“THAT will be one of them Scottish soldiers then,” a builder remarked as an archaeologists scraped soil from the exposed bones.

It took two years painstaking work to determine that he was indeed right – that the remains of 28 found individuals found during building work at Durham’s Palace Green Library were those of Scottish soldiers captured at battle of Dunbar in 1650.

Where experts have put flesh on the bones of history, playwright Laura Lindow has now given them an voice in her play Woven Bones.

It was was eloquently conveyed in powerful performances by Greig Adam, Paula Penman and Gemma Stroyan at Alphabetti Theatre, in Newcastle, as the play tours the route the soldiers took from Dunbar to Durham.

Adam plays the soldier Joe Monroe, who recounts his journey from his home to the horrors of battle and defeat, followed by his forced march with 4,000 other soldiers to Durham where 1,600 died in the cathedral of cold and malnutrition. Penman and Stroyan flit seamlessly between all the other characters.

Stage props are minimal but effective, with an archaeologist’s tools doubling for weapons, military drum sticks and a pipe.

Director Brad McCormick has done a sterling job, maintaining a pacy narrative drive throughout, while Katie Doherty’s rendering of The Flowers of the Forest adds poignancy at crucial junctures.

The play, developed by Cap-a-Pie theatre company in partnership with the Durham University, is at The Customs House, South Shields tomorrow (Tuesday), Arts Centre, Washington, on Thursday and Durham’s Gala Theatre on Friday and Saturday.