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 100 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 November 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

Blackshields

Blackshields
The False War

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015

The Harrowing - short story

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

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

The Emperor's Legion

The Emperor's Legion
Watchers of The Throne

The Long Night - short story

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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

David Croft

Tuesday 27th September:

I couldn't let the day end without mentioning David Croft, who sadly passed away earlier today. I worked with David on two series' of 'Allo,Allo!, one of a number of hugely successful comedy shows that he wrote, directed and produced for the BBC over many years; shows which have become part of the fabric and culture of the nation, especially perhaps, Dad's Army, which he created with Jimmy Perry.

I can't claim to have known David well and I'm sure many other people will write much more about him in the days to come. What I can say, is that he was always immensely kind to me, very generous with his time and in sharing his vast experience in comedy.

Our first meeting was at the read through for my first studio episode, having previously worked only on location with another director, Susan Belbin. The call was for 11.30 am and I arrived at the studio at 9.30 so that I knew exactly where I needed to be. I wanted to arrive at the huge table already set up in the middle of the cavernous sound stage with a few minutes to spare, so that in my trepidation, I didn't have to meet the cast of very well known actors and be too nervous to function. At 11.25 I breezed into the room only to find the table fully occupied and David Croft reading in my lines. The call was not 11.30 as I had been informed, but 11 o'clock - what a great start!

Of course, I apologised profusely to everyone at the end of the reading and tried to explain that I'd been there for hours 'killing time'. David just smiled and said something comforting and it was never mentioned again. Others in his position might have fired me on the spot.

I remember once sitting with him in the BBC canteen at TV Centre, having a bite to eat, before recording sections of the programme in front of a live Friday night audience. I was telling him how much I loved Dad's Army and he was kind enough to talk to me about it and pass on a few anecdotes about some of the cast members - perhaps you can imagine how I felt at the time.

Knowing of my keen interest in how things were done in tv comedy, he would invite me into the director's gallery to watch him direct the show, cutting between five cameras on the studio floor and having the generosity and patience to explain to me what he was doing. There I would be, in make-up and costume as Corporal Caponi, watching him and the crew, waiting to go down to do my bit..

Such knowledge and insight gave me a better idea of what I needed to be doing as an actor. He would also sometimes invite me to look through the camera lens so that I could see how a shot was being framed, giving me a better understanding of how to play the scene. One day, we were filming in Nouvion Town Square at Elstree Studios and David gave me a note: he said that in the shot we had just rehearsed, if I were to stand with my weight 'on the other leg', it would be funnier. I did - and it was. That was the only acting note he ever gave me, apart from suggesting that I shouldn't learn my lines too well because the show was like a 'a soufflé' and should feel light and fresh. He would often go with a first take, even if there were a few mistakes, rather than lose the 'spontaneity' of it.


In his calm, quiet way, he taught me a huge amount and I shall remember him always with great affection and respect. In my opinion, he was a genius, who created some of the best loved television comedy this country has ever produced. It was a great privilege and an absolute pleasure to have known and worked with him.

                                                                You have been watching...    


                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ...David Croft.       

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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

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.