Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Peter the Great: The Gamblers

Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Russian Tsars moves on to the accession of Peter the Great, who came to the throne with his half-brother, Ivan, at the age of ten.

By Mike Walker

Moscow, 1682 and clan rivalry forces the accession of two joint tsars: one, Ivan, is feeble-minded and the other is Peter, a child of ten years old. Sophia, their half-sister, proclaims herself regent and in so doing becomes the first woman to rule Russia, with the Streltsy, the tsar's regiment of ruthless musketeers, on her side. But under-estimating Peter as he grows up could prove a dangerous mistake.

Director Alison Hindell

In the run-up to the centenary of the Russian Revolution in October 2017, Radio 4's ambitious chronicle of Russian rulers continues. 11 plays, in three seasons, from Ivan the Terrible, contemporary of Elizabeth I, to Russia's current Premier, Vladimir Putin, TSAR continues the full-blooded, 'more is more' tradition established in Plantagenet and The Stuarts for Radio 4.

Series One takes in the reigns of Ivan IV (aka The Terrible), Boris Godunov and Peter The Great.

Series Two (Spring 2017) will chronicle the reigns of Catherine the Great; Alexander I and the Napoleonic Wars; and Alexander II and the emancipation of the serfs.

Series Three (Autumn 2017) takes in Nicholas II and the Revolution, the Soviets, and Putin.

The dramas are produced by Alison Hindell and Sasha Yevtushenko.

58 minutes


Role Contributor
Peter Will Howard
Sophia Christine Bottomley
Young Menshikov Justin Davies
Nikita Simon Armstrong
Lefort Carl Prekopp
Brandt Steffan Rhodri
Golitsyn Steffan Rhodri
Natalya Claire Cage
Gordon Brendan Charleson
Dolgoruky Brendan Charleson
Young Peter Isaac Rouse
Menshikov Sion Pritchard
Ivan Jonathan Green
Nachaev Jonathan Green
Eudoxia Kirsty Oswald
Director Alison Hindell
Writer Mike Walker


Audio Books - great readings

Audio Books - great readings

A selection of highlights available to download via the iPlayer Radio app

The Shakespeare Sessions

The Shakespeare Sessions

Immerse yourself in Shakespeare’s world