TV and film star Juliet Mills on stage in Doncaster in thriller The Lady Vanishes
International star Juliet Mills joins the cast of the stage adaptation of classic Hitchcock movie thriller The Lady Vanishes, touring to Cast in Doncaster.
The Emmy award-winning actress (Wild at Heart) stars alongside her husband, Maxwell Caulfield (Grease 2, Dynasty), Lorna Fitzgerald, fresh from her shock departure as Abi in EastEnders, Matt Barber (Downtown Abbey), Robert Duncan (Drop The Dead Donkey), Philip Lowrie (Coronation Street), and Ben Nealon (Soldier Soldier).
Here, stage and screen star Juliet tells us about touring with her husband in the play. See The Lady Vanishes at Cast in Doncaster from June 5 to 8. Box office: castindoncaster.com
What’s The Lady Vanishes about?
One can’t say too much about a thriller without giving the game away! It’s set on a train and a station in 1938, just before Germany invade Austria. A group of people meet on this train and one of them disappears. A young couple make it their mission to find this missing person, but there seems to be a conspiracy amongst the passengers to hide what’s happened.
It’s a real comedy thriller, which is actually my very favourite genre in the theatre. I think people love to be scared in the theatre and they love to laugh because they’re so scared. It’s very funny and I’m very proud of it.
Who do you play?
I play Miss Froy, an English governess who’s been working with a family in Austria for six years. She’s part of the puzzle. I can’t say much more than that!
What made you eager to be part of this production?
It was dear (producer) Mr Bill Kenwright’s idea. He offered the job to my husband and me together, so that was a very big plus right away. The fact that it was a new play was another very big plus. Coming back to England and doing a tour together just sounded like a very good idea and a lot of fun.
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How do you find working with your husband?
I love it. We’ve been married 38 years now and in the theatre we’ve worked together half a dozen times. We love working together, especially touring together, because it’s a great adventure going to different cities every week; packing everything up, getting into the car and off we go. It’s a real gift that Bill has given us.
Are you excited about taking the show around the UK?
I am. I love playing the different venues in the different towns. It’s wonderful going into those old theatres that are in such wonderful condition, knowing that my father [Sir John Mills] definitely played there. It’s just a tradition that I feel very at home and comfortable with.
How will you spend your days when you’re not performing?
It depends where we are and what the weather’s like. We love to hike, so if we’re in the country we love to go on walks.
You’ve had such a long and varied career. Can you pick any highlights?
On the first play I ever did, Five Finger Experience, when I was really young, I worked with John Gielgud. It was a very successful play that ran for a long time in London. We took it to Broadway when I was only 18. That was an extraordinary highlight. Broadway was thrilling.
Avanti! with Jack Lemmon, directed by the great Billy Wilder, was a wonderful experience too. We shot the whole thing in Italy. I had to put on 35 pounds, so I never stopped eating.
And on television, Nanny and the Professor was a happy time for me. It took me to America. I never intended to stay, but work kept coming. I’ve lived there a long time now.