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...
Tuesday, 22 October 2013
The National Theatre 1963 - 2013
I couldn't really let the 22nd October 2013 go by without somehow wishing the National Theatre a 'Happy 50th Birthday'.
The Company, created by Sir Laurence Olivier at The Old Vic, is fifty years old today and transferred to its current location in 1976:
'Because of the National Theatre Board's wish to make the building live as soon as possible despite protracted building delays, each of the three theatres within the National was used as it became available, even though not finished. The Lyttelton opened first, in March 1976; the Olivier next in October 1976; and the Cottesloe staged its first public performances in March 1977. The Queen officially opened the building on 25 October 1976. Saturday 1 March 1977 was the first night on which all three theatres were playing.'
The summer of '76 was one of the hottest and most prolonged in British living memory. I have vivid recollections of going on a school trip, during the heatwave, to see a production of John Osborne's play Watch It Come Down at the Lyttleton. Apart from seeing a couple of famous actors in the cast, my strongest impression of the event was the joy of being in an air-conditioned building - the first I'd ever experienced!
As a 17 year old, very keen on theatre and hoping to study drama at university, I remember standing outside the magnificent new building and secretly vowing to myself, that one day, I'd work there too. Well, it took a while, but I have worked at the NT, in Henry V and earlier this year with Port and who knows, maybe a glittering career awaits in years to come...?
Right: a view from my dressing room - March 2013
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