Jazz lovers are bound to fall for the upcoming series “Dancing on the Edge,” which premieres on Saturday, Oct. 19 on Starz.
The show, starring Golden Globe nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor as Louis Lester, takes place in the early 1930s in London. It follows the story of the Louis Lester Band, a Black jazz band whose music begins to pique the interest of royalty.
In writing this show, award-winning writer director and producer Stephen Poliakoff was inspired by accounts of the Duke Ellington Band. This show contains romance, drama and even a little comedy. And the music is so good that even those who are new to jazz will enjoy it.
“As a dramatist, I find this a fascinating period,” stated Poliakoff in a press release, “for it was a time when certain musicians could find themselves one week on the verge of being deported and the very next week fraternizing with the ruling elite at one of England’s great country houses.”
Other actors starring in the new show are John Goodman, Matthew Goode, Joanna Vanderham and Janet Montogemery. Angel Coulby and Wunmi Mosaku, who play Jessie and Carla respectively, show off their acting skills and vocal skills, which are in perfect harmony with the feel-good music.
Racism, a struggling economy and anti-Semitism were just some of the prominent issues people faced in Britain during the early 1930s, Poliakoff noted. The show will keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering what grand, or not so grand, things the Louis Lester Band will encounter next.
“Throughout the story, we see everything through the eyes of the musicians—we only go where they are allowed to go,” said Poliakoff. “We are backstage with them, right there in the doorway waiting to go perform, rather than peering at them from a great height, weighed down with the hindsight of history.”