HOW should an audience react to scenes of underage sex in a play written nearly 40 years ago, before anyone had heard of grooming?

At times it felt uncomfortable to watch Rita, Sue and Bob Too, unfolding on stage through Andrea Dunbar's raw, uncompromising writing. We think of it as the bawdy sex comedy that put Bradford on the big screen. So there was cheering and laughter last night from some of the St George's Hall audience as Bob, married and pushing 30, seduced two teenage babysitters in his car, against a moorland backdrop. "Typical Bradford lass," said a woman behind me, as Sue pulled her knickers down.

Rita and Sue are having fun, and seem initially unfazed by Bob's 'sex education', but their innocence is clear. Not yet 16, they have no idea how to use a condom, and we later learn that Rita is too shy even to buy sanitary products.

This is a play of its time, but perhaps even more relevant today. And it's a sign of our times that representatives from Barnardo's are in attendance during the run of the production this week.

To stage this play now, in the light of Yorkshire's grooming scandals and the #MeToo movement, is courageous and controversial - which is exactly what Andrea Dunbar was. This is a play she wrote while still a teenager, and it was a world she knew well. Andrea was straight-talking and unsentimental, she didn't offer judgements or solutions to social inequality; she simply presented life as she knew it on Buttershaw estate.

And she continues to have a voice in Out of Joint's excellent production of Rita, Sue and Bob Too - the first time a professional production of the play has been to Andrea's home city. Yesterday the cast visited her former home on Brafferton Arbor, where there's a blue plaque in her memory, and at the end of last night's performance they seemed visibly moved to see such a swell of support for Andrea's work from a packed Bradford audience. A post-show Q&A addressed issues the play left us thinking about.

At the heart of this story is the friendship of two girls, and Alyce Liburd and Gemma Dobson, both gifted young actresses, were terrific as Rita and Sue. Great performances too from John Askew as Bob - unpleasant philanderer, but perhaps a product of his time - Samantha Robinson as his wife, Michelle, and Susan Mitchell and David Walker as Sue's parents.

It was a treat to see Andrea's words brought so beautifully to life, with the unflinching honesty that characterised her extraordinary talent.

* Runs until tomorrow.