"John Banks is one of the UK's most prolific audiobook narrators, working for the likes of Big Finish, Audible, Random House and Games Workshop.

He is a true multi-voice, creating everything from monsters to marauding aliens.

He is also an accomplished stage and TV actor."

audible.co.uk 2018


...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 more than 270* audio-drama stories with Big Finish Productions, together with The Black Library/Games Workshop, details of which can be found in the postings below.

There are also details listed here of the 214* audio books & stories I've recorded since March 2013,
including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including audible.co.uk, Hachette, Audible Studios, Podium Audio Publishing, HarperCollins, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at April 2021)

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...

The Runewar Saga: Book 2

The Runewar Saga: Book 2
The Crown of Fire & Fury

The Botanist

The Botanist
Washington Poe Series: Book 5

Skaven Deathmaster

The Babel Books

The Babel Books
The Fall of Babel - click image above for link to audible

Doctor Who: Back To Earth

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Throne of Light: Dawn of Fire Book 4
Release Date: 13th November 2021

Soul Wars

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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

 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:

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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

The Door In The Wall & War of The Worlds

Not often I buy another version of an audiobook I own, but after hearing John Banks' narration of The Door in the Wall by Ladbroke Audio, I had to buy their version of The War of the Worlds. Banks has a great reading voice.

Andy Frankham-Allen - writer

The Books of Babel: Senlin Ascends, Arm of The Sphinx & The Hod King

Mr. Banks does superb work, and I recommend the audiobooks wholeheartedly!

Josiah Bancroft - writer

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


...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

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

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.

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015