Geoffrey Colman, BA, MA, FRSA

Job title

Head of Acting, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Acting


I'm an acting coach, director, writer and broadcaster, and have collaborated with many national and international practitioners in theatre, film, TV, opera, musical theatre, magic, fashion, music and contemporary dance.

I was appointed Head of Acting at Central in 2002 and have led several key developments in actor training, including the introduction of the undergraduate three-course training model (Acting, Collaborative and Devised Theatre, Musical Theatre), the design of both the original MA Classical Acting (now MA Acting), and original MA Musical Theatre programmes. For several years I served on the executive boards of both the National Council for Drama Training (NCDT), and the Conference of Drama Schools (CDS), and was joint-inaugural chair of Prospero – a European Thematic Network of Higher Vocational Educational Institutes. More recently I became one of the inaugural co-founders of a new professional International Actor Training hub with five other world leading academies from Beijing, New York, Berlin, Prague and Barcelona. Launched in Barcelona, December 2016, IFTS (International Festival of Theatre Schools) is an international network promoting intercultural exchange.

I studied Drama at Crewe & Alsager College (Manchester Metropolitan University), and Royal Holloway College, London University. Before Central, I taught acting in both the conservatoire and university sectors, including Mountview Academy of the Arts, Brighton Polytechnic, Brunel University, and Sussex University. I've given acting masterclasses & workshops at theatres, cultural institutions and universities across Europe (e.g. Institut del Teatre, Barcelona, University of the Arts, Helsinki, Universitat der Kunst, Berlin, DAMU, Prague), and have a longstanding association with the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London as a ‘resident master'.

I'm often invited to give keynotes on performance, recent lectures include: ‘Local / Global Shakespeares’ - the 4th British Shakespeare Assoc. Conference (Globe Theatre, Kings University 2009), ‘Acting with Facts’ (University of Reading 2009), ‘Acting Sarah Kane’ (University of Lincoln 2012), ‘Encountering the Ensemble’ (University of Huddersfield 2010), ‘A Life in 17 seconds - Acting for the Small Screen’ (University of York (2012); ‘The Idealised Actor’ (Institut del Teatre, Barcelona, 2013); ‘Marilyn Monroe and Method Acting’ (National Portrait Gallery, London, 2013); ‘The Art of Acting – Actors in Portraits’, (National Portrait Gallery, London, 2013); ‘Faster, Louder, Funnier’ (Arts Council England / Royal Academy, 2014); ‘Stanislavski and his Contemporaries’ (National Portrait Gallery, London, 2016).

As a freelance director I have worked in a vast range of theatre, contemporary dance and live performance settings - from (very early in my career) electro-acoustic opera with international musicologist David Osmond-Smith and composer Martin Butler (L'Orfeo by Monteverdi, Gardner Arts Centre, Brighton), to the award-winning national tour of Crying Celibate Tears by John Roman Baker (Brighton Festival, Finborough, London 1989), the interactive holographic musical, Hellsing (Musion 3D, Bloomsbury Theatre, London 2010), to Festival 10 at Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, or Chekhov's The Seagull for President Mikhail Gorbachev (Hampton Court, Raisa Gorbachev Foundation Gala 2010). In recent years I have increasingly worked in TV and Film (see below), and am currently closely associated (as both acting coach and dramaturge) with Jasmin Vardimon Company, Sadler’s Wells.

I broadcast regularly on BBC Radio and have also made guest appearances on BBC’s One Show, Reuters TV, Asia Network (NTDTV), and ITV (News at 10).

Teaching Areas

  • Acting technique (Stanislavsky / post-Stanislavsky) 
  • Postdramaticism
  • Text analysis
  • Acting for camera
  • Directing public productions / showcases / festival events

Areas of Expertise

  • Late C19th / C20th Acting Methodologies
  • Acting and Actor Training
  • Post Stanislavskian acting techniques
  • Screen acting

Recent Publications

My publications include regular features for The Stage, programme notes, articles and edited collections.

2016. ‘Alan Rickman - An Appreciation’, Contemporary Theatre Review, 27.3

2016. New Monologues for Women, edited by Geoffrey Colman (London: Bloomsbury Methuen)

2016. New Monologues for Men, edited by Geoffrey Colman (London: Bloomsbury Methuen)

2016. Actors & Performers Yearbook. What are Drama Schools looking for?  (London: Bloomsbury Methuen)

2015. ‘A Close Friendship Among The Debris. Acting, breath and truth in Jasmin Vardimon's Justitia.’ In Justitia. Multidisciplinary Readings of the work of Jasmin Vardimon Company, edited by Paul Johnson, Sylwia Dobkowska, Jasmin Vardimon (Bristol: Intellect),

2012. Steven Berkoff One-Act Plays, edited and introduced by Geoffrey Colman (London: Bloomsbury Methuen)


Recent theatre credits include:

2016/7 Acting Coach, Pinocchio. Jasmin Vardimon Company, Sadler’s Wells (National UK tour)

2016. Acting Coach, JV2. Lilian Baylis Theatre, Sadler’s Wells (National UK tour)

2015. Acting Coach, I Loved You and I Loved You. Sweetshop Revolution / National Theatre Wales, National UK tour

2014. Acting Coach, PARK Jasmin Vardimon Company, Sadler’s Wells, London (National UK tour)

2013. Acting Coach / Dramaturg, Justitia, Jasmin Vardimon Company, Peacock Theatre, London (International tour)

Recent TV / Film coaching credits

(includes cast-driven content, green screen, hidden-camera etc.)

2016. Derren Brown. Pushed to the Edge, (Channel 4 / Vaudeville Productions) single episode

2014. Derren Brown. Apocalypse (Objective Productions / Channel 4) BAFTA AWARD two-part special

2015. World’s Most Talented - with Laura Jackson (UKTV / Sky) 5 episodes

2014. Mind Games - Katherine Mills (Objective productions / Watch TV) 5 episodes

2013. Kick Ass 2 (Marv Films / Universal Pictures - dir. Jeff Wadlow)

2012. Derren Brown. Fear & Faith / Placebo (Objective Productions / Channel 4) BAFTA AWARD two-part special

2012. Mother of Invention (Objective Productions / HBO / Sky 1) single episode

2011. Derren Brown. Miracles For Sale (Objective Productions / Channel 4) BAFTA AWARD two-part special

2010. Skillicious (RDF Media Group / ITV) single episode

2010. Pineapple Dance Studios with Mark Battershall (Pulse Films / Sky Television) episode 3

Extensive on-screen coaching includes:

Young Gifted and Broke, (Hewland International / ITV 1999), Culture Fix – Acting (BBC Knowledge 2001), La Fabrique aux Acteurs  (ADR Productions, Paris 2001), Britain's Next Top Model (Sky Living, episode 4, Cycle 3 2007).

'In Conversation':

I'm regularly invited to host in conversation events and literary salons at Barbican Theatre, Haymarket Theatre, ICA, National Theatre, Bloomsbury Institute, Cam Word Fest, Round House, etc. The list is extensive but includes:

John Arden, Eugenio Barba, Claire Bloom, Peter Bowles, Bradley Cooper, Steven Berkoff, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Esther Freud, Michael Fryan, James Graham, PD James, Keith Johnstone, Cush Jumbo, Angela Lansbury, Adrian Lester, Robert Lepage, Sian Phillips, Stephen Poliakoff, Vanessa Redgrave, Ruth Rendell, Willy Russell, Fiona Shaw, Simon Stephens, Roy Williams, etc.


Acting, BA

Acting (CDT), BA

Acting (Musical Theatre), BA

Actor Training and Coaching, MA/MFA

Research Degrees (MPhil/PhD)