We announced back in March that Chiwetel Ejiofor was in talks to star in the BBC 2 drama Dancing On The Edge, helmed by Stephen Pliakoff. ScreenDaily has confirmed that Chiwetel will play the bandleader in the Jazz five-part series set in the 1930's. Dancing On The Edge, shooting in London and Birmingham for 16 weeks, will be co-directed by Phillipa Lowthorpe and produced by Nicky Kentish Barnes.
The production will also star Jacqueline Bisset, Janet Montgomery, Joanna Vanderham, Tom Hughes, Angel Coulby, Wunmi Mosaku, Mel Smith, Anthony Head, Caroline Quentin and Jane Asher.
To recap, here's the synopsis:
The five-part series follows the Louis Lester Band as they find fame amongst the parites 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.
The series, to be distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment, will be executive produced by Alison Owen, Paul Trijbits and Faye Ward for Ruby Film and Television.
Chiwetel is teaming up with British Shame director Steve McQueen in the Brad Pitt-produced 12 Years A Slave, based on the life of Solomon Northrup.