The Russian Gambler

The Russian Gambler

Episode 1



With the disparity between rich and poor continuing to grow, it seems all the more fitting that Dolya Gavanski, in this two-part adaptation, should transplant this cautionary tale of gambling, oligarchs, and blurred morality to a 21st-century London almost indistinguishable from Dostoyevsky’s original German setting.

When poverty-stricken piano tutor Alexei (Ed Stoppard) takes a job teaching the ten-year-old daughter of Russian entrepreneur Mikhail, he quickly becomes infatuated with his employer’s stepdaughter Polina, and is willing to do anything to win her heart. As a self-confessed “slave of circumstance”, Alexei’s priorities take a dangerous turn as he becomes embroiled in the high-stakes game of roulette. Surrounded by a host of oily characters, our protagonist enters a labyrinthine world where fortune is power.


Part one of two. Dolya Gavanski's modern-day take on Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Gambler. Penniless pianist Alexei gets a job as a tutor to the daughter of a wealthy Russian oligarch living in London. Before long, he finds himself sucked into a world of obsession and chance. Starring Ed Stoppard and Matthew Marsh. From 2013.

Cast & Crew

Alexei Ed Stoppard
Mikhail Matthew Marsh
Polina Doyla Gavanski
Vika Isabella Blake-Thomas
Astley Graham Seed
Francois Orlando Seale
Katie Lucy May Barker
Inokenti George Lasha
Masha Irena Karacheva
Mullighan Jay Taylor
Office worker Alana Ramsey
Blake Timothy Walker
Adapted By Dolya Gavanski
Director John Dryden
Producer John Dryden
Writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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