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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Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Blind & The Intruder - Update

Just a quick update on my friend and colleague Rachel Illingworth; for the last several weeks, she's been working as Assistant Director on two rarely performed Maeterlinck plays, The Blind and The Intruder for Tarquin Productions at The Old Red Lion. The production officially opens tonight, so best wishes to all for a successful run. Here are the details:


Maurice Maeterlinck's 1911 Nobel laureateship cited THE BLIND and THE INTRUDER as two of his seminal works. A proponent of the Symbolist movement, with an unprecedented awareness of the human condition enveloped in a black sense of humour, Maeterlinck's simple but effective style of writing is rarely performed in the UK.

Two plays. Two views of the world. One terrifying subject: the blindness of humankind to the mysteries of our existence.
 A recent 'tweet' from Michael Billington: 

 'Maeterlinck double-bill at Old Red Lion till the 27th. Do give it a go. Fascinating evening.'


"Not to know where one is, not to know where one has come from, and always darkness, darkness! I would rather not live."

Tuesday 2nd April to Saturday 27th April 2013 at 7:30pm

Matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00pm

Old Red Lion Theatre
418 St John Street
London
EC1V 4NJ 



 Rachel with Designer Jacob Hughes. Directed by Benji Sperring.

"This is connoisseur's theatre at its best "    - That's Theatre Darling review blog
 "...a gem of a production"                      - views from the gods review blog

Monday 8th April Update: Today's Guardian review by Michael Billington: 3 stars out of 5

The Blind &The Intruder – review

The Blind
Old Red Lion, London



 Terrifying void … The Blind.

 Photograph: PeterLangdown





It's a good bet that not many British theatre-goers are intimate with the work of Maurice Maeterlinck (1862–1949). Yet in his day this Belgian playwright and symbolist poet, who won the 1911 Nobel prize for literature, pioneered drama built out of stasis, silence and lack of overt conflict. While these two short plays dating from 1890 now seem like historical curiosities, you can detect their influence on the work of Beckett.

The Intruder, played first, is a spooky piece in which a family is gathered to await the arrival of a sister of mercy to attend an ailing woman: the flickering light, the silence in the garden and the blind grandfather's sense that death has entered the room put me in mind of the ghost stories of MR James as much as the theatrical avant garde.

What Maeterlinck understood was that waiting is itself inherently dramatic. In The Blind, we see a group of sightless people apparently abandoned on a desolate island clifftop by the priest who cares for them: filling the terrifying void with fractious argument and speculation, they suddenly stumble across the corpse of their protective pastor.

You can measure how much times have changed by contrasting The Blind with Brian Friel's Molly Sweeney: to Maeterlinck, the sightless were symbolic victims living in unrelieved darkness, where Friel focuses on his heroine's rich interior life. But, if you strip away the gothic element in Maeterlinck, you can see that he was edging towards a new kind of drama in which waiting was as important as arrival, and the image mattered as much as the word. And it is the images I shall remember from Benji Sperring's production: vividly designed by Jacob Hughes, The Blind shows white-uniformed characters sitting on a floor strewn with paper and domestic detritus, as if survivors of some natural disaster. In an eight-strong cast, John Canmore as the tetchy grandfather and Gina Abolins as a wistful romantic stand out.

While this revival is a fascinating collector's item, it also demonstrates that Maeterlinck suffered the fate of many artistic revolutionaries – seeing his ideas absorbed into the mainstream.

  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

...so, very well done to Rachel and all those involved in the production!

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.