Susan Tordoff (GB): "Your body, your voice"


An actor-singer needs to convey words in a way that make them seem new and fresh and as if their character is saying them for the first time, with this in mind, it is essential for them to have an understanding of how to use their voices to convey whatever emotion is required.

Cicely Berry, according to whose method Susan works, specifically indicates how the words reflect a 'feeling' and how the audience shares those feelings. For many years she was voice director of The Royal Shakespeare company and has written several books that I find invaluable in my work.

Cicely Berry specifically works on how the words make one 'feel' and in turn allow the audience to share those feelings. By working with text by Shakespeare, which at face value seems impenetrable, we can understand it by 'feeling' the words which unlocks how the characters are feeling and what they are saying - all sounds a bit strange but it works.


This session will follow the same pattern as a voice class for actors in training.

Starting with a gentle physical warm up and stretch, followed by breathing exercises linked to sound whilst warming up the vocal chords.

Building resonation and opening up vocal notes promoting a richness of sound.

Work on articulation to sharpen up clarity and dexterity of speech.

Connecting the above work together, we will then work on text to understand how the words in a dramatic text can stimulate emotion and true delivery as the connection to the characters feelings is realized in the delivery of that text.

(Some exercises will take place lying down so wear in comfortable clothing. However, if lying down is a problem, they can be done sitting down).


Susan trained at as an actress at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has 30 years of experience in the acting profession.

She works as a voice coach, teacher of acting and occasionally still works as an actress.

Historically she has worked with professional acting companies as voice coach on productions of Shakespeare’s Othello, Macbeth and Twelfth Night. Also, Disney’s Lion King on tour, working with actors from South Africa and France softening accents.

She teaches at multiple drama schools in London including; East 15 where she teaches acting and voice and The Royal Central School where she teaches voice for gap year students and runs the summer voice schools, ‘Voice Fundamentals’ and ‘Voice in Performance’. Also, Mountview School of Acting and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

She spent six years in Singapore working both as an actor and teacher.

She also works with individuals and companies in the corporate world on public speaking.