Theater: Dust in Venice

The Aspern Papers (by Michael Redgrave) is a devoted, but unrewarding, act of literary piety, more library dust than drama. In transposing Henry James's story. Actor-turned-Playwright Redgrave has animated a book, not given life to a play.

In a moldering Venetian palazzo in the late 19th century sit two desiccated women. Miss Bordereau (Franchise Rosay) is 100 or so and has wrung life dry; her old-maid niece. Miss Tina (Wendy Hiller), has had life squeezed out of her. In swirls a worldly dandy, Henry Jarvis

(Maurice Evans), a publisher and a cultish worshiper of a...

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