When it comes to theatre there's not much David Coddington doesn't know about it.
He has been living and breathing it for the past 45 years and he's certainly not done yet.

In fact the 73 year old is fully immersed as he juggles producing three plays this year — Death and the Maiden, Bad Jelly the Witch and Tell me on a Sunday.

As a freelance director/tutor he has directed more than 50 professional theatre productions in virtually every theatre in Auckland.

Coddington started his theatre career in Waipukurau directing Relatively Speaking, The Crucible and Wednesday to Come for the Waipukurau Little Theatre.


"When the opportunity arose for me to go and work at South Sea Television and Film in Auckland I jumped at the chance," he said.

He was one of three founders of the South Seas Film and Tv School and was the associate director for 20 years. He also developed and ran the South Seas On Screen Acting course
In 2012 Coddington devised the Manukau Institute of Technology Bachelor of Performing Arts course and directed it for five years.

During his career he has directed four short films one of which (Punawai) came second in the New York Film Festival.

The plays he has directed include Dark of the Moon, Godspell, The Dumb Waiter, The Lovers, Equus, Death and the Maiden Amadeus, Shirley Valentine, A Skull in Conemara, and Saving Grace.

And then there are the children's productions including Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Bad Jelly the Witch, Peter Pan, The Wind in the Willows, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Witches Academy world premiere and School for Clowns.

Coddington has recently returned to Hawke's Bay to "retire" although he is still teaching acting classes and is keen to see an acting school develop in Hawke's Bay.

He says the first of his three productions to hit the stage on August 2, Death and the Maiden is an important play.

"It explores personal justice — do we take it or give it up."


The play was written 15 years ago and follows Paulina Salas, a former political prisoner who was raped by her captors.

Years later her husband gets a flat tyre and a man named Dr Miranda takes him home. Paulina recognises his voice and takes him captive.

The play features Alexis Williams (Auckland), David Brown and Cameron Jones (Hawke's Bay).

"This is an excellent play — it shows how good people can be sucked into evil".

Coddington says while he loves plays such as Death and the Maiden he also loves a good comedy.

When he's not working, Coddington likes sitting in the sun drinking coffee or going fishing.

■Death and The Maiden is the first of the three productions to take to the stage. It begins on August 2 at the MTG Century Theatre, 9 Herschell St, Napier.