From the
Archives of the

"The Spare Room"
Mordecai Richler

ISBN 1-894003-25-x

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From the archives of the CBC,
    Scenario Productions


The Spare Room
Author Mordecai Richler

Listen to it !

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  Produced by Esse W. Ljungh
Conductor Morris Surdin
Father- Henry Comor, Mother-Marian Waldman, the boy-Billie-Mae Richards, Mervyn-David Clement, Mr. Rosen-Paul Kligman, Mrs. Rosen-Nancy Dale, Molly-Toby Tarnow, Mr. Bambinger-Ben Lennick, Harvey- Jacqueline White, Arty-Joan Fowler, with Tommy

This story revolves around a Jewish family during World War 2 who takes in boarders. The first boarder is Heir Banbinger, a refugee who's waiting for his family to arrive from the old country. After a number of other borders, Mervyn, a struggling writer rents the Spare room. Mrs. Hirsh is taken with Mervyn and helps him stay even though Mr. Hirsh is demanding the rent. Mr Hirsh reads reads the book, changes his mind about Mervyn and becomes more lenient with the rent. Mr. Hersh then takes Mervyn under his wing, gives him some fatherly advice and his counsel.


The Late Mordechi Richler was a working writer. When he was not producing novels or churning out journalistic pieces or movie scripts, he was busy writing radio plays.

The Spare Room, broadcast by CBC several decades ago, is now available on a CD disk. Richler's play is set in Montreal in 1943, revolves around a Jewish family that takes in boarders.

Their first tenant, Banbinger, is a German Jewish refugee who, for reasons unknown, had to leave this family behind in Nazi Germany. A stuffy man, he seems to possess few endearing qualities. Indeed, the youngest member of the family, a feisty boy who vacated his room to accommodate Bambinger, is less than taken with him. But as he gets to know the rather remote boarder, Bambinger grows on him. By the time Bambinger is ready to leave the house and be reunited with his wife and son, the boy already misses him......

The Second episode turns on another tenant, a struggling young writer named Mervyn Kaplansky. Like some aspiring novelists, Kaplansky is moody and temperamental. He submits manuscripts to publishers in New York City and anxiously awaits a verdict. Having read one of his unpublished novels, the bread winner of the house, Hirsh, admires Kaplansky. He urges him to persevere. So confident is he of Kaplansky's abilities that he tolerates his failure to pay the rent.....The Spare Room, starring Henry Comor, David Clement and Toby Tarnow, take us back to the days when .....Richler was an up-and-coming writer .


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