End of February 1986 – Queen films the promo video for their hit ‘A Kind of Magic’ – The second single from their twelfth album of the same name. ‘A Kind of Magic’ dropped as a single on March 17, 1986

‘A Kind of Magic’ was filmed in the Playhouse Theatre in Northumberland Avenue in London. It was once the home of many a BBC radio programme, it was directed by Russell Mulcahy. Russell came over to the house and it was he who had the idea of the venue. Freddie and he talked through the idea for hours and came up with the inspiration from the location. Because the Arches at Charing Cross was and is home to many of London’s homeless and people who sleep rough in the streets, that brought about the idea of Freddie being a magician who changes the reality for three down-and-outs (Brian, Roger and John) bringing them into the magic of the old abandoned theatre, where he, Freddie, was once the star.

Magically, Freddie just appears and disappears with his retinue of cartoon backing singers. Only halfway through so the transformed tramps realise something might be wrong when Roger turns quizzically to the camera. There were many long hours involved but what sticks in my mind most were Freddie’s comments about how, “….fucking cold it was!” He didn’t realize it could be so cold inside a building but the Plymouth Theatre hadn’t been used for many months and it had no central heating.

Peter Freestone

Here’s the wonderful clip

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