Peter Barnes mockingly dramatises the distinctly unheroic expedition of Christopher Columbus, which changed the face of the globe, though not entirely in the way he was expecting.
Columbus’s famous venture begins with a desperate struggle for funding, as well as an attempt to convince his backers that the /world was a lot smaller than everyone else thought. Eventually the Spanish King and Queen concede to his terms, which demanded extravagant personal rewards for services of dubious integrity. When he finally claims the Americas for the Spanish Empire, he isn’t entirely sure which country they are, but that doesn’t stop him finding ways to make money out of the people he found there.
Bye Bye Columbus is a wry and mocking portrait of a man who sailed halfway across the world for a hint of gold. The play was broadcast by BBC Television in 1992.