Stephen Poliakoff is to write and direct a new 5-part drama set around a black jazz band in London in 1930’s London for BBC Two.
The drama follows the Louis Lester Band as they find fame amongst the parties and performances of upper class society in the capital. Initially shocked by black musicians performing in polite society, many recoil, but London’s progressive socialites take the band under their wing.
When the band’s manager Wesley becomes too demanding to the hotel in which the band performs he is deported, forcing the rest to move on without him. The musicians play for the Prince of Wales who elevates their status to the heights of early pop fame.
But they become entangled in the shadowy world of socialites, which results in the suspected murder of the band’s singer Jessie. The walls begin to close in on Louis and the other members until they realise that escape from England may be their only chance for safety.
Currently being cast and due to start filming in October, Dancing On The Edge will start with a 90-minute opening episode and is the first series Poliakoff has written and directed.
Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two, says: “Stephen Poliakoff is a great distinctive talent and I’m thrilled to have his first long-form drama on BBC Two. 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 in 2012.”