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Dancing on the Edge

Tue Feb 5, 9-10pm, BBC2

Laurence Cendrowicz
Series one, episode two
The doors of high society have been flung open for the Louis Lester Band as their fame spreads beyond the cognoscenti. Consequently, the upbeat tone prevails tonight, swirled along by Adrian Johnston’s exquisitely rendered jazz pastiches. But there are hidden agendas and guilty secrets bubbling away under the surface: what sordid bond is shared by John Goodman’s Mr Masterson and young Julian Luscombe (Tom Hughes)? And might the latter have his own reasons for brandishing the promise of Hollywood stardom before the impressionable Jessie (Angel Coulby)?

These lingering suspicions bring an edge of unease to an otherwise glossy and richly enjoyable affair, superbly performed (Jacqueline Bisset joins the cast tonight as reclusive aristo and potential band patron Lady Cremone) and boasting stunning attention to detail. It’s a little less sedate and self-conscious than Stephen Poliakoff’s previous work, and all the better for that.