Physical theatre at its most arresting, ever the stock-in-trade of Frantic Assembly, is delivered in full measure in Anna Jordan’s gripping new play The Unreturning. So too is the message – hardly controversial this – that war is vile, soul-destroying, character-changing, life-denying.

We follow a trio of young men – their stories cleverly entwined - as they make their way back from , in turn, the horrors of the First World War, the campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan, and a Scandinavian exile associated with a British civil war of the future.

Why The ‘Unreturning’, since all three are seen to arrive where they grew up in Scarborough (its beaches, funfairs and the like affectionately described in Jordan’s poetic script)? The Homecoming would be better, but this title is already grabbed. ‘Unreturning’, I guess, because they do fit back into life as before, and certainly not to happiness.

Physicality, as I said, is the hallmark of this production which sees the four-strong cast lifting, lugging and leaping through 90 interval-free minutes during which the stories play out.

Attention focuses on a revolving sea container of astonishing versatility – all flapping doors, sliding panels, multi-hued strip lights – that serves, inter alia, as a dug-out, a ship, a lorry and all manner of dwellings.

Oh, and a bar – here we see Afghanistan returner Frankie (Joe Layton) mingling with mates on Jagerbombs as he waits to see if they can forgive him for a crime against the civilian population that has caused revulsion in the British Press.

All too readily, it turns out, to the distress of Frankie who is altogether more equivocal. Is this a hint of divisions in society that lie behind our imagined troubles of the future? Maybe, with episodes involving former Norwegian camp inmate Nat (Jonnie Riordon) and brother Finn (Kieton Saunders-Browne) showing how deep the rift can be.

The story of WW1 veteran George (Jared Garfield) is rooted in more recognisable reality, with a distressing depiction of the effects of shell-shock on family life, his wife portrayed by Joe Layton in a fine example of gender-blind casting by director Neil Bettles.

Until tomorrow. 01865 305305 or 4/5