ASSASSIN'S CREED

ASSASSIN'S CREED
January 2017

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 numerous audio-drama stories for Big Finish Productions and Games Workshop, for whom I have performed in over 200 audio dramas*, details of which can be found in the postings below.


There are also details listed here of the more than 90 audio books* I've recorded since March 2013,
including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including RNIB, audible.co.uk, Hachette, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at May 2017)

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...

Games Workshop

Games Workshop

Assassin's Creed

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015

The Harrowing - short story

Resurrection

Resurrection
Warhammer 40,000

The Carrion Throne

The Carrion Throne
Warhammer 40,000

The Long Night - short story

Catherine, David & me as Gully......

Catherine, David & me as Gully......
May 2016

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Friday, 9 April 2010

Blue Remembered Hills

Rummaging through boxes in the garage, as I was the other day, ostensibly looking for the remains of my LP collection, I inevitably found a number of things I hadn't been looking for.

In addition to the LPs, I also found a folder relating to a production of Dennis Potter's Blue Remembered Hills from 1994, which had been produced at The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham, playing there and touring Gloucestershire, including Potter's native Forest of Dean. The action of the play takes place in the Forest of Dean and the dialect is very specific and quite tricky to replicate accurately. We really wanted to get it right, especially as we were taking the production to a number of Forest venues. Fortunately, we had the help of a number of local cast members and the professional coaching of Andrew Jack. 

We were all very proud of the show and it went down well with our audiences, both at the theatre and on tour. Very sadly, Dennis Potter died in '94 and so the Everyman staged a memorial evening in celebration of his life and work, arranged and directed by David Hill. There were of course a number of readings and anecdotes from people who had worked with Potter and we performed a scene from our play, which was very well received. It had already been our idea to try to re-mount the play in London and on the night, we asked many of the 'stars' to support our bid by signing a declaration that they had seen some of the show and thought it a good idea to have it play in London; we asked for no financial contribution.

Here's the list of 'sponsors': Kenith Trodd, Piers Haggard, Renny Rye, Lynda La Plante, Alan Plater, Gemma Craven, Kika Markham, Corin Redgrave, John Shrapnel, Janet Henfrey, Lyndon Davies, Giles Thomas, Douglas Heshall, Imelda Staunton, Jim Carter, Bernard Hill, George Baker, Frank Finlay, Maggie Steed and Alan Bates.

With such support, we thought our idea had every chance of being realised and felt sure that it would be a success. Dan Crawford of The King's Head, Islington came on board to produce; the plan was to play at The King's Head and hopefully transfer to a West End Theatre. I've just been looking at the reams of costings and administrative notes we had compiled in our attempt to get the show into production. You can maybe guess that it all ended in tears; indeed it did. Three days before rehearsals were due to start, Dennis Potter's literary agent withdrew the performance rights; apparently there had been interest in staging a production of the play somewhere else by a more established company. The 'somewhere else' turned out to be the National Theatre. We were deeply upset and annoyed, as indeed was Dan, who realised what a good idea we'd had.



This photograph is of me playing 'John'. Also in the cast were: Angela Bain, Annie Sutton, Steven Deproost, David Kennedy, Peter Rylands and Julian Protheroe. 






In its review, The Gloucestershire Echo said: 

"Right down to the minutest detail, from the fidgeting and fumbling to stuttering and snorting, every single member of the cast recaptures those childhood mannerisms to perfection. It is one of the most intense, amusing and painful hours I can ever remember.The whole thing leaves you as breathless as the cast. It is a simple play - and one which is quite simply brilliant."

No comments:

Fabius Bile

Fabius Bile
WARHAMMER 40,000

Reviews & comments:

The Malazan Empire

Over 7 books recorded since December, John Banks has had to create unique voices for 583 characters. Quite amazing!

Neil Gardner - producer

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

A Spy Like No Other:

This is the best audio book ever.

The Cult Den

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.