Brazil 2014 The Play "The Day we played Brazil"

The Day We Played Brazil, a musical play written by Nick Stimson celebrated the 100th anniversary of the football match between Exeter City and the Brazil national team – the first-ever game played by Brazil. Based on the extraordinary true story of Exeter City FC’s tour to South America in 1914 this musical play was performed by 120 local people telling the stories of the players and their wives, sweethearts and families back home. There was plenty of music, tears and laughter along the way as well as some great footballing moments.

It’s a story of adventure and excitement both on and off the pitch that took the the audience through the highs and lows of the hundred years in Exeter since the outbreak of the Great War.

From Jenny Hogg, Exeter Daily.

The Day We Played Brazil has been wowing audiences at the Exeter Northcott Theatre since it opened on Wednesday 16 July and a group of audience members in particular on Saturday evening’s performance had a very special reason to see the show.

The musical celebrates the 100th anniversary of Exeter City becoming the first team to ever play Brazil and follows the stories of the 1914 footballers who went on the South American tour. Billy Smith and Bill Lovett were two of the footballers who played in the historic tour and members of both of their families travelled down from the north of England to watch the production at the theatre.

Speaking after the show on Saturday, Billy Smith’s daughter, Jean, said “It was wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m going to come back to see it again next week.”

Based in Cheshire, Smith’s Grandson, Richard, heard about the production through chance after his brother, on holiday in Exeter, saw posters for the show. After some research, they all booked tickets and made the long journey down the Devon on Saturday.

“It was absolutely fantastic! They have made my whole family proud” Richard said.

After the tour of South America, the footballers went on to fight in World War I and all of them returned when the war was over.

However, after signing a transfer deal to Everton, Billy Smith was shot the day after the war ended, which led to the amputation of his leg.

“Billy knew the sniper who shot him. They played a football match against the Germans and the sniper played. I didn’t realise Billy gets such a big storyline in the production. It was an absolutely fantastic evening. The production was outstanding.“


Paul F


Jenny Hogg, Exeter Daily


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