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...
Friday, 19 April 2013
...would you like ice with that?
To coincide with the television broadcast, Big Finish ran a promotion on the various Ice Warrior stories they had produced, including Thin Ice, which I'd worked on with Sylvester, Sophie Aldred, Beth Chalmers and the rest of the company.
What got me thinking was the hazy memory of having played an Ice Warrior in Thin Ice, as well as two named characters and a couple of uncredited minor characters. After much rummaging through scripts and scrutinising the CD recording, it finally came to light; I hadn't dreamed the whole thing up and had in fact played Sslork! Joy!
If nothing else, I am relieved that it wasn't all a figment of my imagination! Nick Briggs played the principal Ice Warrior, Hhessh and Nigel Lambert played Glarva - phew!
What I remember much more clearly is having had the enormous thrill and honour of actually playing a Dalek in a story released not very long ago and getting to say the immortal line "I am a Dalek", which as a schoolboy in the mid sixties, gave me and my mates many a sore throat, as we tried to 'out Dalek' each other in the playground.
Of course, recanting anecdotes of recordings past, also gives me a great excuse to post a bit of relevant Ice Warrior and Dalek artwork!
The audio clip included in this post is something I've put together for The Spotlight, the UK's leading Casting Directory, which almost all actors are a member of. Five minutes is the upper limit, which is quite a lot to wade through if you're listening to a voice with a professional ear for casting purposes. I'm sure no-one will listen to the whole thing, but at least there's a reasonable selection of untreated character voices to fast forward through! If you do have a listen, maybe you'll recognise where some of these clips originate?
Reviews & comments:
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
...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
A Spy Like No Other:
This is the best audio book ever.
The Cult Den
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