Hayley Mills returned to the stage in 2012 as Ursula in the world premiere of Ladies In Lavender, which toured the UK, including a season at London’s Richmond Theatre Adapted by Shaun McKenna from the popular film starring Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, the stage version is based on Charles Dance’s screenplay and William Locke’s original story. Set in a remote Cornish village, the lives of two spinster sisters (Hayley and Belinda Lang) are turned upside down by the arrival of a young Polish violinist. While most actors say that the script is the deciding factor for taking on a play, Hayley said it was the music, taken from the original score by Nigel Hess and performed by virtuoso Joshua Bell that swayed her. She said it immediately became her favourite piece of music as soon as she heard it. The Northampton Chronicle and Echo review said “Mills is stunning as Ursula, imbuing her with a girlish youth which makes her unrequited feelings ever poignant.”
I sent this sketch of Hayley as Ursula to her London agent and she returned it signed and dedicated within a week.