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

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

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

The Herald of Sanguinius - short story

Echoes Of Revelation

Echoes Of Revelation
The Horus Heresy

The Carrion Throne

The Carrion Throne
Warhammer 40,000

Pharos - audio book

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Vanquished

Good afternoon! I have to start by saying that "it's been quite a week!". Having completed the series of audio book recordings I mentioned in the last posting and 'been there and done that' with the episode of the tv series I also mentioned a while ago, (terrific fun by the way & much more to come on this) I had honestly been looking forward to a time of calm contemplation, a bit of navel gazing and the occasional thumb twiddle, maybe a hair cut?

But no. Two very welcome and exciting audio dramas have materialised in the last few days and will need to be recorded over the next few weeks. As always, I can't yet give details, but they will assuredly follow when the time comes for the recordings to be released. In their different ways, both dramas present interesting challenges and I'm thoroughly looking forward to mid week, when recording begins. I'm now in the process of reading and marking up the scripts and assimilating the narrative and the characters I'm required to play, all of which is fun, although marking up a long audio book can sometimes stretch on a bit.

"So far, so what?" you may ask. Well, just as one of my thumbs decided on a bit of twiddle practice, late on Thursday afternoon, the prospect of a very interesting job was dangled before me, a job which I thought I had virtually no chance of being seriously considered for - I mean, seriously? My benificent tormentor told me that by 6 o'clock that evening, I would know if the job was mine - or much more likely, not mine.

6 o'clock eventually came, about an hour after 5 - with no news - and went. Mmm. Not good. So I started telling myself how unlikely it would have been to have been offered the job and "you never miss what you haven't had" and trying to effect a sort of cool indifference to my inevitable disappointment which, karma wise, balanced out an otherwise upbeat and very positive week.

Friday. Nothing. The job, I should mention, is the recording of an audio book; quite a special and exciting and somewhat daunting audio book. Schedules are tight, deadlines already loom. It's Friday afternoon; the job has gone... surely?

...?

Late Friday afternoon; an email has been sent but is somehow late in arriving, lost in the ether. Unbelievably and only a few emails later, the offer is astonishingly made and the deal is done! Shocked. Just shocked. Still shocked a couple of days later and now also knee deep in preparation for this daunting task which will commence - sometime this week!!! 

And all is calm.

So, to the main purpose of this posting. Not very long ago, a month or so, I recorded a fascinating book, which is now available from audible and Amazon and probably lots of other places too. Here are some details:


The Vanquished: Why The First World War Failed To End, 1917-1923

For the Western allies, 11 November 1918 has always been a solemn date - the end of fighting which had destroyed a generation and a vindication of a terrible sacrifice with the total collapse of their principal enemies: the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. But for much of the rest of Europe, this was a day with no meaning, as a continuing nightmarish series of conflicts engulfed country after country.  

 

In this highly original, gripping book, Robert Gerwarth asks us to think again about the true legacy of the First World War. In large part it was not the fighting on the Western front which proved so ruinous to Europe's future but the devastating aftermath, as countries on both sides of the original conflict were wrecked by revolution, pogroms, mass expulsions and further major military clashes. 

If the war itself had in most places been a struggle purely between state-backed soldiers, these new conflicts were mainly about civilians and paramilitaries, and millions of people died across Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe before the USSR and a series of rickety and exhausted small new states came into being. Everywhere there were vengeful people, their lives racked by a murderous sense of injustice, looking for the opportunity to take retribution against enemies real and imaginary. 

Only a decade later, the rise of the Third Reich and other totalitarian states provided them with the opportunity they had been looking for. 


Written by Robert Gerwarth & Narrated by John Banks  

Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins


By strange coincidence, I'd been looking at this book in a book shop the day before the job to record it was offered; I took it as 'a sign'.

The book has certainly helped me to understand the brutal nature of the post WWI period and how the political threads of that conflict lead to the further catastrophe of WWII. Technically, I found The Vanquished quite a challenge to narrate, primarily because of the complexity of pronouncing the myriad people and place names that occur throughout. A private reader might easily skip over these names in pursuit of the stronger narrative line, whereas a narrator has to make each name sound authentic and accurate - and 'conversational'! I hope I have had some success with the task of achieving the right balance in pronouncing names from across Europe, Russia, The Balkans and indeed all those countries that became embroiled in the global conflict of WWI and it's aftermath.


  * * * * *

That ought to be all for now, but just to step out onto a thinnish branch here: an audio drama has just been released from Games Workshop and I have been credited with an appearance in it. That might well be the case, but I have no specific record or recollection of having taken part...

Anyway, the cover art alone is worth posting, so whether I'm in it or not, here are some details:

The Thirteenth Wolf

A Horus Heresy audio drama

The Space Wolves have assaulted Prospero and driven the traitorous Thousand Sons into the madness of the immaterium. Bravely, the 13th Company pursue their fleeing foes, but at what cost?


For more than two hundred years, the armies of the Emperor of Mankind fought to reconquer the galaxy - led by the superhuman primarchs, the Space Marine Legions brought countless worlds back under the rule of ancient Terra.

Now Horus, once honoured Warmaster and favoured son of the Emperor, has been corrupted by the whispered promises of Chaos. At his command the Imperium is torn apart by a terrible and bloody civil war, the likes of which the galaxy has never seen... At the Emperor's command were the Wolves of Russ unleashed, but it is by the will of Horus alone that Prospero now burns.

The VIth Legion have stormed the world of Magnus the Red, with venerable warriors of the Thirteenth Great Company always to be found where the fighting is at its most bloody, seeking to write their own names into the sagas of Fenris.

But the Thousand Sons are far from defeated, and their foul sorcery may yet be the doom of all, deep within the maddening heart of the Portal Maze.


 Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Ian Brooker, Tim Bentinck, Steve Conlin, Jonathan Keeble
and Toby Longworth

Written by Gav Thorpe & Produced by Matt Renshaw 

* * * * *
And that really is where I should draw this posting to a close; the text becons! 


...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.