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 100 audio books* I've recorded since March 2013,
including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including audible.co.uk, Hachette, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at November 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

Blackshields

Blackshields
The False War

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015

The Harrowing - short story

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

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

The Emperor's Legion

The Emperor's Legion
Watchers of The Throne

The Long Night - short story

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Sunday, 18 May 2014

May 2014 - what a thriller!

What is it about May? Once again, I seem to have waved goodbye to my comfort zone, the notion of restful sleep and perhaps even a chunk of my dwindling sanity. I've just had a quick look at a posting I made here last May and notice a pattern beginning to develop; a calm-ish start to the year, followed in the fifth month by a tsunami of work and over commitment. As a jobbing actor, living a life of famine or feast, I always find it hard to have to turn down offers of work: it goes against the grain. This May however, I have had to turn down some lovely work; work that I would really love to have done. The reason for doing so is that, like last May, I've been very busy in the recording studio and have additionally agreed to take a job in the theatre at short notice.

I do love theatre, it's what I grew up doing and is something I am by now, very familiar with. The thrill of rehearsing and performing a play has never diminished for me. However, I know of several actors, especially more recent graduates, who perhaps don't have the same passion for theatre as some of us older hands. For them, getting into television and building a career there is the thing to do and for all I know, such an approach might be actively promoted in drama schools these days; television is often a much more lucrative pursuit and from an agent's point of view, a much better way to quickly establish a client's profile.

All this preamble is building up to me saying that, once again as May has rolled around, I think I might have bitten off more than I can possibly chew. Last year, I had to 'cold learn' two Maeterlinck plays and go on after three afternoon rehearsals. That certainly got my attention and having achieved the task in hand, I felt super confident that 'the old magic' was still there, that I could do anything and I really was a 'master of the universe' etc etc... Such confidence is a very precious commodity and it left me about an hour after the final curtain on that production. Since then, a whole year of self doubt has crept back in and my task this year, makes last year's look like a couple of weeks sipping cocktails on a private beach, with a warm, gentle breeze and the sound of the ocean for company.

It's now May 18th; by June 28th, my Mission Impossible is to have learned, rehearsed and performed three full-length plays. This kind of work is usually referred to as 'weekly rep' and in late 19th - mid 20th Century Britain, became the established method of putting on a variety of shows in quick succession, at a time when most towns and cities would have had their own Repertory Theatre with it's own resident company of actors. The idea is to rehearse the first play and as soon as it opens, start rehearsing the second and so on; rehearsing during the day and performing at night. When I started out, most of the older actors I worked with had begun their careers in weekly rep and considered it a right of passage, a badge of honour almost. Apart from my final two years at university, when I was rehearsing and performing at least a couple of productions at any given moment, I've never experienced such 'full on' theatre and in a bizarre way, I'm really looking forward to the immense challenge of it. Good job I love theatre!

I leave for Nottingham next Tuesday to start rehearsals, but before then, I also have four days in the recording studio, for which I need to be fully prepared of course. Not complaining, but - aaaaaaagh!

I shall spend the rest of this sunny Sunday trying to assimilate the first play we're due to rehearse and I reckon I'm about half way there. The goal I set myself was to have cracked the first play by tonight and so far, I'm roughly on schedule. My days in the recording studio are semi-prepared, but tomorrow's I haven't yet seen the script for and will probably have to rely on instinct when it comes to performing it. The next two projects are just about ready although the final three stories I have yet to read.

So, there we have it. I will of course update here when possible and let you know how things are going...

In the meantime, here's a poster for the shows at Windsor; I'm in The Ghost Train, The Shadow of The Ghost and Fatal Encounter.


As a quick PS, I should also mention that Nick Briggs is directing the first two plays and Karen Henson is directing Fatal Encounter.

...further updates coming soon!

No comments:

Fabius Bile

Fabius Bile
WARHAMMER 40,000

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

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.