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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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

November 2011


 In an earlier version of this month's posting, I mentioned that the 'rumblings' for November couldn't be expanded on at that time and, unfortunately, that's still the case. So, instead, perhaps an opportunity to mention something from last month.

Where to start? 1978 I think it was, Stratford-upon-Avon, Royal Shakespeare Company, The Other Place. Peter McEnery was playing the title role in David Edgar's play: The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs. I was a second year student at Birmingham University, studying Drama & Theatre Arts and David Edgar was Playwright in Residence at the department, although, I lay no claim to having known him at all. The RSC was in a 'golden' period of work and I saw much of what they were doing; indeed, there were strong links between the University and the Company, consequently, the only real 'ambition' I've ever had as an actor, in terms of what I'd like to do professionally, is to be a member of the RSC. Haven't managed it yet!

Anyway..... before seeing it, I had no idea what the play was about or who Albie Sachs was; for all I knew, he could have been a fictional character.

The script of the play carries this synopsis:
Albie Sachs, a young white South African lawyer, was arrested in Cape Town in October 1963. He was held in solitary confinement under the infamous 90-Day Law, which allowed the police to hold suspects for an indefinite period. Jail Diary is the story of his bid to hold out against his interrogators, who wished to break him down and obtain information about his friends and clients in the South African resistance.

It doesn't happen often, but when you see such a play, it confirms just how powerful and potentially life changing the theatre can be. As a student, my understanding of what theatre could do 'shifted' during that performance and caused me to think of things differently from that point onwards, both in theatrical and political terms.

Fast forward to spring 1980, final exams looming and I had the opportunity to do what ever I wanted for my final practical assessment. Having seen the play a couple of times, the choice for me was obvious. I selected three monologues and performed them as a one-man piece lasting for the allotted time of 15 minutes. It went well in performance and I have very vivid memories of the effect it had both on my lecturers who were 'marking' me and the largely student audience who came to it much as I had originally done.

Fast forward even further to October 2011; one of my dearest friends from University, Jenny Lecoat, who is a hugely successful writer, invited me to attend a public interview and talk given by none other than Albie Sachs. Jenny had seen my finals performance and knew of my interest. For the event, his interlocutor was our mutual friend, Simon Fanshawe and as a consequence of Simon's long standing friendship with Albie (which |I knew nothing of), we were able to meet and talk to the great man. It is said that you should never meet your heroes as they are likely to be a disappointment. I certainly was not disappointed when I met Albie Sachs. He spoke with such authority and compassion and honesty; he was also funny and friendly and even signed my battered copy of the play and was intrigued and amused that I'd actually played him and spent time trying to 'get inside his head' in order to do so.

In 1988, the South African Secret Police had tried to assassinate Albie by planting a bomb in his car - he lost part of his right arm and the sight of an eye in the explosion and when he talked about meeting the man who had planted the bomb, who had subsequently sought him out to ask for his forgiveness, most of us were moved to tears. He also spoke incredibly movingly of his time in detention and described the lasting image he has of being beaten and looking down to see a ring of shoes around him, the shoes of the men who were torturing him.

As the evening drew to a close and I thanked him again for signing my play script, he embraced me and wished me well.

Quite a night.



To find out more about this remarkable man, click this link:


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Changing the mood somewhat, here's some artwork which relates to the current Lost Stories releases, beginning, for me, with last month's The Elite and continuing with next month's The Children of Seth:




Just in case anyone would like a signed copy of The Elite, a very limited number are available via tenthplanetevents


No comments:

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.