The Secret Theatre Company is slowly building quite a reputation for itself, and is becoming known for bringing both new and classic plays to life in a unique way. The company began to establish this reputation at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, with a collaboration between it and award-winning playwright Mark Ravenhill in their production of Show 6. Now the company is embarking on a national tour, bringing the Fringe favourite and other classic plays to theatres around the country; I’ve just been lucky enough to see its modern production of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, which is part of its repertoire of plays, at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

A Streetcar Named Desire was first written in 1947 and follows the events that occur when Blanche DuBois, played by Nadia Albina, arrives in New Orleans to visit her sister Stella Kowalski, played by Adelle Leonce, after her ancestral plantation in Laurel, Mississippi, has been “lost” – according to her. Stella welcomes her sister, but it isn’t long before her husband Stanley (played by Sergo Vares) highlights Blanche’s flaws, mainly her unstable mental state and constant blending of fantasy and reality, as well as her dangerous dependence on alcohol.

Upon entry to the Playhouse’s Courtyard Theatre, the stage is completely bare and coated in white, with two simple white walls at the edges and a few overhead lights hanging down. This simple set design immediately cleared my mind and got me thinking about what type of show this might be – pretentiously abstract or refreshingly simplistic? Well, I’m pleased to report that the production is very much the latter; the characters are incredibly well portrayed and the actors work well as an ensemble, painting the white, blank canvas of a stage (quite literally – you’ll see what I mean!) with a flurry of colours and emotions, as well as fruit and fizzy drinks.

This simple set design also helps to emphasise some of the more intense moments of the performance, with the powerful and interesting characters really being fleshed out by the stark, white background, which slowly becomes cluttered with smashed vases, discarded suitcases and chunks of watermelon. It could be suggested that this mess represents the broken mindset of Blanche’s character.

That’s the main thing with this production – all of the tiny little details that the Secret Theatre Company squish into it get the cogs turning in your head. Whether this is their purpose or not, to leave many unanswered questions about the desires of the characters and their mindsets, we’ll never know. But one thing’s for certain: while the Secret Theatre Company may still be a secret that needs uncovering, its production of A Streetcar Named Desire shouldn’t be. It is a contemporary take on one of the best domestic dramas that has ever been written.

A Streetcar Named Desire is playing at the West Yorkshire Playhouse until 25 September. For more information and tickets, visit the West Yorkshire Playhouse website.