Barbara Houseman's career as a voice and acting coach and theatre director spans nearly forty years. She trained as a voice teacher at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and as a theatre director at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.  She won an Arts Council director's bursary and assisted Mike Alfreds before working professionally as a director and voice coach. 

Having worked alongside Cicely Berry in the Voice Department at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Tim Supple invited her to become Associate Director at The Young Vic. On leaving she wrote 'Finding Your Voice' and 'Tackling Text'.

Since then she has worked extensively as a voice and text coach in the West End including shows including The Ferryman, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and Equus (The Gielgud); Kenneth Branagh Season (The Garrick); the All Female Trilogy, Trelawney of the Wells, Coriolanus, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, St Joan (The Donmar); Dr Faustus (Duke of Yorks); Macbeth and Richard III (Trafalgar Studios); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Sweet Bird of Youth, Duchess of Malfi, Playboy of the Western World (The Old Vic).

She's been resident voice and text coach at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park since 2009 and was Season Associate Director since 2012.

Individual clients include Jane Asher, Kenneth Branagh, Jessie Buckley, Omid Djalili, Dynamo, Richard Fairbrass, Jerry Hall, Lenny Henry, Nicholas Hoult, Karl Hyde, Patrick Kielty, Jude Law, Clive Owen, Daniel Radcliffe, Scarlett Strallen, Will Young


Barbara is visiting professor at the University of Tennessee and the University of Connecticut. She works as a voice over artist and coaches journalists who narrate their own documentaries, as well as coaching non-actors and individuals wishing to improve their communication skills. Barbara is a fully qualified Healing-Shiatsu Practitioner, an NLP Master Practitioner and a certified Clean Language Coach.


Barbara is the author of two books 




I first worked with Barbara on my first professional stage job back in 2014. I have developed and grown so much since then and a huge part of that is down to Barbara, and the work I have continued to so with her. Her work with me has always been so special to my individual needs and has always made my work richer and helped the characters that I play blossom and come to life. Barbara unlocks potential in you that you never thought you had.

She is quite simply wonderful.


All Female Shakespeare Trilogy cast member at The Donmar.


Barbara's intuition, wisdom and breadth of experience helped me unlock thirty years worth of habits, beliefs and tensions. 

Her warmth and love of voice work is infectious and allowed me to relax into the coaching, trust myself, and make valuable new discoveries which I continue to explore in my practice and teaching. 

It’s as simple as this: Barbara helped me to truly find and release my voice. Her work is grounded, embodied and immensely powerful. I cannot recommend it highly enough.



Her work is integral to the vision of each director. She collaborates very closely to understand the style of production and the ideas behind the work in order to help the actors communicate this in their performances. 

Directors not only enjoy having Barbara work alongside them but more importantly rely on her as an essential part of the rehearsal process.   

Personally, I find her passion, intelligence and generosity an inspiration.


Artistic Director: 

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre


Barbara has not only greatly enhanced but also generously educated my abilities in all my vocal performances in the Donmar Shakespeare Trilogy. Without her time, expertise and good humour, I would not be doing the Bard's words the justice they deserve. Barbara brings out all the text from the subtle to the gruff and every bar of the score in between.


All Female Shakespeare Trilogy cast member at The Donmar


Simple and practical.



Barbara gave me the strength and courage to find my voice as an actor. With her guidance, I have gained the confidence to create through spoken text as well as song. Barbara's knowledge and kindness is an unending source of inspiration.



I've made huge leaps of discovery about my voice through every session I've ever had with Barbara. I'd read her book but getting to work with her in person brought to life her true genius. 

When I work with her I feel like she accesses my voice's natural strengths and abilities and enhances them technically as well as artistically, in a way that is enjoyable and so liberating it becomes addictive.

It's so much fun.

She taps into your true voice and empowers that to flourish and grow and become the prism through which you find a character's voice, their centre, their truth, their range, their colour - and the best thing is that she makes it feel easy.

She has this infectious ability to get you so excited about the journey you are on with your voice and that is what makes me want to work with her again and again. 


All Female Shakespeare Trilogy cast member at The Donmar


Barbara's sessions with my clients have helped them gain confidence in vocal and script work. She is extremely thorough and gets to the root of any problem or concern, building a true strength physically and mentally.