ASSASSIN'S CREED

ASSASSIN'S CREED
January 2017
"John Banks is one of the UK's most prolific audiobook narrators, working for the likes of Big Finish, Audible, Random House and Games Workshop.

He is a true multi-voice, creating everything from monsters to marauding aliens.

He is also an accomplished stage and TV actor."

audible.co.uk 2018

Coming throughout December...

Coming throughout December...

Coming in January 2019...

Coming in January 2019...

Hello...

...I'm John Banks - welcome to my website.

The majority of my working life has been spent in the theatre with companies including
York Theatre Royal, Cheltenham Everyman, Sheffield Crucible, Bristol Old Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange and the National Theatre in London.

Television work includes Emmerdale, Coronation Street, and 'Allo, Allo!'. I have also worked on a number of radio drama and comedy productions with the BBC.

Since March 2009, I have enjoyed playing a huge variety of characters in more than 250* audio-drama stories for Big Finish Productions and The Black Library/Games Workshop, details of which can be found in the postings below.


There are also details listed here of the 150* audio books I've recorded since March 2013,
including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including audible.co.uk, Hachette, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at October 2018)

I hope you find something of interest here and come back soon for further updates.


For all posts, reviews and audio samples, please scroll down...

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Available now:
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Thursday, 13 December 2018

A Victorian Gentleman’s Ghostly Anthology

And finally for today, here are details of last week's recording of twelve traditional spooky stories from the Victorians - who really knew how to do this sort of thing!

A Victorian Gentleman’s Ghostly Anthology

Read by John Banks

Twelve of the very best Victorian short ghost stories, all written by incredibly talented, but oft-times overlooked or forgotten, authors.




"The Victorian era is remembered for many things, but one of the fondest is the wide and varied array of short, ghostly, suspenseful tales…often enjoyed around the fireside at Christmas time.

In this new anthology, John Banks performs twelve of the very best, all written by incredibly talented, but oft-times overlooked or forgotten, authors. Once you tire of Dickens and James, these are the true masters of short-form suspense":


The Steel Mirror by W.W. Fenn 
A Real Country Ghost Story by Albert Smith 
The Weird Violinist by Anonymous 
Walsham Grange: A Real Ghost Story by E. Morant Cox 
Haunted by Coulson Kernahan 
Nicodemus by Alfred Crowquill 
The Veiled Portrait by James Grant 
The Ghost Chamber by Anonymous 
The Doll’s Ghost by F. Marion Crawford 
How Peter Parley Laid A Ghost: A Story of Owl’s Abbey by Anonymous 
The Ghost’s Summons by Ada Buisson 
A Terrible Retribution; or, Squire Orton’s Ghost by Anonymous

Produced by Neil Gardner


I recorded these stories with producer Neil Gardner, who has made them available free to download via this web site:

Should you choose to have a listen to these stories, I very much hope that you will enjoy them.


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

The Deserter

And welcome indeed to the second of today's postings; this one features a short audio drama, which is part of The Black Library's 2018 Advent Calendar. I'm not actually credited in this story as I'm playing quite a small role; nevertheless, here it is and maybe you could take the Christmas challenge (no prizes alas!) of identifying which part I'm actually playing - that sounds like fun huh?

Ok, enough; here are the details:

The Deserter

Advent Calendar 2018: Day Eleven

A chance encounter with a stranger known only as "The Deserter" might be just what Corenne needs as she struggles to survive in Necromunda's underhive.


In the underhive of Necromunda, the only law that really matters is that might is right and unless you can defend what's yours, someone else will claim it. That's what happened to Corenne. When the Thunder Knuckle Posse came, they took control of the Sweet Drop Still, sending her family packing.

Now, she wants it back, and a chance encounter with a ragged old man known only as "The Deserter" who claims to have fought in the armies of the vaunted Lord Solar might just be her salvation – or at least revenge.

Steve Conlin, Toby Longworth, Carla Medonca & Jo Woodcock (&me)

Written by Justin D Hill & Produced by Matthew Renshaw


©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited


...still not all for now, more next!

Hubris of Monarchia

Hello, good evening and welcome! As the festive season is now well under way, I feel fortunate to have had such a busy, challenging and rewarding year and fortunate too, that it's now come to a temporary halt over the holiday season!

My last recording was of an anthology of traditional Victorian ghostly tales, which I did last week and which, astonishingly, is already available! But more of that later. Even though new recording has come to brief cessation, new audio releases certainly have not! And so, to the first of this week's offerings; an audio drama written by Andy Smillie and here are some details:

The Horus Heresy: Hubris of Monarchia

A Horus Heresy audio drama

The Ultramarines muster at Calth to join their Word Bearers brothers in battle – but in the remnants of the Ghaslakh Empire, Captain Alcaeus would see his mission complete and the greenskin warlord dead before he joins his brethren.




Before the Warmaster's betrayal, the primarchs and their Legions were a warrior brotherhood without equal. At Calth, a planetary jewel in Ultramar's crown, a great mustering is taking place. Two proud Legions gather in hopes of healing the discord after the notorious shaming of the Word Bearers at Monarchia.

Captain Alcaeus of the Ultramarines plans on joining the muster, but will not rest until the remnants of the Ghaslakh Empire are purged utterly from the galaxy, For honour and glory, he has sworn an oath to succeed. His obsession in hunting down the greenskin overlord drives him to greater and greater feats, but in his zeal has Alcaeus not realised the true enemy in his Legion's midst?


John Banks, Steve Conlin, Andrew Fettes, Matthew Hunt, Richard Reed & David Seddon 

Written by Andy Smillie & Produced by Matthew Renshaw


©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited



...not all for now, more next!

 

Saturday, 8 December 2018

The Horus Heresy Audio Collection Volume 1

 
Good afternoon and welcome the first update in a while; once again due to busy times in the recording studio. I mentioned some time ago, that towards the end of the year, the general trend of audio releases would vere away from regular Games Workshop content, to other stuff. Due to a re-sheduling by the particular publishing house in question, the releases I was referring to will instead, now become available in March 2019; which isn't too far away!

In the meantime, here are details of the first of this month's audio dramas:


The Horus Heresy Audio Collection: Volume 1

An audio drama boxed set

For the first time, get seven classic audio dramas from the Horus Heresy in one fantastic boxed set – including a brand new audio drama edition of Dan Abnett's short story 'Little Horus'.



"For more than two hundred years, the armies of the Emperor of Mankind fought to reconquer the galaxy – led by the superhuman primarchs, the Space Marine Legions brought countless worlds back under the rule of ancient Terra. Now Horus, once honoured Warmaster and favoured son of the Emperor, has been corrupted by the whispered promises of Chaos. At his command the Imperium is torn apart by a terrible and bloody civil war, the likes of which the galaxy has never seen…





This audio drama anthology contains seven stories across six CDs, detailing brutal wars – from the aftermath of the Isstvan V massacre to the horrors of the Shadow Crusade and even the doorstep of Terra itself – and bringing new insights into the heroes and villains of the Horus Heresy. It also includes a brand new audio drama version of Dan Abnett's classic short story 'Little Horus', specially converted into a script and recorded for this collection."

Raven's Flight by Gav Thorpe
Butcher's Nails by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
Templar by John French
Thief of Revelations by Graham McNeill
Hunter's Moon by Guy Haley
The Sigillite by Chris Wraight
Little Horus by Dan Abnett

Performed by Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Tim Bentinck, Steve Conlin, Rupert Degas, Martyn Eliis, Chris Fairbank, Andrew Fettes, Jonathan Keeble, Angus King, Toby Longworth, Charlotte Paige, Jamie Parker, Richard Reed, Tania Rodrigues, David Seddon, Ramon Tikaram, David Timson & Tim Treloar. 

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 

Friday, 16 November 2018

Eight Lamentations: War-Claw

War-Claw is now available from The Black Library and will become available tomorrow (17th November) via audible; though I have to say, the CD cover and artwork, which I'm grateful to be in possession of, is well worth having; it's quite beautiful in my opinion and there's also a bonus CD of interviews, which I'm listening to as I write - Steve Conlin is making me chuckle...

I'm aware that I often say how much fun various projects were to work on and you might think "oh well, I wouldn't expect him to say anything else" and you would have a point. However, I'm going to say it again now - this was a really fun project to work on with a lovely and talented cast and a great production team in Matt Renshaw and Kylia Whitehead and we had a ball recording it. So, I certainly enjoyed it, enjoyed listening to it and hope, should you choose to give it a listen, that you will enjoy it too!

Here are some details:

Eight Lamentations: War Claw

A Warhammer Age of Sigmar audio drama

Gunmaster Owain Volkner and his companion Zana Mathos seek an ancient weapon – but so do their enemies, and in an isolated mountaintop outpost, battle is joined…


In the wilds of Aqshy, Owain Volker, Gunmaster of the Ironweld, and Zana Mathos, sellsword and adventurer, seek one of the fabled Eight Lamentations on behalf of the duardin smith-god, Grungni.

But they are not the only ones searching for the legendary artefact, and the duo soon find themselves trapped in an isolated mountain outpost, caught between a herd of savage beastmen and a pack of monstrous foes.


 Tom Alexander Emma Gregory John Banks Cliff Chapman Joe Shire Deeivya Meir Steve Conlin & Matthew Hunt


Written by Josh Reynolds & Produced by Matt Renshaw





 ...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Sacrosanct and Other Stories

I have always been a great fan of 'the short story'; it's quite a skill to relate a fully developed narrative, complete with engaging characters and a credible 'through line' and to achieve this within the strictures of the short story format. I've thoroughly enjoyed the various Black Library short story anthologies I've so far recorded and was delighted to be asked to record this latest collection. It's an enjoyable challenge to create so many varied character voices for such stories; producer Kylia Whitehead and I had great fun with this collection and should you choose to give it a listen, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we did.

This anthology is quite useful as an introduction to the Age of Sigmar; here are some details:


Within this book you will find Sacrosanct, a fantastic new novella from C L Werner…




A restless menace threatens the town of Wyrmditt. Stirred from his grave by fell magic, Sabrodt, the Shrouded King, seeks dominion over the kingdom he failed to claim in life. So great is the terror inflicted upon the lands by Sabrodt and his nighthaunts that Sigmar, God-King, sends a retinue of his warriors most skilled in the art of Azyrite magic to liberate the town.

The Stormcast Eternals of the Sacrosanct Chamber are warrior-wizards, imbued with arcane knowledge and the power to wield the energies of the storm in battle. Leading the retinue is Knight-Incantor Arnhault, a formidable mage who has studied the histories of Sabrodt's kingdom. But the fight against the Shrouded King will challenge Arnhault's mettle like none other – especially when he discovers that the Undead knows more about his past than he does.

Also within this book are a host of short stories, giving you a flavour of the many warring armies that exist in the worlds of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar.


The Dance of the Skulls by David Annandale
Great Red by David Guymer
The Sands of Grief & The Volturung Road by Guy Haley
Callis & Toll: The Old Ways by Nick Horth
A Dirge of Dust and Steel, Auction of Blood & The Prisoner of the Black Sun by Josh Reynolds
Wrathspring by Andy Clark
Sacrosanct, Shiprats & The Witch Takers by C L Werner


 Produced by Kylia Whitehead & Performed by John Banks

12 stories - overall running time: 15 hours 17 minutes

©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Realmslayer

Good morning and thanks for stopping by! The impending release of the box set audio drama, Realmslayer, now available, has been an open secret for some time and if anything, the 'progressive' nature of the release has possibly generated more interest than had it been issued in the regular way; ie, as a bit of a surprise.

I think from an internal Black Library viewpoint, Realmslayer represents a ramping up of their committment to the audio element of the business, which seems to be increasingly of interest to an ever growing audience. Good news indeed!

Over the decade or so of my audio adventures as an actor, I've been privileged to work with some remarkable people and it's always an interesting experience to find oneself working alongside someone who, perhaps, has been known and often admired throughout one's life. That's certainly the case for me with Realmslayer and it's lead actor, Brian Blessed.

Brian comes from the same part of the country as I do, between Doncaster and Sheffield and hearing his voice in Z Cars, in which he famously played policeman 'Fancy' Smith, was the first time I remember hearing my native accent on television; I was probably around five or six when the series featuring Fancy was being broadcast and such a seemingly trivial thing, actually had a huge impact on me. Fifty odd years later and there we were, having lunch together and talking about exactly that. Brian is a tremendous raconteur and all it took to launch our conversation was for me to say, quite gently, perhaps tentatively: "Z -Victor One to BD" - the character's police call sign - and he was off!

I was of course, delighted to be asked, (having submitted my audition samples!) by Matt Renshaw to join the cast of Realmslayer and play the part of Snorri Nosebiter, and old pal of Gotrek Gurnisson, Brian's character. It was fun; it was great fun - and despite having recieved an advance copy of the magnificently produced box set, my deferred gratification approach to these things means that I can now, finally, actually listen to it all!

Here are some details and an interesting, (I hope!) 'making of' and interview video:

Realmslayer: A Gotrek Gurnisson Series

A Gotrek Gurnisson audio drama boxed set



The Slayer returns. Spat out of the Realm of Chaos after an eternity of battle, Gotrek Gurnisson finds himself in the unfamiliar surroundings of the Mortal Realms. With no axe, no oaths and no Felix, he sets out to find his place in this new universe…

Gotrek Gurnisson was the greatest monster slayer of the age, who met his doom at the End Times. The heroic duardin stepped forth into the Realm of Chaos to fight the daemons gnawing at the world's ending and satisfy his death oath, leaving behind his companion Felix Jaeger.

Now Gotrek has returned, having outlived the old gods and the Old World. Spat from the ruinous depths with his redemption unfulfilled, he emerges into the Mortal Realms, a strange new world where gods walk the earth and dark forces are ascendant. Nothing is as he remembers. His oaths are dust, and the lands are torn asunder by Chaos.

Yet when Gotrek learns of human champions being elevated to immortality for Sigmar’s fight against this darkness, the so-called 'Stormcast Eternals', he knows why fate has brought him into this new age.

To find Felix. For only then can he find the peace in death he seeks. But is there more to Gotrek's apotheosis than even he can fathom? Has he truly been chosen by Grimnir and for what purpose?


Running time 4 hours and 15 minutes

5 hours and 28 minutes in total

Performed by:


Brian Blessed as Gotrek Gurnisson, John Banks, Steve Conlin, Vanessa Donovan, Matthew Hunt, Jonathan Keeble,      Toby Longworth, Connie M'Gadzah, Penelope Rawlins, David Seddon, Joe Shire & Andrew Wincott

Written By David Guymer and Produced by Matt Renshaw




©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited


Before wrapping up this post, a quick online search has come up with a couple of images and some biographical details of my character, Snorri Nosebiter; this is my 'favourite' rendering of him:


...yes, those are nails he's driven into his head; tough guy huh?

* * * * *

The very busy phase of my very busy summer and autumn recording shedule, does at least now have a welcome pause coming up. By the end of this coming week, I need to finish recording my current audio book, start recording another and complete it by Friday. So another Sunday of homework to prepare for another intensive week in the studio and then almost a whole week of prep before the next book, scheduled to record mid November - phew! Which means of course... 

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Just in time for Halloween...

...though much more horrific than anything Hollywood might have come up with. This meticulously researched book by Paul Simpson was released yesterday and here are some details:

"There are many myths about serial killers: that they are all dysfunctional loners; all white males; only motivated by sex; that they all travel and operate across a wide area; cannot stop killing; are all insane, or evil geniuses; and that they all want to get caught.

Of course, there are some serial killers who fit into these categories, but the married Green River Killer was not a dysfunctional loner; there are plenty of female and non-Caucasian serial killers; Dr Harold Shipman was certainly not motivated by sex; many serial killings (such as the Ipswich prostitute murders carried out by Steve Wright) happen within a confined area; and the BTK Killer, Dennis Rader, stopped killing in 1991 but wasn't caught until 14 years later. Many serial killers may have a low animal cunning or be 'street smart', but few of them are Mensa-level geniuses.

Each of the 30 cases covered here is unusual in some respect, perhaps in the way in which the killer carried out their crimes, the choice of victims, the way in which they were apprehended, or the method of their execution.

The cases are presented alphabetically by country - from Australia via Colombia, Great Britain, Indonesia, Iran, South Africa and elsewhere to the United States - and then chronologically. They come from across history and from all over the world. The author has gone back as far as possible to contemporary source material - newspaper accounts, trial evidence, interviews with perpetrators or survivors - rather than rely on the increasingly blurred truth to be found online and in far too many collections." 


©2018 Paul Simpson (P)2018 Little, Brown Book Group

Written by Paul Simpson, Produced by Neil Gardner & Narrated by John Banks

Running time: 12hours - 25 minutes

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!
 

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Prophets of Waaagh!

And as a brief adjunct to today's main posting, I would briefly like to mention the recent release of the complete series of Waaagh! audio dramas. Here are some details:

Prophets of Waaagh!

An Orks audio drama

Dumped on a nowhere world by the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum, the Red Sunz Mek mob battle to survive.



When a call to Waaagh! rings out across the planet, the chance at survival, as well as some shooty-fun, beckons. But all is not what it seems. Only an ork with real orky know-wots can hope to overcome the False Waaagh…!

The End of Daze

Bozgat's Big Adventure

The Waaagh! Faker

Performed by:
Tom Alexander John Banks Cliff Chapman Steve Conlin Matthew Hunt Jonathan Keeble David Seddon & Joe Shire
 
Written by Guy Haley and Produced by Matt Renshaw

Running Time: 1 hr and 3 mins

 
©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 

The Interrogation of Salvor Lermentov

Good afternoon! After another busy week in the studio, recording four audio dramas, it's back to audio books for the next couple of weeks; two books to record by the second week of November, which, relatively, seems to be quite a calm schedule.

A few days ago, this short audio drama, 'Lermentov' below, was released and having now heard it a couple of times, I must say that I'm very pleased with the way it's turned out. David Seddon does a magnificent job of articulating Lermentov's tremendously difficult moral position and Matt Renshaw was a very reassuring and expert director, in this short, but complex drama. I hope you enjoy it.

I was delighted to discover that by the second day after it's release, it stood at number 4 in the I-tunes Top Sci-Fi and Fantasy chart - always good to know that a piece of work has gone down well and my congratulations go to all involved. I was deeply impressed by the sound design and would love to credit whoever did it; alas, I don't yet know who it was, but will certainly update here just a soon as I find out.

Here are some details:

 

The Interrogation Of Salvor Lermatov

A Vaults of Terra audio drama

Captured by the Inquisition, can the self-styled freedom fighter Salvor Lermentov convince the formidable Inquisitor Crowl to spare his life and take him into the Inquisition's service?


Salvor Lermentov, Astra Militarum officer turned would-be freedom fighter, languishes in a dark cell deep within an Inquisition fortress. Captured for the crime of treachery, he is sure of his innocence – for did he not aid a servant of the Inquisition in preventing a grievous threat to Terra itself?

As he and Inquisitor Crowl match wits in an interrogation, Lermentov outlines his reasons for deserting – but Inquisitor Crowl knows darker truths about the Imperium of Man, and with them in mind, can he possibly allow this traitor to live?


 John Banks as Inquisitor Crowl and David Seddon as Salvor Lermentov

Written by Chris Wraight and Produced by Matt Renshaw
Running time: 22 minutes

©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited


Should this story whet your appetite for more of Lermentov & Crowl, they also feature in Chris Wraight's The Carrion Throne, which I recorded as an audio book just over a year ago. Here are some details of that release too:

In the hellish sprawl of Imperial Terra, Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor Erasmus Crowl serves as a stalwart and vigilant protector, for even the Throneworld is not immune to the predations of its enemies. 

In the course of his Emperor-sworn duty, Crowl becomes embroiled in a dark conspiracy, one that leads all the way to the halls of the Imperial Palace. As he plunges deeper into the shadowy underbelly of the many palace districts, his investigation attracts the attention of hidden forces, and soon he and his acolyte Spinoza are being hunted – by heretics, xenos, servants of the Dark Powers, or perhaps even rival elements of the Inquisition itself. 

Soon they discover a terrible truth, one that if allowed to get out could undermine the very fabric of the Imperium itself.


Written by Chris Wraight, Produced by Matt Renshaw & Narrated by John Banks

Running time: 10 hours 25 mins



...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 

Fabius Bile

Fabius Bile
WARHAMMER 40,000

Reviews & comments:

The Malazan Empire

Over the course of this 8 book series, the amazing John Banks has had to create and voice 648 distinct characters!

Neil Gardner - producer

The Door In The Wall & War of The Worlds

Not often I buy another version of an audiobook I own, but after hearing John Banks' narration of The Door in the Wall by Ladbroke Audio, I had to buy their version of The War of the Worlds. Banks has a great reading voice.

Andy Frankham-Allen - writer

The Books of Babel: Senlin Ascends, Arm of The Sphinx & The Hod King

Mr. Banks does superb work, and I recommend the audiobooks wholeheartedly!

Josiah Bancroft - writer

Mervyn Stone: The Axeman Cometh

John Banks is a voice genius...

Nev Fountain - writer

Mervyn Stone... played by the note-perfect John Banks.

Matt Hills - Reviews in Time and Space

Dr. Who: The Sleeping City

I also must draw attention to John Banks who is an exceptional voice artist and in this one story performs more characters that I can count. ... it is listening to episodes like this one that really do let his talents shine through.

Tony Jones - Red Rocket Rising

Highlander:

...playing several parts, was the brilliant Big Finish regular John Banks - it was as if there were about 40 different actors in the other booth.

James Moran - writer

I went for the best of the best and brought in voice artiste extraordinaire John Banks.

Paul Spragg - producer

Vienna:

...also features the mind - bogglingly versatile and reliable John Banks

Jonathan Morris - writer

Dead Funny:

The acting is first rate… wonderfully played by John Banks as Richard – his impersonation of Eric Morecambe is worth the admission money alone.

Beverly Greenberg: Bolton Evening News

Mr. Happiness:

This early and unfamiliar play by David Mamet is a character study of a 1930s radio counsellor, dispensing suave advice to his devoted listeners. John Banks brings out the wry comedy of this – comedy quite unappreciated by the character – with a clever range of gesture and vocal tone.

Jeremy Kingston: The Times


All My Sons:

This is a beautifully crafted piece ...and it affords a wonderful opportunity for John Readman* to do his All-American Boy act as Chris Keller. This most polished and well observed performance as the blighted son of a blighted father must rank as one of his finest accomplishments yet. ( * see Profile)

The Stage

The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes

Kudos should also go to John Banks. Lestrade can be a thankless part, but Banks rose to the challenge, playing a pivotal role in this decades long arc.

Raissa Devereux - SciFiPulse

The Judgement of Sherlock Holmes

John Banks is multi-tasking, both as the superb Lestrade and also the villainous and no doubt moustache twirling Sebastian Moran. They sound completely different and I bow to his talent.

Sue Davies - SFcrowsnest


Further reviews and comments are included with specific postings throughout the site.

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015