Skip to Main Content
Skip to Main Navigation
Skip to Footer
Sign in / Register
TV On Demand
Film on TV
Film On Demand
Dancing on the Edge
E1 of 5
Series 1 - Episode 1
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google Plus
Share on Reddit
Email to a friend
It’s six years since writer/director Stephen Poliakoff’s last major television dramas, the twin pieces Joe’s Palace and Capturing Mary.
Dancing on the Edge
is a five-parter that’s as opaque, elliptical and as infuriating as you would expect from such a singular, even quixotic, talent.
Frequently throughout this first, 90-minute opening episode you might, as I did, groan with frustration as Poliakoff dangles characters in front of us, people whose motives appear to be unfathomable. What are they doing? Is there a story here? Yet, there’s something in Dancing on the Edge, about a black jazz band in 1930s London, that holds you, whether you want to be held or not. Curse you, Poliakoff!
Chiwetel Ejiofor is quietly commanding as band leader Louis Lester, who succumbs to the enthusiasm of pushy music journalist Stanley Mitchell (Matthew Goode). He’s convinced the band has a big future and carefully pulls it into the orbit of a bunch of rich, influential wastrels and their paterfamilias, the mysterious Donaldson (Anthony Head).
Drama by Stephen Poliakoff following the fortunes of a black jazz band in early-1930s London. Music journalist Stanley Mitchell decides to take a gamble and signs Louis Lester and his group, booking them to play at the Imperial Hotel in front of a mainly elderly audience who have never seen black musicians before, and many of whom depart in outrage. However, they do intrigue and impress a group of socialites and are invited to play at a private party - where Prince George flirts with singers Jessie and Carla - and catch the attention of wealthy businessman Mr Masterson. Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode and John Goodman.
Cast & Crew
Prince of Wales
Nicky Kentish Barnes
Full Episode Guide
Close to the Enemy review: Has Stephen Poliakoff gone off the boil?
Ben Dowell is slightly disappointed by the much-garlanded writer's latest drama
Could Tom Hughes be Britain's biggest export since Benedict Cumberbatch?
Alfie Allen and Jim Sturgess to star in new Stephen Poliakoff thriller Close to the Enemy
Olivia Colman, Jamie Dornan, Gogglebox and Chiwetel Ejiofor win at 2014 BPG Awards
Golden Globes 2014: who are the British nominees to watch?
Chiwetel Ejiofor on racial tension, Oscars buzz and that rivalry with Idris Elba
The 13 faces of 2013
Radio Times Top 40 TV Shows of 2013: 40 to 31
Britain dominates best actress nominations at Golden Globes
How do you pronounce Chiwetel Ejiofor?
12 Years a Slave featuring Benedict Cumberbatch takes top prize at Toronto Film Festival
Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender star in 12 Years a Slave - trailer