The troubled and bloody relationship between Africa and Europe spills into the personal lives and loves of two generations.
The first part of the play is set in Brussels where MEP Geoff Fallon is entertaining his backpacking son, Tim. Having spent his gap year in Africa, Geoff feels an affinity for the continent. However, the reality of the consequences of an African genocide that has taken place in the fictional state of Irundi hit home when local community leader, Jean, seeks refuge in the European city having been exiled from his homeland. The second part of the play shifts the action to Irundi and time rewinds as we see a younger Geoff gradually fall in love with Africa. Waters explores the legacy of colonisation and exploitation and its devastating impact upon the present by filtering the action through a collection of personal relationships.
World Music was first performed at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 2003 and subsequently transferred to the Donmar Warehouse in London.