The Playhouse Theatre

Music A Kind of Magic Queen (1986)
Composed by Roger Taylor for the Highlander movie soundtrack, A Kind of Magic was one of Queen's most sensational videos. A video whose spectacular nature is not unrelated to the fact that the action takes place within the walls of the prestigious Playhouse Theatre, near Trafalgar Square...
The Playhouse Theatre
The Playhouse Theatre by Olivier Duquesne. Wikimedia.

I always knew I was a star, and now the rest of the world seems to agree with me.

Freddie Mercury

In a world in chaos, a man stands outside the Playhouse Theatre in London. Inside, the visitor reveals his true nature as a magician and enchants the place, uniting around his powers three vagabonds present on the premises. Little by little, the theatre is regaining its full glory. On the stage, the magician in his top hat becomes a rock star, while his guitarist throws lightning bolts, contributing with his riffs to the resurrection of the place, to the delight of curious animated characters appearing in turn alongside the musicians…

Composed by drummer Roger Taylor for the movie Highlander, from a line spoken by Connor MacLeod, Christophe Lambert’s character, A Kind of Magic is the pretext for an ambitious video. While the production chose Silvercup Studios in New York to shoot the video for Princes of the Universe, with a notable cameo by the film’s lead actor, it set its sights on the Playhouse Theatre for the video that was supposed to illustrate A Kind of Magic. A track also present on the album of the same name. It should be noted, however, that the version on the disc is not quite the same as the one found on theHighlander soundtrack. The latter is the one entirely composed by Roger Taylor, whereas the album version benefited from changes by Freddie Mercury.

When Queen arrives at the Playhouse Theatre, the atmosphere is relatively close to the one in the video. At the helm,Highlander director Russell Mulcahy directs Brian May, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and John Deacon in an absolutely perfect setting, in keeping with the song’s intentions. It must be said that if the place benefits from a prestigious reputation relative to all the big names that have played in it, in the middle of the 1980s, the building suffers from an advanced dilapidation.


There are two versions of A Kind of Magic: one entirely composed by Roger Taylor and the other modified by Freddie Mercury, with notably a new bass line and the addition of some instruments. The song was nevertheless credited to Roger Taylor alone.

Queen Playhouse Theatre
Clip de An Kind of Magic au Playhouse Theatre. Tous droits réservés EMI/Capitol.
Queen A Kind of Magic
Clip de A Kinf od Magic de Queen. Tous droits réservés EMI/Capitol.

Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre

A rather quiet player in London’s cultural heritage, the Playhouse Theatre has nevertheless played a role in the careers of many theatre and music legends.

Opened in 1882, the Playhouse Theatre was first dedicated to comic operas and other burlesque shows, before also devoting itself to theatre.

It was bought by the BBC in 19... Learn more about Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre

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By Gilles Rolland

Friday, November 19, 2021

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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