ASSASSIN'S CREED

ASSASSIN'S CREED
January 2017
"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

Coming in November...

Coming in November...

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 more than 250* audio-drama stories for Big Finish Productions and The Black Library/Games Workshop, details of which can be found in the postings below.


There are also details listed here of the 150* 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 October 2018)

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...

November release:

November release:

Flight. Redefined.

Games Workshop

Games Workshop

Media Content

This Windows 10 Googleblog is designed and best viewed on Firefox; unfortunately, some media content may not function properly with other browsers or operating systems.

Search This Blog

Thursday, 26 May 2016

...and in a late item of news...

...yes, late indeed! Late at night and late to post. The two releases described below actually became available last week, quite unexpectedly too I might add.

My only excuse for such tardy behaviour is that it's been a bit of a 'full on' week one way and another and I'm also now deep into preparation for quite a bit of Games Workshop activity next week, followed by a 'fantasy genre' audio book to be recorded the following week for Hachette, which is part of the Little, Brown Group for whom I recorded Nev Fountain's novel, Painkiller, last autumn - small world! I'm enjoying the slower pace of preparation for these recordings, as the last six or seven months have been almost too crazy for comfort. This new audio book, when recorded, will I think, be the 43rd audio recording (ie books & drama) since completing The Bible in mid November '15 - crazy indeed!

But onwards, ever onwards! And onwards in this posting to two very interesting releases (28 & 29 in this year's tally) from Games Workshop - here are some details:

Meduson: Ultimate Edition

A Horus Heresy anthology

Ten tales of the Tenth and their Shattered Legions allies bring the brutal guerilla war to life as the Sons of Horus hunt the leader of the insurgency – the infamous Shadrak Meduson.



Driven almost to the brink of self-destruction by the death of Ferrus Manus, the Iron Hands now seek vengeance for the many horrors of Isstvan V. Gathering survivors from the Raven Guard and the Salamanders aboard any vessels capable of warp travel, they wage a new campaign of annihilation against the traitor forces across the galaxy - a campaign masterminded by legendary warleader Shadrak Meduson.

In Meduson: Ultimate Edition, Black Library is proud to present seven short stories from the original anthology, as well as Grey Talon and The Either as full-cast audio dramas with complete production scripts. Finally, the defiant strength of the Iron Tenth begins to fall in the brand new story Hand Elect by Chris Wraight.




Meduson by Dan Abnett

Unforged and Unspoken by Guy Haley

Immortal Duty by Nick Kyme

Hand Elect by Chris Wraight

The Keys of Hel by John French

The Noose by David Annandale

Deeds Endure by Gav Thorpe
   
368-page hardback book with full-art matt PPC hardcover
Gloss dustjacket in the Horus Heresy series style with gold foiling and art by Neil Roberts
 
Includes 2 CDs contained in the endpapers

 Grey Talon by Chris Wraight. Running time 60 minutes. Performed by John Banks, Ian Brooker, Steve Conlin, Toby Longworth & Luis Soto.

 The Either by Graham McNeill. Running time 67 minutes. Performed by Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Robin Bowerman, Ian Brooker, Steve Conlin, Toby Longworth, Luis Soto & Ramon Tikaram.


Great Red

 

Part 3 of the Knights of Vengeance audio drama series

In the Sea of Bones, the Hallowed Knights and their allies meet a worthy foe – and a possible ally – in the mighty Great Red and his Ironjawz horde...


The hunt for Mannfred von Carstein takes the Hallowed Knights and Astral Templars far into the hazardous Sea of Bones. It is here that Ramus of the Shadowed Soul and Vandalus, the ‘King of Dust’, meet a worthy foe: the Ironjawz. Led by the fearsome Great Red, this orruk tribe sees the intrusion of the Stormcasts as a challenge. War against the orruks would threaten their mission, so Ramus and Vandalus set out to broker an alliance – but Ironjawz only value strength and, to appease their savage nature, the Hallowed Knights and the Astral Templars must prove they are mighty enough to be considered allies...

Performed by:

 Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Ian Brooker, Steve Conlin, Jonathan Keeble, Stephen Perring and Luis Soto

Written by David Guymer & Produced by Matthew Renshaw

* * * * *

And so to wrap up this late edition, I'd just like to say how pleased I am that the Tenth Doctor Adventures mentioned previously, seem to be being very well received, so thanks to all who have expressed such a positive reaction to these stories, of which, I am delighted to have been a part.


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

Monday, 16 May 2016

David Tennant and Catherine Tate: The Tenth Doctor Adventures

How exciting is this!?!? Available from today, three stories featuring the fantastic David Tennant and Catherine Tate as The Doctor and Donna respectively - I just can't wait to listen to these stories and here, to whet your appetite, if such a thing were necessary, are synopses and some amazing artwork:


Technophobia

When the Doctor and Donna visit London’s Technology Museum for a glimpse into the future, things
don’t go to plan.

The most brilliant IT brain in the country can’t use her computer. More worrying, the exhibits are attacking the visitors, while outside, people seem to be losing control of the technology that runs their lives.

Is it all down to simple human stupidity, or is something more sinister going on?
Beneath the streets, the Koggnossenti are waiting. For all of London to fall prey to technophobia...








David Tennant (The Doctor), Catherine Tate (Donna Noble),  
Niky Wardley (Bex), Rachael Stirling (Jill Meadows), 
Chook Sibtain (Brian), Rory Keenan (Kevin), Jot Davies (Lukas)
Other roles played by the cast 

Written by Matt Fitton
Directed by Nicholas Briggs


Time Reaver


Calibris. The spaceport planet where anything goes. Where anyone who doesn't want to be found can be lost, and where everything has its price. Where betentacled gangster Gully holds sway at the smugglers’ tavern, Vagabond’s Reach.

The alien Vacintians are trying to impose some order on the chaos. Soon the Doctor and Donna discover why. An illegal weapon is loose on the streets. A weapon that destroys lives… Slowly and agonisingly.

The Time Reaver.


 







David Tennant (The Doctor), Catherine Tate (Donna Noble),  
Alex Lowe (Soren), Sabrina Bartlett (Cora), Terry Molloy (Rone),  
John Banks (Gully), Dan Starkey (Dorn)
Other roles played by the cast

Written by Jenny T Colgan
Directed by Nicholas Briggs 


Death and the Queen


Donna Noble has never been lucky in love.

So when, one day, her Prince does come, she is thrilled to have the wedding of all weddings to look forward to. Though the Doctor isn’t holding his breath for an invitation. And her future mother-in-law is certainly not amused.

But on the big day itself, Donna finds her castle under siege from the darkest of forces, marching at the head of a skeleton army.

When it looks like even the Doctor can’t save the day, what will Queen Donna do to save her people from Death itself?

 David Tennant (The Doctor), Catherine Tate (Donna Noble),  
Blake Ritson (Rudolph), Alice Krige (Queen Mum), Beth Chalmers (Hortense), Alan Cox (Death)
Other roles played by the cast

Written by James Goss
Directed by Nicholas Briggs 
 




 

Well, as I'm sure you can imagine, this was such a fabulous project to work on and I'm grateful indeed to Nick Briggs for having me in to play Gully in Time Reaver. It seemed to me that the 'stars' of the show were also savouring the time they had together in the studio, reprising such well regarded, and indeed, loved characters. 

The fun was had in getting things right and doing our very best to convey the drama of these stories; there was no 'phoning it in'; David and Catherine, as the true professionals they are, were thoroughly prepared and committed to the project and it was indeed a privilidge for me to share a studio with them - a bit daunting, especially playing such an extreme a character as Gully, but a pleasure nontheless. 

Thank you to all!

Here's a link to Paul Simpson's review, which came through via twitter at the crack of dawn this morning; again, thank you Paul!


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

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The Tenth Doctor Adventures: coming May 16th...


Calibris. The spaceport planet where anything goes. 

Where anyone who doesn't want to be found can be lost, and where everything has its price.

Where betentacled gangster Gully holds sway at the smugglers’ tavern, Vagabond’s Reach...



Monday, 9 May 2016

...new audio samples uploaded; it must be May!

So what's happening? Well, I had a really good time last week, recording a new series of audio drama with the ever fabulous Big Finish gang. As usual, I can't really give any further detail at the moment, although keen Twitter followers might well have joined the dots by now and have a pretty good idea of what's been going on. I will of course spill all the necessary beans just as soon as I'm able, but I'll end on the teasing note of saying how much I enjoyed working with BF friends & acquaintances old and new, some of whom, I haven't seen for quite some time. Great to catch up during working hours and very civilised to wander off together for a quick sherry or two at close of play.

After 26 audio releases so far this year, the pace has eased a little, although there's much more in the pipeline; much more! It 'may' be (May.. geddit? Oh, please yourselves...) that the unabridged NRSV Bible is to be released this month, all 74 plus hours of it and also perhaps, the first of the Malazan Empire novels, Dancer's Lament might be issued on CD. It's currently available as a download only, possibly from both Amazon and Penguin Random House. We shall soon see!

For various reasons, but all to do with self-promotion and getting the next job if I'm honest, I've uploaded some new material to Spotlight and to this web site, in the form of samples taken from some of the Games Workshop recordings I've been working on recently.

I love, I mean, really love recording the Warhammer stories and dramas; they are fascinating and beautifully written. Because both the audio books and dramas deal with such a finely crafted and well documented world and often in fantastic detail and use a language intended to convey the sheer majesty and scale of both the soldiers themselves and the vastness of space they inhabit, they can be unbelievably tricky to do. Giving voice to such larger than life characters such as the many Legions of Space Marines and their even larger than 'larger than life' Primarch's and the variety of other creatures and humans who also feature in the stories, can be a huge challenge.






In order to illustrate the point about the complexity and density of the language, I've just uploaded another audio sample from the opening chapter of The Harrowing, by Rob Sanders, a short story taken from the War Without End anthology, which I narrate in the voice of a character, 'Operative-unit 55/Phi-silon'. I hope you'll give it a quick listen and see what I mean. It's posted below. Allowing the narrative to sound 'conversational' is also quite a challenge, but enormously satisfying - if it all works! The Harrowing is a fantastic story and I really had fun recording it.






And that I think is about all for now. Of course, I couldn't post with out adding a graphic or two - how dull would that be, just acres of text to look at?!? So I've randomly added some Space Marine imagery to liven the whole thing up; two White Scars and two Ultramarines.






* * * * *

As a bit of a 'post script' and because this posting differs from the usual style/content of a regular update, I'm going to add a review for the audio book, Mr. Mac and Me that I happened to come across the other day and here it is:
 
In 1914, young Tom is disturbed, yet fascinated, by how his Suffolk coastal town is affected by the outbreak of war. The energy and enthusiasm of John Banks's performance key into the 13-year-old boy's active imagination and natural curiosity. Tom is especially drawn to the newcomers Mr. Mac--the real-life artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh--and his wife, whose loving marriage is so different from what he sees at home. Banks's excellent use of volume and pacing builds tension as the authorities begin to suspect the Mackintoshes of treason and Tom, who has befriended the couple, is at a loss for what to do or believe. In addition, Banks's characterizations are spot-on; young or old, male or female, he has the inflections down pat.

by Esther Freud Read by John Banks
 
Fiction • 8.25 hrs. • Unabridged • © 2014  C.B.L. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine [Published: JULY 2015]


I am most grateful to 'C.B.L' for taking the time to write such a sympathetic and generous review of a book that I loved and thoroughly enjoyed recording.



Thanks also to C.B.L for a similarly generous review on the same AudioFile web site, for Ali Smith's How To Be Both, which I also narrated - thank you!

* * * * *

At the moment, I have two audio dramas to prepare, but the heat is off in comparison to the last six or seven months; so...


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

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

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

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

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