This is the bronze statue of Mercury at 2 Ladbroke Grove which adorned the Mercury Theatre, a poet’s theatre where Eliot, Auden et al used to have their plays put on. They planned to open with a season of Yeats plays but the theatre was run by ‘homo-communists’ who didn’t like being ordered about by an Irish hetero-fascist.

The wand in Mercury’s hand looks like the type of medical wand associated with Asclepius, but is actually a Caduceus. “It is said the wand would wake the sleeping and send the awake to sleep. If applied to the dying, their death was gentle; if applied to the dead, they returned to life.”





Powell and Pressburger’s film The Red Shoes used the Mercury Theatre as its film set.

It is now The Kensington Temple.


Photos: Julie Goldsmith,_Notting_Hill_Gate[


About Niall McDevitt

Niall McDevitt > poet > author of b/w (Waterloo Press, 2010) and Porterloo (International Times, 2012) > urban explorer > radical pedestrian who leads Shakespeare/Blake/Rimbaud /Yeats walks, among others.
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