Today, to mark what would have been W.B Yeats’ 155th birthday, we’re delighted to bring you the world premiere of a new short film ‘The Battle of Blythe Road’ in which the poet Niall McDevitt tells the story of W.B. Yeats’s involvement with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in Hammersmith in 1900.
Yeats wrote that the study of magic was “the most important pursuit of my life… The mystical life is the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write.”
It was here in rooms above what is now George’s Café on Blythe Road that Yeats practised magical rituals alongside friends like Bram Stoker, Constance Wilde, Maud Gonne, and most notoriously Aleister Crowley. When Crowley showed a tendency to use his occult powers “for evil rather than for good”, Yeats decided not to allow him to be initiated into the inner circle; Yeats despised Crowley and thwarted his plan to take over the building.
It is a highly unusual story and is told with great panache by Niall McDevitt. Directed by Sé Merry Doyle.
‘The Battle of Blythe Road’ was commissioned by ICC Digital.