Screen Two (1985–2002)
7 critic

The Clothes in the Wardrobe 

Margaret would really rather become a nun than a housewife, but the wedding is all arranged, the guests have begun to arrive, so what can be done?






Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Margaret
Padraig O'Loinsigh ... Nour (as Padraig Casey)
Britta Smith ... Mother Joseph
... Marie-Claire
Pierre Sioufi ... Ahmed
Sherine El Ansari ... Gypsy Girl
... Monica
... Syl
... Mrs. Monro
... Lili
Annabel Burton ... Margaret as a Child
... Mrs. Raffald
... Robert
... Gallery Owner
Tommy Duggan ... Father O'Flynn


Boy meets Girl in Egypt. Girl is profoundly affected and returns to England where she apathetically becomes engaged to the 'boy' next door. A thoroughly unsuited couple. Lili, an old family friend arrives for the nuptials and enchants all and sundry, including the wife of one of her previous liaisons. Lili sees what the groom and the brides mother refuse to see and manages to resolve the situation to the brides great satisfaction. Written by SAK Farmer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

england | egypt | based on novel | See All (3) »




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 December 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Summer House  »


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Did You Know?


Takes place in Croyden in South London. See more »


LILI: Your dog is making love to my foot.
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User Reviews

Charming Catalyst
27 December 2000 | by See all my reviews

This story can take a bit of work in places, and needs your full attention, but it is worth it. There are scenes in Egypt that are not overly clear or explained but are responsible for the state of mind of the young bride in the story.

Through an acute case of apathy, Margaret has become engaged to the boy next door (David Threlfall). He is not however every mothers dream for her daughter in fact even his own Mother (Joan Plowright) is less than enthused about him on occasion.

The wedding is planned and guests start arriving in town. One of these is the exotic Lili (Jeanne Moreau), an old friend of the brides mother (Julie Walters). She spends her time prior to the wedding with Margaret and her mother and also reacquainting herself with the grooms mother (Joan Plowright). The latter objective having a little awkward history behind it.

The relationship that develops between these two veteran actors is a delight to watch. I have not seen Joan Plowright in anything where I haven't enjoyed her performance.

Lili has already decided that this wedding is a big mistake. Even the bride knows this. So steps should perhaps be taken to prevent it. The denouement brought about by Lili is magic, but then Lili is a most charming catalyst.

It would be easy to like this story simply because of the resolution that Lili brings to the problem, it is indeed unforgettable. But the movie is more than that. The title refers to Nuns habits. Literally. The custom was to wear one have one in the wash and one in the wardrobe. This is how Lili discovers what sort of bride Margaret really wants to be.

I found that I couldn't empathise with the bride in this story, how can you relate to someone who would allow themselves to marry the obnoxious Syl Munro (David Threlfall), but I revelled in the performance of Lili.

Watch and Enjoy

: Edit in 2016. This review was originally written in 2000. The meek bride in this story, Lena Heady, has since gone on to great things. She is now at the other spectrum as the manipulative and megalomaniac matriarch in Game of Thrones.

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