Front Row

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture

Live magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music


Antony Sher and Gregory Doran, Writing video games, Hendrik Groen

August 26th, 2016

Episode 1259 of 1302 episodes

Actor Sir Antony Sher and director Gregory Doran talk about all-powerful pagan kings and post-Brexit Britain in relation to their RSC production of King Lear. As the Victoria and Albert Museum adds to their archive a collection of Tommy Cooper's props, posters and notebooks, Cooper's daughter Vicky remembers growing up among her father's famous stage props and hearing jokes at the kitchen table. This month has seen two big new releases in the video gaming world: the highly anticipated No Man Sky, which promises an infinite, constantly regenerating universe for players to discover, and the latest instalment in the sci-fi blockbuster franchise Deus Ex, Mankind Divided. From an economic perspective, games have outperformed other creative industries for years, and they're also nurturing the best creative writing talent. So how do writers fit in to this multi-billion pound industry? Novelist and scriptwriter James Swallow, whose game writing credits include Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and No Man's Sky, and scriptwriter and story designer Rhianna Pratchett, whose credits include Lara Croft: Tomb Raider discuss. A hit when it was first published in Holland two years ago, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen 83 1/2 Years Old is a debut novel written in the voice of the titular Hendrik, a resident in a retirement home in the north of Amsterdam. Praised for its witty and realistic portrayal of life in a care home, the book also sparked a media frenzy over the identity of its anonymous author, with a series of famous Dutch authors linked to the book. By email, the author responds to Samira's questions about the novel - and his or her's true identity. Presenter: Samira Ahmed Producer: Rachel Simpson.