Selby Town Hall plays host to first night of Paines Plough’s premiere of Sessions

Joseph Black in the role of Tunde in Paines Plough’s premiere of Ifeyinwa Frederick’s Sessions

LIVE theatre returns to Selby Town Hall for the first time since 2019 with the September 29 visit of Paines Plough.

Described by the Daily Telegraph as “the de facto national theatre of new writing”, the London company will be presenting Sessions, the second play by one of Britain’s most hotly tipped young writers, Ifeyinwa Frederick, on the first date of its nationwide tour co-produced with Soho Theatre.

Tunde’s 30th birthday is fast approaching, prompting him to start therapy as he has been unable to head to the gym for weeks and a recent one-night stand ended in tears – his.

A raw, funny and bittersweet deep-dive into the complexities of masculinity, depression and therapy, Sessions interrogates the challenge of opening up and accepting our own vulnerabilities.

Playwright Ifeyinwa Frederick is a fervent believer in the power of storytelling and human connection, a combination that fuels her work as both a writer and entrepreneur. Her debut play, The Hoes, was shortlisted for the Tony Craze Award, Verity Bargate Award and Character 7 Award.

Alongside her theatre work, Ifeyinwa is a restaurateur, co-founding the world’s first Nigerian tapas restaurant, for which she won a Young British Foodie Award and was included on Forbes’ list of 100 Female Founders in Europe.

On the rise: Playwright and restaurateur Ifeyinwa Frederick

“Paines Plough are one of Britain’s finest creative institutions” says Selby Town Council arts officer Chris Jones. “For more than 40 years they have consistently produced exceptional quality, envelope-pushing theatre from some of the UK’s most gifted writers, such as Mike Bartlett, James Graham and Kae Tempest.

“We’ve been working with the company over the past three years as part of a funded project to improve small-scale theatre touring in England, to help more companies make the leap to touring, to bring more high quality work to small venues and to broaden audiences with new and diverse work.

“So I’m thrilled that Paines Plough are returning to Selby Town Hall with Ifeyinwa Frederick’s latest play, giving audiences the chance to see some of the best new writing in the country right here in Selby.”

Joseph Black takes the role of Tunde under the direction of Philip Morris, with design by Anna Reid, lighting by Simisola Majekodunmi, sound and composition by Asaf Zohar and movement by Yassmin V Foster.

Tickets for Wednesday’s 8pm performance cost £13 on 01757 708449 or at or £15 on the door.

“The play covers some challenging subject matter, and I know it will be brilliant, because everything Paines Plough do is,” concludes Chris.