numerous TV programmes across Channel 4, ITV2, MTV, Sky Arts and the BBC promoting his projects as well as speaking on wide ranging subjects from music and poetry to youth engagement and British/African-Caribbean culture.

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