Hollywood star Juliet Mills talks to Globe columnist Peter Grant ahead of her much-awaited visit to the Floral Pavilion...

JULIET Mills says she is on a 'sentimental journey.'

A tour of UK theatres in a new adaptation of The Lady Vanishes with her actor and husband Max Caulfield is more than a labour of love.

This vibrant version of the Hitchcockian drama is playing to packed houses.

Juliet is loving every minute of this witty and suspense-filled production.

Juliet told the Globe: "I am so thankful to Bill Kenwright for casting myself and Max in his own company - the Classic Thriller Theatre - and in this wonderful and, at times, funny play based on the 1938 film.

"To see the 'house full' signs since we started out in Windsor is lovely.

"We are in such good company and in a marvellous atmospheric play which I am sure will appeal to Hitchcock aficionados."

It follows socialite Iris - played by Eastenders star Lorna Fitzgerald - who is on a tour of Europe at the start of the Second World War when she befriends a serene, mild-mannered tweedy Mrs Froy on a train.

When Iris falls asleep there is no lady and the question is how? They are on a moving train.

All is revealed in a stage show with stunning sets and first class performances from some of the biggest names from stage and screen.

Juliet plays Miss Froy while husband Max is Austrian Dr Hartz.

An added bonus for 77-year-old Juliet is that she is treading the boards in many of the same theatres where her father enjoyed critical and box office success during his golden career.

Sir John was working right up until his death at the age of 97.

He was the country's first 'national treasure' years before the term was even dreamt up.

I shared with Julia my own special memory of her famous dad.

I had interviewed Sir John in a Liverpool hotel before a charity concert and when a crowd of visiting football fans appeared in the bar they started chanting his name with thunderous applause singing in true Kop style: "Johnny Mills... Johnny Mills. "

I will always remember his beaming smile.

"He was certainly blessed," agrees Juliet who lives happily in California.

In 2020 she will be celebrating 40 years of marriage to her soulmate Max star of US soap Dynasty and spin off The Colbys as well as Grease 2.

Like Juliet he can turn his hand to any genre.

They are the perfect match on and off stage.

The Mills family are certainly one of the great acting dynasties.

Sister Hayley is currently making a six part drama series for the BBC and brother Jonathan is a producer, Juliet, like Hayley, starred in films with their famous dad.

Juliet started early at the age of 11 in the film In Which We Serve written by her godfather Noël Coward.

"I was later in the History of Mr Polly and I absolutely loved it - my favourite earliest film memory."

She says her late, much-respected father still inspires her.

"I still talk to him before each performance.

"I believe we all have people in our lives who, once they have left us, then go on to guide us."

I ask if the much-travelled, multi-award winning star has ever been to New Brighton?

Juliet says: "I looked at the tour list and I had never heard of it before - a lovely surprise when I discovered more about it.

"I am so looking forward to coming there and it will be a chance to see the Mersey ferry.

"I have heard it is such a welcoming place and I personally love anywhere with a sea."

In The Lady Vanishes Juliet is the 'vanisher' of the title.

So I ask her how she spends her time in the dressing room when her character mysteriously disappears?

"Ah, good question, " she laughs. "I always have my ear on the tannoy. I won't be getting immersed in any book.

"I am currently reading one about my godmother Vivienne Leigh.

"Best to avoid books at all costs.

"I will stick to making bead bracelets while I am out on tour."

Juliet has lived a theatrical life and every memory is treasured from her inspirational parents Sir John and Lady Mills.

Juliet, a very spiritual woman and revealed to me a recent dream which she says now inspires her but she would love to know if it has deeper meanings.

"In my dream I was on a stage and taking a third bow.

"My father was sitting there clapping - a younger version of himself no white beard as he did in later life.

"He was clapping and clapping and smiling - he looked so proud of me.

"And then the strangest thing... the curtain would not come down.

"It must mean he wants me to carry on doing what I love."

Juliet says that she and Max will be taking a short break back to the USA in May and returning to dear old Blighty in August to complete the tour.

For now each night as this lovely lady vanishes... I am sure Sir John is in the wings applauding and declaring with satisfied smiles 'bravo, my Juliet.'

The Lady Vanishes' run at The Floral Pavilion from February 25 to March 2.

To get your tickets call the box office on 0151 666 0000 or visit https://www.floralpavilion.com/en-GB/shows/the%20lady%20vanishes/events