"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

A Lord Among the Stars

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 270* 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 187* audio books & stories I've recorded since March 2013,
including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including audible.co.uk, Hachette, Audible Studios, Podium Audio Publishing, HarperCollins, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at April 2020)

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...

Soul Wars

Games Workshop

Games Workshop

The Revelation of The Word

The Moggotkin of Nurgle

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Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Senlin Ascends - booktrack edition

"...so, what's a 'booktrack edition'?" I hear you ask and in all honesty, I was wondering exactly the same thing, until audible.co.uk came up with the explanation. As you may be aware, my audio book version of Josiah Bancroft's fantastic story, the first of his 'The Books of Babel' series, was originally available in January 2018 and now, this new addition has seen the light of day. Here's what audible have to say about it:

Senlin Ascends: Booktrack Edition adds an immersive musical soundtrack to your audiobook listening experience!*




The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of luxury and menace, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

 



Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he'll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassins, and the illusions of the Tower. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action. 






*Booktrack is an immersive format that pairs traditional audiobook narration to complementary music. The tempo and rhythm of the score are in perfect harmony with the action and characters throughout the audiobook. Gently playing in the background, the music never overpowers or distracts from the narration, so listeners can enjoy every minute. When you purchase this Booktrack edition, you receive the exact narration as the traditional audiobook available, with the addition of music throughout.


 
























Written by Josiah Bancroft, Performed by John Banks & Produced by Neil Gardner


Length: 14 hours - 15 minutes

©2017 Josiah Bancroft (P)2020 Hachette Audio


* * * * *

Starting with 'Senlin Ascends', followed by 'The Arm of The Sphinx', then 'The Hod King' 'The Books of Babel' series is high up there in my list of all time favourite audio books - at least, of the ones I've had the pleasure of narrating! Rather than tie myself in knots, trying to explain how and why these stories are so unique, immersive and original, here's Josiah himself, talking us through the basics:





I love these stories and hope you will too; time to ascend The Tower of Babel!




Here's a link to the audible.co.uk sample: Senlin Ascends booktrack edition  


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


  

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Chains of Blood: The Chaos Cycle Book 1

A quick update on an audio book released yesterday from Podium Publishing and available via Amazon & audible. Here are some details:

Chains of Blood

The Chaos Cycle, Book 1


He thought he was born Rylan Marshall...until he found out he wasn’t.

Rylan was attacked, his young son murdered, his baby daughter taken. But his assailant left him with two gifts: the gift of magic...and an oath to darkness.





Gil Archer is the son of a legend and one of the most powerful battle mages in the Lyceum. He is sent on a mission to recover Rylan, but ends up on a far more dangerous path.

And war is coming for them both.

Will Rylan use his newfound power to make a stand, or will his oath to darkness guide him to the enemy? And will Gil live up to the legacy of his father, or will his fate lead him to a much darker destiny?

If you love grimdark fantasy filled with vivid realism, brutal warfare, and raw emotion, this new adventure is just for you.





Xiana & Rylan
 

Produced by Neil Gardner & Performed by John Banks


Length: 13 hours - 40 minutes




Darien

©2019 ML Spencer (P)2020 Podium Publishing


Artwork by: Felix Ortiz 



I'm very pleased that this project came together in the way it did. I was originally approached by Podium Publishing over a year ago and because they're based in Los Angeles, I think they assumed I would record form a home studio, as many American narrators have been doing for years and (familiar theme manifesting itself here!) many UK based narrators are now having to consider, myself included! 

Unfortunately, after much discussion, that first project didn't get off the ground, so I was particularly delighted to hear from them again earlier this year, offering Chains of Blood. Long story short, we arranged to record the book in Neil G's Ladbroke Audio studios, with Neil co-producing; we had great fun with it and the finished product is now available. It's Book 1 of, I think, a trilogy, so fingers crossed that we get to record Books 2&3!




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


 

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Mr. Atkinson's Rum Contract


Good afternoon and welcome to today's lockdown-update. Despite the enforced 'inactivity' of the last few weeks, officially announced here in the UK on the evening of 23rd March, I've actually been pretty 'active'. 

As I mentioned in the last update, my industry, like many others, has effectively closed down for the time being and none of us can work, with the exception of those narrators and actors who have access to a home studio and are able to record 'remotely'. I've been doing my very best to acquire the necessary basic kit to record from home and there's still much to do. I've been learning how to use the recording equipment I now have and that's going well, although the learning curve is initially, quite steep. 

The most critical element in the whole set up, is of course, the actual recording environment. The electronic gadgetry required to record to professional industry standard, can be severely compromised by a badly 'sound-proofed' room. Creating a workable recording room is a considerable technical challenge and so, as a speedy and hopefully professional sounding alternative, I've been researching the kind of audio booth which can be bought as a self-assembly kit. I'm pursuading myself that to acquire such an isolation booth would be a 'sound investment' (sorry...), so if I can find something that will not only do the job, but also physically fit into my house, that looks like the next logical step to take. At the moment, I have created a makeshift temporary 'studio' environment, which sounds fine, but would easily pick up the sound of passing cars, barking dogs, grass cutting and any one of a thousand other things my equally locked-down neighbours might come up with; so a proper solution has to be found soonish as I'm losing work, which never sits well, whatever the reason.

Just before lock-down kicked in, I recorded the audio book detailed below, for Harper Collins. It was published in all formats on 16th April and is available to download via amazon and audible:



Richard Atkinson was in his late 30s and approaching a milestone he had long feared - the age at which his father died – when one day he came across a box of old family letters gathering dust in a cupboard.

This discovery set him on an all-consuming, highly emotional journey, ultimately taking him from the weather-beaten house of his Cumbrian ancestors to the ruins of their sugar estates in Jamaica.
Richard’s searches led him to one forebear in particular, an earlier Richard Atkinson, a brilliant but flawed West India merchant who had shipped all the British army’s supplies (including thousands of barrels of rum) during the American War of Independence and amassed staggering wealth and connections along the way. ‘Rum’ Atkinson died young, at the height of his powers, leaving a vast inheritance to his many nephews and nieces, as well as the society beauty who had refused his proposal of marriage; 40 years of litigation followed as his heirs wrangled over his legacy.

Drawing on their personal correspondence, Richard writes with rare candour about his worldly ancestors and their involvement in the slave trade – for, like many well-to-do Georgian families, the Atkinsons’ wealth was acquired at a terrible cost, through the blood, sweat and lives of enslaved Africans. When the first of the Atkinsons sailed to Jamaica in the 1780s, the island was the jewel in the imperial crown; when the last of them returned to England in the 1850s, it was an impoverished backwater. This vivid tale of a single family, their lives and loves, set against a panoramic backdrop of war, politics and slavery, offers a uniquely intimate insight into one of the most disturbing chapters in Britain’s colonial past.



Produced at RNIB Camden Studios by Tom Harrison & Narrated by John Banks


 Running length: 12 hours - 40 minutes


©2020 Richard Atkinson (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited


As a neat little segue, during the recording of Mr. Atkinson at the RNIB studios, I was asked if I'd like to contribute to an RNIB Connect Radio program, hosted by author Red Szell. Now, as the idea of the interview was to talk about my various audio adventures, including the Mr. Atkinson story, I thought it churlish to say anything other than a gleeful - 'yes'!

The interview can be heard below; my ramblings start from around the 32 minute mark:





* * * * *

Just to round off today's posting; Thursday at 8pm here in the UK, has become the time we all briefly step out of our houses and flats, to applaud NHS staff and thank them for the amazing work they are doing at the moment, under incredibly difficult and dangerous conditions, dealing with this awful C-19 pandemic, which has impacted on all of us.

Over the last couple of months, my friends Christopher, Oliver and Tamara, along with family members, Sasha, Jamie, Benjie, Isabelle and Alex, have all had the coronavirus and have all, mercifully, come through without need of hospitalisation, which, as I'm sure you will appreciate, is a great relief. 



Keep safe & stay well.


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


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