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...

Games Workshop

Games Workshop

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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Just in time for Halloween...

...though much more horrific than anything Hollywood might have come up with. This meticulously researched book by Paul Simpson was released yesterday and here are some details:

"There are many myths about serial killers: that they are all dysfunctional loners; all white males; only motivated by sex; that they all travel and operate across a wide area; cannot stop killing; are all insane, or evil geniuses; and that they all want to get caught.

Of course, there are some serial killers who fit into these categories, but the married Green River Killer was not a dysfunctional loner; there are plenty of female and non-Caucasian serial killers; Dr Harold Shipman was certainly not motivated by sex; many serial killings (such as the Ipswich prostitute murders carried out by Steve Wright) happen within a confined area; and the BTK Killer, Dennis Rader, stopped killing in 1991 but wasn't caught until 14 years later. Many serial killers may have a low animal cunning or be 'street smart', but few of them are Mensa-level geniuses.

Each of the 30 cases covered here is unusual in some respect, perhaps in the way in which the killer carried out their crimes, the choice of victims, the way in which they were apprehended, or the method of their execution.

The cases are presented alphabetically by country - from Australia via Colombia, Great Britain, Indonesia, Iran, South Africa and elsewhere to the United States - and then chronologically. They come from across history and from all over the world. The author has gone back as far as possible to contemporary source material - newspaper accounts, trial evidence, interviews with perpetrators or survivors - rather than rely on the increasingly blurred truth to be found online and in far too many collections." 


©2018 Paul Simpson (P)2018 Little, Brown Book Group

Written by Paul Simpson, Produced by Neil Gardner & Narrated by John Banks

Running time: 12hours - 25 minutes

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

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Prophets of Waaagh!

And as a brief adjunct to today's main posting, I would briefly like to mention the recent release of the complete series of Waaagh! audio dramas. Here are some details:

Prophets of Waaagh!

An Orks audio drama

Dumped on a nowhere world by the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum, the Red Sunz Mek mob battle to survive.



When a call to Waaagh! rings out across the planet, the chance at survival, as well as some shooty-fun, beckons. But all is not what it seems. Only an ork with real orky know-wots can hope to overcome the False Waaagh…!

The End of Daze

Bozgat's Big Adventure

The Waaagh! Faker

Performed by:
Tom Alexander John Banks Cliff Chapman Steve Conlin Matthew Hunt Jonathan Keeble David Seddon & Joe Shire
 
Written by Guy Haley and Produced by Matt Renshaw

Running Time: 1 hr and 3 mins

 
©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited

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

The Interrogation of Salvor Lermentov

Good afternoon! After another busy week in the studio, recording four audio dramas, it's back to audio books for the next couple of weeks; two books to record by the second week of November, which, relatively, seems to be quite a calm schedule.

A few days ago, this short audio drama, 'Lermentov' below, was released and having now heard it a couple of times, I must say that I'm very pleased with the way it's turned out. David Seddon does a magnificent job of articulating Lermentov's tremendously difficult moral position and Matt Renshaw was a very reassuring and expert director, in this short, but complex drama. I hope you enjoy it.

I was delighted to discover that by the second day after it's release, it stood at number 4 in the I-tunes Top Sci-Fi and Fantasy chart - always good to know that a piece of work has gone down well and my congratulations go to all involved. I was deeply impressed by the sound design and would love to credit whoever did it; alas, I don't yet know who it was, but will certainly update here just a soon as I find out.

Here are some details:

 

The Interrogation Of Salvor Lermatov

A Vaults of Terra audio drama

Captured by the Inquisition, can the self-styled freedom fighter Salvor Lermentov convince the formidable Inquisitor Crowl to spare his life and take him into the Inquisition's service?


Salvor Lermentov, Astra Militarum officer turned would-be freedom fighter, languishes in a dark cell deep within an Inquisition fortress. Captured for the crime of treachery, he is sure of his innocence – for did he not aid a servant of the Inquisition in preventing a grievous threat to Terra itself?

As he and Inquisitor Crowl match wits in an interrogation, Lermentov outlines his reasons for deserting – but Inquisitor Crowl knows darker truths about the Imperium of Man, and with them in mind, can he possibly allow this traitor to live?


 John Banks as Inquisitor Crowl and David Seddon as Salvor Lermentov

Written by Chris Wraight and Produced by Matt Renshaw
Running time: 22 minutes

©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited


Should this story whet your appetite for more of Lermentov & Crowl, they also feature in Chris Wraight's The Carrion Throne, which I recorded as an audio book just over a year ago. Here are some details of that release too:

In the hellish sprawl of Imperial Terra, Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor Erasmus Crowl serves as a stalwart and vigilant protector, for even the Throneworld is not immune to the predations of its enemies. 

In the course of his Emperor-sworn duty, Crowl becomes embroiled in a dark conspiracy, one that leads all the way to the halls of the Imperial Palace. As he plunges deeper into the shadowy underbelly of the many palace districts, his investigation attracts the attention of hidden forces, and soon he and his acolyte Spinoza are being hunted – by heretics, xenos, servants of the Dark Powers, or perhaps even rival elements of the Inquisition itself. 

Soon they discover a terrible truth, one that if allowed to get out could undermine the very fabric of the Imperium itself.


Written by Chris Wraight, Produced by Matt Renshaw & Narrated by John Banks

Running time: 10 hours 25 mins



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

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Judge of The Wastes

Good afternoon and welcome to another brief update on an almost equally brief 'commuter length' audio drama. Judge of The Wastes has been available via the audible.co.uk web site for a couple of weeks already, although it has only today been released via The Black Library; which is a bit odd, though the 'dark arts' of marketing strategy are a bit of a mystery to me. The point is I suppose, that it's now universally available and there's very little excuse for not giving it a listen!

Here are some details: 

 

Judge of The Wastes

A Warhammer 40.000 audio drama 

After executing a fleeing Guardsman, Commissar Arehn starts to see the dead man's phantom – what does it mean, and will it lead him to enlightenment or disaster?


On the world of Solennes, the battle between the forces of the Imperium and the heretics has become a stalemate of seemingly eternal artillery bombardments. The land is devastated, and the attempts to gain ground by either side end in disaster. Morale is low, and when Trooper Arehn is caught apparently fleeing the front lines, Commissar Selander does not hesitate in condemning him to a very public execution.

When Selander starts to see Arehn after his death, he follows the apparition, wracked by doubts – but what will he find?


Performed by Tom Alexander, John Banks, Cliff Chapman, Matthew Hunt and Joe Shire.

Written by David Annandale & Produced by Matt Renshaw


Running time 23 Minutes. 


©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited

* * * * *

Apart from wrapping up the final novel in the Niccolo Books series, 'Gemini', which I'll be doing tomorrow morning (!), I have a short period of proper, uninterrupted prep time for the next two audio books, which will take me through to early/mid November. I also have some audio dramas to prepare, which are scheduled to be recorded before the end of the month, although I'm not yet in possession of the scripts.

'Gemini' had a few surprises in store, as I came to read and prepare it. The final novel of a long and intricately constructed story arc was always going to be challenging, as individual and collective narratives drew to their various conclusions. What made it particularly tricky to 'perform' was the fact that the majority of the novel is set in 15th Century Scotland and some of the language reflected that setting directly. Each sub-section of the book and each chapter heading had a few lines written in 15th Century Scottish dialect; around 8 pages of A4 in total, as well as a sprinkling of lines throughout the general body of the book - which, as I say, was tricky to read fluently. My fingers are crossed that my attempts to assimilate and articulate the dialect aren't overly offensive to any who might listen, knowing how it should sound! I've done my best and can only hope that it's good enough.

As an example of what 15th Century Scots looks like, here's a poem from the author's note at the beginning of the book:


Sum in-till hunting has thar hale delyte 
And uthersum ane nother appetit 
That gladlie gois and in-to romanis reidis 
Of halynes and of armes the deidis. 
Sum lykis wele to heir of menstraly 
And sum the talk of honest company, 
And uthersum thar langing for to les 
Gois to the riall sporting of the ches, 
Of the quhilk quha prentis wele in mynd 
The circumstance, the figur and the kynd, 
And followis it, he sail of werteu be.


And with that, I'll wrap up for now; thanks, as ever, for stopping by.

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

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Kill Shot

...aaaand - pause.

A very welcome pause is about to occur. Tomorrow is our last day of recording the The Niccolo Books, the epic eight-novel saga, written by Dorothy Dunnett, which runs to millions of words and hundreds of hours of recorded narrative, all of which, is due to be released in March 2019. Some details are, even now, on the audible website, many more will be posted here when the audiobooks become available.

So, a brief interlude of calm in order to prepare for the recording of two further, unrelated novels, soon to be embarked upon, details of which, will also appear here just as soon as possible.

In the meantime; a recent release from The Black Library:

Kill Shot

An Officio Assassinorum audio drama

A Vindicare Assassin is forced to get up close to her target when her kill shot goes wrong – but nothing is at it seems, and the truth of her mission will forever change her life.



Vindicare Assassin Deliva stalks her prey – noblewoman and dangerous heretic Seleuca Markovan – on the target's palatial estate. When her shot is spoiled, Deliva must move into the facility to finish Markovan before she escapes justice.

Inside, a trail of bodies and taunting messages from Markovan prove that Deliva's coming has been anticipated… but nothing is at it seems, and as the truth of the mission emerges, Deliva's world will be turned upside down.

Tom Alexander, John Banks, Emma Gregory & Deeivya Meir

Written by Ben Counter and Produced by Matt Renshaw


...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

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.

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015