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Dancing on the Edge
E1 of 5
Series 1 - Episode 1
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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
Olivia Colman, Jamie Dornan, Gogglebox and Chiwetel Ejiofor win at 2014 BPG Awards
Colman wins for Broadchurch alongside writer Chris Chibnall, with Ejiofor adding to his Bafta best actor award for his part in BBC2's Dancing On the Edge at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards
Close to the Enemy review: Has Stephen Poliakoff gone off the boil?
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
Golden Globes 2014: who are the British nominees to watch?