"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

Soul Wars

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 with Big Finish Productions, together with The Black Library/Games Workshop, details of which can be found in the postings below.


There are also details listed here of the 165* 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, HarperCollins, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at April 2019)

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

The Great Work

The Great Work

Blood of The Old World

Blood of The Old World

The Moggotkin of Nurgle

Released June 2019...

Released January 2019...

Released January 2019...

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Thursday, 25 April 2019

Outremer

The first of this week's featured new releases is the 'mighty' Outremer, recorded recently for Audible Studios, in collaboration with ace producer Neil Gardner. Rolling in at an impressive 39 hours & 38 minutes, this is without doubt, the most 'challenging' audio book (book!) I've so far encountered.

Researching myriad pronunciations, marking up and highlighting the text in preparation to record, took something like 80-90 hours and for some of the prep, unable to find answers even via the internet, I had to directly ask colleagues if they could help me out, as indeed did Neil. I am grateful indeed to Susan Omand, Graeme Lyon and David Monteath, who very generously offered suggestions as to how a number of Irish Gaelic personal names should be pronounced.




Of all the many and various audio books I've recorded since this particular aspect of my acting career began about six years ago, Outremer has been by far the most demanding, both to prepare and to record and in that assessment, I include recordings of the unabridged NRSV Bible and the 1400 + characters and 215 hours of The Niccolo Books.

To give you an idea of what my text looked like in the studio, here's a screen shot example of a not untypical page (left), alongside an unmarked up page producer Neil had on his side of the glass (right). Part of Neil's job as producer, is to exactly follow my narration in case I unknowingly fluff a word or otherwise somehow go 'off-piste'.

In this example, my marked-up page features two characters; the adolescent 'Paul', highlighted in green and the much older man, 'Theodoric' highlighted in purple. Other colours within the dialogue are to bring my attention to 'tricky' pronunciations/words and text left unmarked, tells me to use my neutral narrator voice.

Much of the text was italicised, as you can see from Neil's screen shot. The scenes written in italics convey the background story to the main narrative and take place at an Inn, where ultimately, 15 characters are in conversation with each other - the mark up for those scenes took quite a while and looked dazzling on the page - as I'm sure you can imagine!



























But enough of the technical stuff - on to the story! Here are some details:

"An epic love story must overcome religious divide and a plot to eradicate two blood lines as the Crusades and the search for the ancient mysteries of the Holy Grail gather momentum.

Raised by his father in La Rochelle, France, Paul Plantavalu is known for his artistic nature, inquisitive mind and Christian faith. He also has an unshakeable love for his Muslim childhood friend, Alisha al Komaty. Courageous and outspoken, she returns Paul’s love. But their path is paved with obstacles: religion, war, political chaos and a mysterious enemy determined to destroy their family lines.

Sometime between AD 1110 and AD 1120, in the aftermath of the first crusade, a small band of nine knights - the founding Knights Templar - recover ancient precious artefacts left by a former advanced civilisation beneath the City of Jerusalem. Ruthlessly guarded, the secrets revealed by this discovery are highly prized by powerful and dangerous forces far and wide; the repercussions of their capture are inextricably linked to Paul and Alisha. As Paul starts to experience dark and vivid dreams and the fragile balance of peace starts to crumble, it will fall to an enigmatic man known as Kratos and his female warrior protégée, Abi Shadana, to safeguard Paul and Alisha.

Paul and Alisha’s love story weaves between the threads of our reality and other realms - from the Druids to the Sufi mystics, the Magi of the East, the secret political arm of the Knights Templar and the Isma’ilis, the Assassins. Knights and pilgrims alike will witness some of the darkest battles ever fought. The discovery of a unique sword’s lethal power and whispered connections to King Arthur and the Holy Grail lead Paul and Alisha to question if their lives will ever be the same again.

The first of a four-part series, Outremer is an historical epic which sweeps across England, Scotland and France to Syria, Jerusalem and Egypt. Discover the truth - and crack the ancient code - behind the great mysteries of the High Middle Ages for yourself."


Written by D.N. Carter, Produced by Neil Gardner & Narrated by John Banks

Length: 39 hours - 38 minutes


©2017 D. N. Carter (P)2019 Audible, Ltd



 


I'm deeply grateful to Neil for his terrific support throughout the recording of Outremer and very proud of the fact that we completed recording in seven days, rather than the scheduled eight.

With any luck, we'll have been acceptably accurate in our pronunciations, engaging with our story-telling and hopefully, 'easy on the ear'.


...all for now, more very soon! 

No comments:

Ultramarines

Psychic Awakening

Warcry: Death or Glory

Warhammer 40,000

Flight. Redefined.

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