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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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

September 2014

I can't think why, but for some reason, it feels as though the first update of the month, ie, this one, is the first regular blogging I've done for a while; all this theatre nonsense getting in the way probably. Anyway, first to mention this month is the release of a Pathfinder Legends story entitled:  

Rise of The Runelords: Fortress of The Stone Giants.

I must confess that I didn't know very much at all about Pathfinder Legends until quite recently and now I've discovered a whole new world of possibility and adventure. Here's a very brief 'infomercial' from Big Finish:





In the sleepy coastal town of Sandpoint, evil is brewing. An attack by crazed goblins reveals the shadows of a forgotten past returning to threaten the town - and perhaps all of Varisia.

My story is the fourth in this continuing arc and in it, I'm playing a Stone Giant. There are more stories to come over the next several months and I'm keen to listen to them all. So far, I've only heard the first instalment, Burnt Offerings, which I enjoyed very much. I really need to set aside some time to listen properly to the others in the series before Episode 4 becomes available...





Here's a brief synopsis of the story and some magnificent cover art:



A sudden assault on the town of Sandpoint by stone giants and a dragon brings the looming threat home. Ezren, Merisiel, Harsk and Valeros learn that attack was just a scouting party, that the stone giants are massing for war. The only way to disrupt their advance is to strike at the Jorgenfist, the fortress of Warlord Mokmurian, the sinister giant responsible for gathering his people for war.



Written by Cavan Scott 
&
Directed by John Ainsworth





Next to feature on my list of updates is Big Finish Day 5, which I'm very much looking forward to:



If you've been to one of the previous Big Finish Day Conventions, I hope you'll agree with me that they are very well organised and enormously enjoyable. I'm fortunate to have been invited as a guest to Day 5 and I look forward to meeting lots of very enthusiastic Big Finish fans. Legendary Doctor Who the Fourth, in the guise of Tom Baker, will be appearing at the convention and perhaps as a consequence of such a major star taking part, I understand that tickets for the event are completely sold out and have been for some time.

 For further information, here's another link to the Tenth Planet website: BF Day 5

* * * * *

Having spent the last several months working in the theatre, it was quite a gear change to go back into the studio to record a couple of corporate film voice overs last week and a new Big Finish adventure this week. In a strange way, it felt like 'coming home' despite the fact that I've been appearing on stage for well over thirty years and should feel much more comfortable there - all quite pleasantly surprising!

* * * * *

And so, to end this posting, I just want to mention that my friend Rachel Illingworth is currently Assistant Producer on the World Premier of Joe Orton's 1959 play Fred & Madge. I'm happy to give what little publicity I can to the production via this web site; I think it's a hugely worthwhile and ambitious project to undertake. As a company, they want to make sure the actors and crew are paid at least UK Minimum Wage, which again I think is highly laudable. I include myself as one of the many actors who have worked on plays and films in the past for no pay at all, effectively subsidising our own jobs and in my opinion, paying a salary to the company is to be applauded and supported. 

Rough Haired Pointer and Adam Spreadbury-Maher present: 

 The World Premier of Joe Orton's Fred & Madge

Webber: Do you want to ruin society and civilization with your laughter?
Madge: Yes, oh yes!

Fred & Madge (1959) is the first play by a young playwright named John Orton. Until now this full length play has been unseen. Now for the first time it will be professionally staged at The Hope Theatre, a stone’s throw from Orton’s former bedsit flat on Noel Road where he lived, wrote and was murdered. That author became Joe Orton, one of the most pivotal playwrights of the 20th century.

Fred and Madge are a normal married couple. Or so we think until a director and an audience member interrupt, fast-forwarding, editing and reworking this play within a play. Delightfully ambitious, the play includes the destruction of the Royal Festival Hall, professional insulters who indulge in ‘protest laughter’ to purify civilization, a dystopian England overgrown with marigolds. It is full of typically Ortonesque biting satire, astute social insight and liberal amounts of absurdism and wit. Fred’s job is to push boulders up a hill; Madge’s is to sieve water.  The play offers a fascinating glimpse of the young Orton developing into the playwright he was to become.

Joe Orton came from a working-class family in Leicester. He won a scholarship to RADA where he met his lover and lifelong companion Kenneth Halliwell with whom he lived until 1967 when Halliwell murdered him and then killed himself. His work includes Entertaining Mr Sloane, Loot and What The Butler Saw. In 1978 John Lahr’s biography of Orton was published, along with Up Against It his screenplay for The Beatles, which was made into a musical in the late 80s. In the last decade the early novels (Between Us Girls, Lord Cucumber and The Boy Hairdresser) written by Orton / Orton and Halliwell were published.

In October 2014 his very first play will be performed for the very first time at The Hope Theatre 47 years after his death.

If you would like to support this production via Kickstarter, please follow this link;


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

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.