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“The Fall and Rise of Enver Hoxha”


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Horgan, Donal (Irish playwright, teacher, 19__-____), “The Fall and Rise of Enver Hoxha,” a 25-minute comedy in English, set in a bus company operations room, a decidedly old fashioned and repressive office, Dublin, Ireland, 1998,

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 •  © 1998 by Donal Horgan;  •  script available from Donal Horgan, http://homepage.eircom.net/~dramashop/enverhoxha.html;  •  rights available from Donal Horgan, 6 Sheldon, Audley Place, St. Patrick’s Hill, Cork, Ireland, e-mail donalhorgan@eircom.net, telephone (home) 021-4506019, http://homepage.eircom.net/~dramashop.  •  Cited by Donal Horgan, via ftp September 18, 2000; Horgan says,

 §  Dramatis Personae Aquinas (m), 58, dressed conservatively with tweed sportscoat, wide tie and thick glasses, has spent his entire working life with “the company”; Noreen (f), 40 something, prim and proper office secretary; Jason (m), 25, idealistic and ambitious newcomer.

 §  Synopsis “It seems like yet another ordinary day in the Operations Room of the bus station. Aquinas Mooney, grade 3, is performing that most essential of life’s tasks—making the buses run on time. In this, he is ably assisted by Noreen O Sullivan, spinster, hypochondriac and grade 2 respectively. There also in portrait form if nothing else is Enver Hoxha, one time ruler of Communist Albania and role model for Aquinas in his Herculean dealings with senior management in the form of Mr Thompson and his sidekick Jim Cremin. On this day of days, the somnolent atmosphere of the Operations Room is suddenly rocked by two events. The first is the arrival of Jason McCarthy, an alarmingly ambitious grade 1, primed with all the jargon of the new workplace. The second is the imminent publication of 'Turning The Corner', a radical restructuring plan for the company which promises to ruffle more than a few feathers in the Operations Room.

 §  Comment “Aquinas: In late fifties. Dressed Conservatively with tweed sportscoat, wide tie and thick glasses. Has spent his entire working life with "the company". Sustaining Aquinas in his daily travails is a portrait of Enver Hoxha, former Communist ruler of Albania. For Aquinas, Enver Hoxha's reign over Communist Albania represented some form of constancy in a world of rapid and, at times, bewildering change. Totally unable to use both the jargon and the technology of the new workplace, Aquinas is starting to have grave doubts as to whether he has a future with the company. While he loves to hate the company and the Machiavellian antics of Mr Thompson and his sidekick Cremin, it is clear that Aquinas dreads the prospect of retirement
even more.  •  Noreen: Forty something. Prim and proper. Views life through the bottom of a glass of alka seltzer. A devoted hypochondriac who in turn has become something of a walking pharmacy. As well as functioning as office secretary, Noreen
provides her own oblique commentary on life, death and bowel disorders.  •  Jason: Young idealistic and ambitious. He joins the company brimming with all of the jargon of the new workplace. However, he is naive when it comes to the politics of the organisation.  •  I would like to emphasise the play’s suitability for Human Resource Management and its connections with
Economics. Also, although the play deals with Enver Hoxha, it has more to do with the modern workplace than any historical treatment of communism. This play studies change or more correctly, resistance to change, within a monolithic organisation. It touches on everything from Mother Theresa’s Albanian connections to the economics of the free market! So who are the winners and losers in this search for a leaner and fitter organisation? Or do the politics of the organisation finally win out?  •  Especially suitable for anyone interested in Human Resource Management.”  •  Enver Hoxha (b. Oct. 16, 1908, Gjirokastra, Albania—d. April 11, 1985, Tiranë), the first communist chief of state of Albania. As that country’s ruler for 40 years after World War II, he forced its transformation from a semifeudal relic of the Ottoman Empire into an industrialized economy with the most tightly controlled society in Europe. Hoxha, the son of a Muslim cloth merchant, studied at the French lycée at Korçë and reportedly also at the American Technical School in Tiranë. In 1930 he went on a state scholarship to the University of Montpellier, France, and then from 1934 to 1936 he was a secretary at the Albanian consulate general in Brussels and studied law at the university there. Returning to Albania in 1936, he became a teacher at his old school in Korçë. In 1939, when Italy invaded Albania, Hoxha was dismissed from his teaching post for refusing to join the newly formed Albanian Fascist Party, and he opened a retail tobacco store at Tiranë, which became headquarters for a communist cell. After Germany invaded Yugoslavia in 1941, Yugoslav communists helped Hoxha found the Albanian Communist Party (afterward called the Party of Labour). Hoxha became first secretary of the party’s Central Committee and political commissar of the communist-dominated Army of National Liberation. He was prime minister of Albania from its liberation in 1944 until 1954, simultaneously holding the ministry of foreign affairs from 1946 to 1953. As first secretary of the Party of Labour’s Central Committee, he retained effective control of the government until his death. Albania’s economy was revolutionized under Hoxha’s long rule. Farmland was confiscated from wealthy landowners and gathered into collective farms that eventually enabled Albania to become almost completely self-sufficient in food crops. Industry, which had previously been almost nonexistent, received huge amounts of investment, so that by the 1980s it had grown to contribute more than half of the gross national product. Electricity was brought to every rural district, epidemics of disease were stamped out, and illiteracy became a thing of the past. In order to enforce his radical program, however, Hoxha resorted to brutal Stalinist tactics. His government imprisoned, executed, or exiled thousands of landowners, rural clan leaders, Muslim and Christian clerics, peasants who resisted collectivization, and disloyal party officials. Private property was confiscated by the state; all churches, mosques, and other religious institutions were closed; and all cultural and intellectual endeavours were put at the service of socialism and the state. As ardent a nationalist as he was a communist, Hoxha excoriated any communist state that threatened his power or the sovereignty of Albania. In 1948 he broke relations with Yugoslavia and formed an alliance with the Soviet Union. After the death of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, for whom Hoxha held a lifelong admiration, his relations with Nikita Khrushchev deteriorated until Hoxha broke with him completely in 1961. He then forged close ties with China, breaking with that country in turn in 1978 after the death of Mao Zedong and China’s rapprochement with the West. From then on, Hoxha spurned all the world’s major powers, declaring that Albania would become a model socialist republic on its own. In order to ensure the succession of a younger generation of leaders, Hoxha in 1981 ordered the execution of several leading party and government officials. Thereafter he withdrew into semiretirement, turning over most state functions to Ramiz Alia, who succeeded him upon his death.”—http://www.albanian.com/main/history/hoxha.html, accessed September 18, 2000.

 § ThemesAlbania, ambition, bus station, company politics, free market, hate, Hoxha (Enver Hoxha, 1908-1985), human resource management, hypochondria, jargon, Machiavelli (Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian statesman and political philosopher, 1469-1527), monolithic organisation, Mother Theresa (aka Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, founder of Missionaries of Charity, 1910-1997), naivete, newcomer, operations room, portrait, publication, punctuality, resistance to change, restructure, retirement, role model, spinsterhood, technology, workplace.

See also Donal Horgan’s
 

This Website continues under construction and welcomes new citations and comments.

Page mounted September 18, 2000 and updated September 23, 25, 2000, July 16, 2001, by the Webmaster.
 
 

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