Dancing on the Edge (Starz): Drama, Mystery and a Bit of Jazz [Review]

Dancing on the Edge (Starz) 01

If you’re in the mood for drama, jazz music and a murder mystery, may I direct your attention to Starz’s miniseries Dancing on the Edge.

Set in London in the early 1930s, the miniseries focuses on the Louis Lester Band, a group of Black jazz musicians headed by Louis Lester (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and their rise to stardom followed by their demise when the band gets mixed up in a murder.

At the start of their journey to the top, the band befriends music journalist, Stanley Mitchell (Matthew Goode), who secures a gig for them at the Imperial Hotel. There a few socialites, including Sarah (Janet Montgomery), Julian (Tom Hughes), Julian’s sister Pamela (Joanna Vanderham) and Donaldson (Anthony Head), see them perform and decide to take them under their wings. Soon the band is playing for members of the Royal Household and it seems like nothing can stop them. Unfortunately a tragic murder changes the course of the band’s future and their friends.

The first episode establishes the band and the main characters who will be on board for the rest of the story. While it might feel a bit slow for things to get started, after watching the second episode, I ended up watching the rest of the miniseries back to back to find out how it all ended. To be fair I didn’t expect story to head in such a dramatic direction, but it certainly made for an interesting watch.

Dancing On The Edge 2012

However, I wouldn’t say that the story is the best part of Dancing on the Edge, in fact I think the strength of the miniseries lies in the performances from the cast. Headed by the brilliant Chiwetel Ejiofor, it’s hard not to fall in love with the Louis Lester band and their music. I also want to make a special mention of Angel Coulby, who plays Jessie, the band’s lead singer, who is absolutely remarkable in the role and such a joy to watch sing. But really, I challenge you to find one bad performance in the miniseries because frankly there are none.

Watching Dancing on the Edge really feels like peeking into these people’s lives and that’s how you know the series has succeeded.

I would recommend to take time to watch Dancing on the Edge if you enjoy character dramas, a little mystery and some jazz music to go with it.

Dancing on the Edge premiere tonight, October 19th at 10pm on Starz. In the meantime, you can find a clip from the series below featuring Angel Coulby performing. You can also find more photos and the trailer here.

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