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

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

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

The Herald of Sanguinius - short story

Echoes Of Revelation

Echoes Of Revelation
The Horus Heresy

The Carrion Throne

The Carrion Throne
Warhammer 40,000

Pharos - audio book

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015

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Saturday, 1 December 2012

'tis the season to be jolly!

...and for good reason.

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:



Next up this month is the CD release of Garro: Sword of Truth from The Black Library. Here are the details:


Nathaniel Garro, knight errant and agent of the Sigillite, returns from the battlefields of Calth to find a new mission already waiting for him – a ragged fleet of Space Marines from several Legions lingers at the edge of the Terran system. With the presence of World Eaters and Emperor’s Children causing concern among the loyalist defenders and drawing a grim parallel with his own frantic flight, Garro must look beneath the obvious if he is to determine friend from foe...

Online reviews & comments:

Fantastic production
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.

Amazing
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

Simply put this is another outstanding audio drama in the Garro mini-series. The story is a wonderful tale that keeps the listener at the edge of their seat and thoroughly enthralled with the drama being played out as our hero Garro and his companion Rubio must decide the fate of would-be refugees of the Warmaster's heresy and betrayal. 



Fantastic
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!

Performed by John Banks, Toby Longworth and Ramon Tikaram. 

Written by: James Swallow
Directed by: Ken Bentley
Produced by Black Library & Big Finish.

Also during the very busy week just gone was the recording of a new Big Finish story in a series I haven't previously worked on, details of which are to follow. Next week, in addition to everything else, I'm back in the studio for a couple of days to work on a fascinating and very exciting new Dr Who story** - again, details to follow when BF release them. Frustrating I know; what was I saying a few months ago about the joys of deferred gratification? Just to crank up the teasing nature of all this, I have the script here in front of me and I'll be spending a large part of this sunny Saturday afternoon working my way through it - what fun!

All for now, but there may well be more to come this month, so do check in for further updates.


* Karl Wallenda (January 21, 1905 – March 22, 1978) was the founder of The Flying Wallendas, an internationally known circus act, remembered for performing death-defying stunts, often without a safety net.

** At the moment, the most I can say about next week's Dr Who story is that it's a 'Companion Chronicle'.

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.