Thursday, 21 February 2013


To fill the void left now that Downton Abbey is off the air until the Autumn, it has been beautiful filled by Stephen Poliakoff's  five part drama, Dancing on the Edge. 

 Set in the early 1930's, Stephen Poliakoff's drama, ' Dancing on the Edge ',  follows The Louis Lester Band - a black jazz band - as they find fame amongst the parties and performances of upper class society in London.

London's progressive socialites take the band under their wing. High society scandal, racism, passion, Royal patronage, prejudice, a murder mystery and Freemason's all add up to a really good series. It has seen mixed reviews but, I have really enjoyed it..... especially the original score ..... and, the cast ..... including Matthew Goode, Anthony Head, John Goodman, Jacqueline Bisset, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Angel Coulby, Wunmi Mosaku, Jane Asher, Mel Smith, Pamela Luscombe, Tom Hughes, Janet Montgomery and Jenna Louise Coleman.

Stephen Poliakoff used The Grosvenor Room in The Grand Hotel, Birmingham as the filming location for The Imperial Ballroom. After the hotel fell into disrepair, it closed it's doors in August 2002. After being granted planning consent in April 2012, the building is now being restored to it's former glory. 

The reason that I am enjoying ' Dancing on the Edge' is probably because I grew up listening to that kind of music. Above is a photograph of my Dad ......... as well as having a full time job, he played saxophone and clarinet and played in a band and my Mum sang ( I couldn't find a photograph of her singing ) so, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Glenn Miller, Billie Holiday and the like were played all of the time in our house ..... and then, when I was a teenager, it was The Beatles, The Who, Spencer Davis and the bands of the 1960's that competed, followed by Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Faith No More, Metallica and the bands of the 1990's that our children listened to.

Although ' Dancing on the Edge ' has had mixed reviews , if you like jazz and a murder mystery, give it a go. It's easy watching and gets your toes tapping !

image 1: video of The Louis Lester Band featuring Angel Coulby singing ' Dead of Night Express ' from Stephen Poliakoff's ' Dancing on the Edge ' via youtube,  image 2: via The Radio Times, image 3: via wikipedia, image 4; via me



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  2. Hello Jackie:
    Well, we would watch absolutely anything by Stephen Poliakoff and we are certain that we should enjoy, for all of the reasons which you cite here, 'Dancing on the Edge'. And yes, there is something very captivating and alluring about the music of the time.

    It is news to us that The Grand Hotel in Birmingham is to be restored. Excellent for it really is a period piece.

    And a wonderful image of your father!

    We have enjoyed this post immensely but it leaves us feeling that, without a television, we are somewhat missing out. Perhaps it will be available on a DVD.Let us hope.

  3. I have quite enjoyed this series too but think it would have helped to have a bit more bite and less of the "let's pretend everything was so jolly lovely back then" fluffiness (The Downton-syndrome!). I'm surprised at Poliakoff, it's kind of made Louis Lester's plight seem less scary.

    Great pic of your dad, my Grandparents were both in a dance band in the 20's but I don't have any pics of them performing sadly. BTW:Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Faith No More, Metallica = 1990's ;o)

  4. Love the sound of it...we are only up to ep 4 of Downton when it finishes I hope they put this one on!xxx
    ps love the pic of your dad

  5. I am in total withdrawal of Downton Abbey, and such a tragic ending to the season which ended last sunday in the US. I watched the video, and loved the music and the era.I do hope they will play it in the US, there is such little"good TV here" . You father looked so incredibly handsome!!

  6. Love this post !!..enjoy the day

  7. I agree Jackie it's FABULOUS....and Jacqueline Bisset looks absolutely beautiful.
    The picture of your Dad is wonderful.
    Enjoy your day ;-)

  8. Ooh Jackie,
    We have the whole series taped, ready to watch. Can't wait! The trailers look intriguing and so stylish.
    Hope you have a lovely week,
    Liz x

  9. Having withdrawals from Downton so I'll have to give it a look. Love those kind of shows. I've started watching a show called the Americans and am actually rooting for the KGB characters.

  10. Sounds and looks like a fantastic way to fill the Downton void...I'll hunt the show down immediately, it might now be available to us across the pond for a bit, but hopefully it's at the ready now.
    Fabulous picture of your dad!
    xo J~

  11. I hadn't picked up on it, so thanks for the tip!
    And I too loved the picture of your dad. I tried the clarinet for a while but was hopeless!

  12. Hi Jackie,

    It looks like the sort of tv series I may enjoy too! Love the period and the music and the fact that it's a murder mystery.....and the dresses!!! I do miss Downton Abbey. My daughters and I are still shocked (a bit angry too) they let Matthew die ;-)! How could they :-)!!!

    Have a lovely evening!

    Madelief x

  13. Hi Jackie,
    What a wonderful memories and how lucky you are to have such an image of your handsome and artistic dad.
    I grew up listening to the Big Band Era records and now my kids are laughing when I say that these are the melodies of my youth (along with Beatles and ABBA, etc). Artie Shaw, Harry James and unforgettable voice of Helen Forrest...
    I'm wondering why do I really feel like it was my youth, not disco, rock or anything else?

    Many thanks for this post.

  14. Dear Jackie,
    thank you so much for your congratulations! I am delighted :-))) !
    Wish you a wonderful weekend,

  15. I have no clue what is going on but I do like the look of it....I worked on the recent Culture Show special about swing that was on TV.....very interesting and they interview some of the surviving performers with stories of bombs dropping while the jazz bands played can probably play it again....!!

  16. OH Boy !!
    This is right up my alley, I'll have to watch it as I am a Jazz and Dixieland freak.
    Thanks Darling Lady..

  17. Love this kind of music!Thanks for sharing and have a nice week-end!

  18. Of course, we won't have this in the USA probably. I, too, love Dixieland.
    Great post, J.

  19. I love that photo of your dad, Jackie it's wonderful! That show sounds like something I would love too but I bet it's not on here in the US. I got myself hooked on Downton Abbey and I need something to fill the void! Thanks for your kind words, I appreciate it. I am heading to Arizona this morning to my family reunion on my dads side, but mom will be there too. So excited to see everyone, it's been years! Happy weekend to you! xxoo

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  21. I've only just found your blog and I'm loving it already. So I'll certainly be popping back for more. I live in France and have freesat TV so fortunately can watch 'Dancing on the Edge' and enjoying it, especially the music.
    Enjoy your weekend
    Best wishes Barbara

  22. Wow...this does sound good.Would love to see if I can get it over here in Canada...must investigate ...happy weekend..thanks for all your sweet comments you always leave me my sweet friend. xo

  23. Oooohhh this is exactly the music I love!!!!!! Thank you for this lovely post!!!!!
    Big hugs to you Jackie

  24. Hi dear Jacki,
    wonderful music... the first episodes of Downton Abbey was sent on Christmas here in Germany and I liked it very much, perhaps "Dancing on the Edge" will come also somethimes...
    Have a great week (without snow and freezing)

  25. The contraction "it's" means "IT IS." It is NOT a possessive, so to say "....closed it's doors" is incorrect, as is "it's former glory." The correct usage is "...closed its doors" and "...its former glory."

  26. when does this show come on I have to see it
    Looks very good. Be well

  27. Thanks so much, I will be watching PBS
    for these new series. What is it that England has the best TV??? I am sick of the gross murder shows on American TV. yvonne

  28. You have great taste in music Jackie and this show sounds like something I would like. Thanks so much for your recent visits to my blog! Have a great day:)

  29. Oh boy, I hope this is aired over here on PBS or BBC Jackie! I know I will be hooked like I am on DA and Call the Mid-wife. You guys sure know how to do drama my friend. All we seem to be able to pull off over here are reality shows (which I really don't like) except of course, Dancing With The Stars))
    Sure hope all is great with you!
    sending love...

  30. I haven't been watching this Jackie ... so I shall have to tune in.. Sounds fabulous... Love all the changes on the blog... it looks gorgeous as ever...
    Have a wonderful weekend... xv

  31. I've seen the previews and I was sucked in. I need to make sure I do not miss this Jackie. I LOVE the photo of your father. I too played clarinet and us woodwinds stick together. You had amazing parents and so talented. You are a chip off the old block I suspect Jackie. I am terribly ashamed I haven't caught up with you. This working gig is for the birds. Definintely cramping my blogging sociability. I hope the whole family is doing well? Sending you big hugs xxx