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Dancing On The Edge (BBC-2 2012, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode)



A new Stephen Poliakoff drama is always to be savoured and once again he is delving into the past with Dancing on the Edge in what was one of the chief viewing highlights of the year.

It’s a five parter with Poliakoff writing and directing. Dancing on the Edge follows a group of black musicians called the Louis Lester Band in London of the 1930’s at a time when polite society were not used to such things. However the band quickly win over a loyal following and even play for the Prince of Wales only for them to get involved in shady goings and events that end in the murder of lead singer Jessie.

Poliakoff is one of the best writers currently involved in TV, this will mark his TV directorial debut and Janice Hadlow from BBC 2 was naturally thrilled to have snagged the series for the channel saying “In Dancing On The Edge I think you will see a very different voice from Stephen and I am delighted to be able to add this remarkable piece to the new dramas on the channel.”

A brilliant series, possibly Poliakoff’s best, and that’s no easy call. Full of stand out performances and a fabulous soundtrack from Adrian Johnston too.


Filming locations included the Grand Hotel in Birmingham whilst Lady Cremone’s gorgeous home was Ragley Hall in Warwickshire. Railway scenes were shot at the famed Bluebell Railway and the Severn Valley Railway.

production details
UK | BBC Two

RUNNING TIME: 60 minutes plus one at 90 minutes | NUMBER OF EPISODES: 5 | Broadcast 4 February – 10 March 2013

WRITER and DIRECTOR: Stephen Poliakoff | PRODUCER: Nicky Kentish Barnes | EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Alison Owen, Paul Trijbits


The Louis Lester Band
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Louis Lester
Angel Coulby as Jessie Taylor
Wunmi Mosaku as Carla
Ariyon Bakare as Wesley Holt

Music Express Magazine
Matthew Goode as Stanley Mitchell
Jenna Coleman as Rosie Williams
Sam Hoare as Eric
Allan Corduner as Mr Wax

The Elite
Jacqueline Bisset as Lavinia, Lady Cremone
John Goodman as Walter Masterson
Tom Hughes as Julian Luscombe
Joanna Vanderham as Pamela Luscombe
Janet Montgomery as Sarah Peters
Anthony Head as Arthur Donaldson
John Hopkins as Prince George, Duke of Kent

The Working Class
Mel Smith as Nathan Schlesinger
Miles Richardson as Harry Thornton
Maggie McCarthy as Mrs Mitchell
Caroline Quentin as Deirdre
David Dawson as D.I. Horton
Gerard Horan as D.I. Gunson


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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