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Horsehair — Duncan Nicoll, 1998

This story follows a man called Mick, who spends too much time at home in his favourite chair. He is struggling to find a job and spends his days and nights in his chair in front of the television. His partner wants to get rid of the chair because it is falling apart and its insides are bursting through the fabric, but he won’t hear of it. Eventually, his lazy lifestyle catches up with him and soon he begins to bond even closer with the chair he loves so much.

Classroom Activities

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  • Tell pupils the name of the film and ask them what they think the film is about.
  • Where is this film set? What makes you think this?
  • Watch again from 01:49 – 02:10 and discuss how the sound changes and the impact this has.
  • Watch from 00:55 – 01:38. What do you notice about the editing? What does the editing tell the audience about the life of Mick?
  • Describe how colour is used in this film and the information it gives the audience. You could think about the colours on screen as well as the saturation and temperature.
  • Watch from 03:20 – 03:30. What tells the audience that Mick might not be happy with his life spent in the chair? Think about how the character is acting as well as what he is saying.
  • How does the sound and lighting change when we see a shot of the chair on its own?
  • When Mick gets home from the job centre, what effect do the sound, editing and camera shots have? What information does it give to the audience?
  • Discuss the end of the film. What do you think really happened to Mick? What makes you think this?


  • Why do you think his film was called ‘Horsehair?’
  • Discuss the impact of spending too much time indoors in front of the TV.
  • Think about the scene in the job centre. The staff member didn’t respond to Mick pulling out a ball of hair – why might this have been?
  • Discuss the impact someone might face when they are struggling to find a job. How might this effect their mental health?
  • In groups, discuss what good mental health looks like and what poor mental health looks like. Crete two lists and compare them with the other groups.
  • Who do you think this film was made for? Do you think this is a motivational film? Give reasons for your answers.



  • Write a diary entry imagining you are Kath, describing how she would feel after Mick disappears.
  • Write a newspaper article reporting on the disappearance of Mick.


  • Make a short advert promoting healthy habits for positive mental health. You can use the information from the survey task below to help.


  • Complete a survey asking people what they do to keep active and stay positive.
  • Create a poster promoting a healthy, active lifestyle and get people out of the house.
  • Imagine you are looking for a job. Write a CV that outlines your skills, qualities and any experience you have.


  • Design a new cover for Mick’s chair. Think about what he might like.


  • Research task: on average how much time do people in the UK spend in front of the television either watching shows or playing on a console? How does this compare with the UK and world average? Write up your findings or create a graph.

Clip Details

Year of Production 1998
Genre Comedy, Horror
Curriculum Areas Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing, Literacy and English
Director Duncan Nicoll
Country of Origin UK
Medium / Content Live Action, Fiction, Colour, Sound
Themes Danger / Fear, Work / Ambition
Clip Length 07:09
Clip Length 07:09
Age Group S1-S3, S4-S6