TODAY is the last chance to see Kneehigh’s update of Don Juan at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, and judging by Wednesday’s full house you had better ring before setting off to check ticket availability.

Just as the York company Pilot Theatre Company is a turn-on to a new generation of teen theatregoers, so too is Emma Rice’s band of adventurous actors and musicians. Kneehigh’s popularity has reached such heights that it would seem the Cornish company can do no wrong for its young audience.

Those of a grumpier, older nature may feel that the picaresque Don John is not so much a “multi-media mash-up” as a mish-mash, an erotically charged and bleak portrait of sex in the rotten city that is all big gesture without a coherent statement beyond its newly feminine perspective.

Donkey jackets and a brazier, and the deluded calming tones of Jim Callaghan through the radio hiss, evoke the Winter of Discontent and the rise of Thatcherism in the blighted Britain of 1978-79: a distant echo that turns into a deafening vanguard of our present troubled times.

Stu Barker’s music recalls that era too in its pastiches of the death throes of punk and the social commentary of The Specials. Vicki Mortimer’s set design is not so time-conscious: a fairground with faltering lights, power cuts and a neon sign that spells out “She” or “Hell” within its full title of Shelley’s Ride.

The ride here is not of the fairground variety, but the graphic sexual callisthenics of Tristan Sturrock’s Don John that amount to a visual big bang, backed by plenty of pop from Barker’s band but less verbal whiz than usual in Rice’s burlesque adaptation.

Don John, Kneehigh Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, at 2pm and 7.30pm. Box office: 0113 213 7700.