LEEDS radical theatre company Red Ladder are marking their 50th anniversary with their first classic theatre piece, Bertolt Brecht’s turbulent, desperate Mother Courage: a work wholly in keeping with their past stories of struggle and resourceful spirit in the face of adversity.

Supported by Leeds Playhouse, Rod Dixon’s ensemble production is suitably epic, with a community chorus, grotesque masks, a stellar, formidable lead in Pauline McLynn, sign language, and fiery folk-punk protest songs by Chumbawamba’s Boff Whalley, arranged by Beccy Owen.

Red Ladder have taken over the underground level of the old Albion Electric Warehouse, in South Accommodation Road, an empty shell thick with dust, exposed brickwork and a rough floor, here hung by designer Sara Perks with old, dirty drapes: apt for the warzone setting for Brecht’s 30 years of conflict that resonates with the harrowing plight of the displaced immigrants of the21st century.

Translated by Lee Hall with customary angry political zeal and harsh-truth wit, Mother Courage is a relentless ride through hell on earth, as McLynn’s weather-beaten, ruthless, pained haggler wheels her junk wagon around the horrors of the battlefield and bombed villages.

Mother Courage And Her Children, Red Ladder, Albion Electric Warehouse, Leeds, until Saturday. Box office: 0113 213 7700