President Barack Obama marked the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death with a visit to the Globe Theatre in London, where he trod the boards at the city's recreation of the theatre near the site where many of the Bard’s classics were first heard.
The president, who has seen several stage shows during his presidency, including Broadway’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Fences and Hamilton, visited the recreation on the south bank of the Thames April 23 and watched a special performance of scenes from Hamlet, according to Reuters and the AFP news service.
He reportedly clapped loudly, then joined the actors on the outdoor stage. He told them, “Let me shake hands with everyone. That was wonderful. I don’t want it to stop.”
The company that performed has been touring Hamlet around the world. The theatre’s artistic director Dominic Dromgoole said the president's 2008 campaign slogan, “Yes We Can,” originally inspired the touring project.
“The spirit of ‘Yes we can’ has informed the entire tour and it’s an honor to meet the man who coined the phrase, and who exemplifies its spirit,” Dromgoole said.
The president, who is in London to discuss economic policy and Britain's continued membership in the European Union, also visited Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of the 90th birthday.