Dancing on the Edge is set in the early 1930’s and follows the Louis Lester Band, a black jazz band on the rise, as they achieve fame by entertaining London’s upper-class society while encountering racism, class prejudice and nationalism.
The band lands a gig at the Imperial Hotel and catches the eye of ambitious American businessman Walter Masterson. The band’s success balloons until, that is, a suspected murder becomes the subject of an investigation by a music journalist.
The upcoming five-part drama was inspired by true historical accounts that black musicians were championed by royalty led by the Prince of Wales and, later, King Edward VIII despite the rising tide of racism and fascism in the period. The series was written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff (The Lost Prince; Shooting the Past) with Philippa Lowthorpe (Call the Midwife) as co-director.
Dancing on the Edge features an all-star cast led by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jacqueline Bisset, who returns to British television drama for the first time since her 1974 role in Murder on the Orient Express, Matthew Goode, Mel Smith, Anthony Head, Caroline Quentin and, for Doctor Who fans, the series will also feature Jenna Coleman. And, yes, that is John Goodman.
Dancing on the Edge premieres Sunday, June 26 at 8p ET/7p CT.