Exclusive Q and A with Yaegel Welch with "The Play That Goes Wrong"
February 7, 2019
New York, NY
Senior Writer: Diana Brang-Scott
Broadway’s Tony Award-Winning Hit Comedy Prepares to Wreak Havoc in Detroit at the Fisher Theatre, February 12 – 24
The Play That Goes Wrong was co-written by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, The Play That Goes Wrong is a riotous comedy about the theatre. The play introduces The ‘Cornley University Drama Society’ who are attempting to put on a 1920s’ murder mystery 'Murder at Haversham Manor’, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong…does, as the accident-prone thespians battle on against all odds to get to their final curtain call, because no matter what happens, the show must go on!
The Broadway production of The Play That Goes Wrong opened at the Lyceum Theatre on April 2, 2017. The show, which was slated to close on Broadway in August of this year, will extend its run due to popular demand through January 6, 2019. By then, the Broadway production will have played 27 previews and 745 performances, making it the 2nd longest running show in the history of the Lyceum Theatre. The Play That Goes Wrong received a Tony Award for Best Set Design, Broadway.com’s Audience Choice Award for Best Play, and the Theater Fans Choice Award for Best Play.
It is a remarkable rags-to-riches story for a play which started its life at a London fringe venue with only four paying members of the public at the first performance and has gone on to play to an audience of over 2 million people around the world.
I recently spoke with Yaegel Welch who plays the part of Jonathan. Yaegel has a BA in Theatre Arts from Morehouse College; A MFA in Acting from Brandeis University; and a MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre’s Academy for Classical Acting. He is originally from Los Angeles California and this is his Broadway debut.
I asked Yaegel to give us a synopsis of the show, he said “Well your watching a play with in a play. They are a group of armature performers trying to keep a show going despite what happens. It’s an absolute riot, their commitment is so funny and inspiring they just keep going no matter what crazy things happen.”
What can the audience expect to see regarding the sets and costumes? Yaegel said, “The play they are doing is set in the 1920’s in England, but it is present day, think Agatha Christy or Clue it’s a very high brow murder mystery, classy and glamourous. My character wears a purple smoker’s jacket, another character wears a red flapper dress, but you will see other characters like the stage manager walk around with a cell phone.”
I asked Yaegel if he thought there was a message for the audience in this show? He said, “It’s to let go and laugh. When you talk to the writers about what they set out to do, they simply wanted people to let go and laugh- despite what’s going on in their own lives or in the world around them. It gives all people an opportunity to come together in that moment united, and share laughter, and we need this now more than ever.”
I asked Yaegel if he had any advice for people who may want to follow in his footsteps, he said “Just like the cast of characters from Cornley University in The Play That Goes Wrong, you have to keep going. If you set your mind to do this, practice and learn your craft, you have to learn to walk before you can run. Don’t be daunted by societies idea of success and find a passion that will fuel you through all the falls, and that will give you the gas you need to keep going. Find your own voice and don’t be afraid to share your sole and light.”
Come out and see Yaegel and the entire cast of The Play That Goes Wrong February 12 - 24, 2019 at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit. Yaegel says, “As we have taken this show around the country it has been nothing more than sheer joy working with this cast and allowing people to come to the audience to just let go and laugh. I hope as we arrive in Detroit that we will be able to do the same thing for your city.”
Tickets for The Play That Goes Wrong start at $44 (includes facility and parking fees) and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at or www.ticketmaster.com, and by phone at 800-982-2787. Tickets can also be purchased at the Fisher Theatre box office.
Follow Broadway In Detroit on Facebook (BroadwayInDetroit), Twitter @BroadwayDetroit and Instagram @Broadwayindetroit.