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 more than 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, HarperCollins, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.
(*figures at January 2019)
I hope you find something of interest here and come back soon for further updates.
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Here's how Big Finish broke the news:
"As if you needed reminding that 'subscribers get more at bigfinish.com'...
Many main range Doctor Who subscribers may have noticed that there have been three, free Doctor Who downloads this Christmas.
There are no strings attached. These are just honest-to-goodness free downloads exclusive to our subscribers. Please consider them a thank you for your loyal support for Big Finish.
The three releases are as follows...
Short Trips Audiobook: Only Connect
Written by Andy Lane
Read by John Banks
Short Trips Audiobook: Breadcrumbs
Written by James Moran
Read by John Banks
For both of these releases, post-production editing and sound design is by Robbie Dunlop.
They are directed by Ken Bentley and produced by David Richardson.
Additionally, you'll find...
The Fourth Doctor Adventures Retrospective Part 1 - A special documentary by regular Big Finish sound designer Martin Montague, packed with star and behind-the-scenes interviews and clips. It's Martin's Christmas gift to us and to all of you."
If you do get a chance to listen to these stories, I really hope you enjoy them. In the meantime, many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to visit this website over the last year; a very happy 2013 to all and fingers crossed that there'll be more to post as the new year gets under way - not long now... !
Friday, 21 December 2012
Abducted by some less than savoury characters, Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran are caught up in the investigation of a strange object in space. What does it do, who created it and why does it seem so familiar?
As they discover more about the object, Daniel and Vala realise that they’re taking on an enormously technologically advanced threat bent on rewriting the very foundations of the universe. Can they stop the disaster that’s about to occur, or is life as they know it about to change forever?
Regina Reagan Wellan - Skadi - Ratatosk
Directed By: Lisa Bowerman and Jason Haigh-Ellery
Friday, 14 December 2012
Counter-Measures, the audio series centred upon an elite group that investigates dangerous technologies and alien incursions, will return in July 2013 for a second series of four brand new hour-long episodes. The spin-off from the Seventh Doctor TV tale Remembrance of the Daleks stars Pamela Salem as Rachel Jensen, Karen Gledhill as Allison Williams and Simon Williams as Group Captain Gilmore while Hugh Ross is the organization’s shady boss, Sir Toby Kinsella.
Episode one is Manhunt by Matt Fitton, in which Group Captain Gilmore is on the run and suspected of murder. The guest cast includes Lucy Fleming as Lady Waverly, as Captain Astor and Gemma Whelan as Emma Waverly.
The team heads underground for episode two, The Fifth Citadel by James Goss, investigating a hidden wartime bunker beneath London.
Celia Imrie plays Dr Elizabeth Bradley, whose long-standing friendship with Sir Toby might not be enough to save the country from disaster…
The third episode, Peshka by Mark Wright and Cavan Scott, takes Counter-Measures to Holland for an international chess championship, where the contest takes on a deadly significance.
The series ends with Sins of the Fathers by John Dorney, which follows the consequences of a tragic death at a funeral… one that will have major repercussions for Counter-Measures. Tom Price plays Father Ellard, while Philip Pope is Templeton, Sir Toby’s trusty assistant.
The five-disc box set includes an hour-long behind the scenes documentary, including interviews with cast and crew.
July 2013 does seem quite a way off at the moment, although I'm already allowing myself an early glimmer of anticipation for this second series, having thoroughly enjoyed the first. I'm sure there'll be much more to mention nearer the time of release, including details of my own involvement in the production.
Saturday, 1 December 2012
This has been quite a week; Monday was taken up with the first day of rehearsals for Port at the NT (see last month for details) and what fun it was. It's been a while since I did any 'building based' theatre, for want of a better term; recent stage activity has been with independent companies essentially renting a theatre space. The contrast between my last theatre job at The Old Red Lion (a small, yet highly respected 'pub theatre' in Islington, London) and this one at The Royal National Theatre couldn't really be more extreme in terms of facilities, budget and sheer scale. Having said that, of course, the essential process is exactly the same; a bunch of people in a rehearsal room, willing to make utter fools of themselves when required, in order to serve the needs of a script and hoping that they can deliver a piece of work which will entertain and stimulate an audience.
So, on Monday, we gathered in a rehearsal room deep in the bowels of the NT to play games, get to know each other a bit, read the play together, look at a model of the set, meet other members of the production team, of whom there are something like seventy or eighty, all geared to getting our play from page to stage and began the paradoxically familiar yet uniquely new process of rehearsing a play.
I've spent most of my adult life in the theatre, most of my teenage life too come to think of it, and being in a theatre never fails to feel very special indeed; Jack Lemmon always referred to it as "magic time". Whether at The Old Red Lion or the NT, the sense of expectation, adventure, joy, fulfilment, challenge, triumph and impending disaster is the same intoxicating brew. Acting is a 'drug' so powerful, that one's senses can feel heightened and enhanced to an extraordinary degree. By comparison, much of what constitutes normal, regular every day activity feels like a waste of time. As The Great Wallenda* was quoted as saying: "Life is on the wire, the rest is just waiting".
Neatly seguing into the next part of the posting; hopefully, this month will see the end of waiting for the release of a new set of Stargate SG-1 adventures, which have been previously postponed a number of times. At some time or other, over a period of several months, I think I've played or 'read-in' every character in these stories and therefore feel like I've made quite an investment in them. Consequently, I'm looking forward to hearing the finished recordings very keenly indeed. There may be more to come, but until then, here's the existing artwork:
Online reviews & comments:
Rated 5 out of 5 by Travis
This was the best drama I have heard so far, the story intense and the voice acting phenomenal. The sound effects were also very fitting, it was like listening to a Hollywood movie!
Garro: Sword of awesomesauce
Rated 5 out of 5 by John
Bloody marvellous. Wonderful set-up, good twists, amazing little fluff-bomb that drops towards the end.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Aleksi
Words have a hard time describing how awesome Sword of Truth was. I cant praise it highly enough.
Theater of the mind, and artistic story telling for the ages. This audio drama does not disappoint.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Douglas
Rated 5 out of 5 by Duncan
Everything works about this audio-drama, the characters, the sound effects, the narration and the plot. I didn't want it to end. BL are onto a winner with Garro and co. More please!
Reviews & comments:
Mr. Banks does superb work, and I recommend the audiobooks wholeheartedly!
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
...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
...also features the mind - bogglingly versatile and reliable John Banks
Jonathan Morris - writer
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
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)
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