Within Range

Isobel Cohen's latest production, Within Range, is set in November 1989 at the fall of the Berlin Wall. Cohen examines the lives of those involved in the separation of Eastern and Western Germany, from political collaborators to the victims of the partition. Primarily a dance piece, Within Range also employs multimedia and short, non-naturalistic acted scenes. Everything about Cohen's work is simultaneously terrifying and beautiful. Her choreography has an astounding power. Most notable is a prolonged scene featuring two female political prisoners trapped inside prison cells composed entirely of boxes of light. The two prisoners perform frenetic movements in perfect synchronicity, all the while never crossing the illuminated borders but coming within a hair's breadth of doing so.Not only does Cohen master the deeply dramatic, Within Range is also marvellously tongue-in-cheek and particularly humorous.Where Within Range falls short is clarity. Scenes and dances are often quite cryptic and, whilst the audience may catch a general gist of what is happening, we can never fully relax and appreciate the movement. We are stopped short by a desire to figure out the intent of the scenes. Unfortunately, the performance I saw underwent technical issues (which are entirely forgivable at the Fringe when a show does not hold full residence in a space) so I do not feel like I saw the full potential of the technical aspect, but if it is anything like the other facets of the performance it will only serve to enhance the impressive power of the movement.Even if you are not interested in the subject matter, the outstanding manipulation of the human body is something worth seeing in itself. Within Range is highly recommended for anyone wanting to watch what could be the most mesmerising show at the Fringe.

Reviews by Stephanie Bartlett

The Blurb

It's November 1989, the Berlin Wall has fallen and dictatorships across Eastern Europe begin to topple like dominoes, revealing their bewildered victims and collaborators to an astonished world. ‘A rising star ... a genuinely exciting talent’ (Scotland on Sunday).