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Lotos Vincenc Šparovec

Man Overboard

On 9 June 1993, just before noon, Lotos Vincenc Šparovec, a 22-year student of stage acting at the Ljubljana Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television, was doing maintenance work on the side of a cargo ship sailing on the Atlantic Ocean. Wearing orange overalls, he was attached with a rope, which was the only link between him and the ship. This rope is the umbilical cord that prevents a sailor from falling into the sea while working. Suddenly, his umbilical cord broke, and the sailor fell into the Atlantic. At that moment, no one on board noticed what had happened, and the ship sailed on. Abandoned in the bottomless blue sea, the sailor cried in vain for help. No one could hear him – neither on board of the ship nor anywhere in the whole world.

Man Overboard, 2021

Documentary solo project

World premiere

Performance length is 2 hours and 20 minutes and has no pause.


Participants in Documentary solo project

Lotos Vincenc Šparovec, Ira Ratej, Iris Kovačič, Peter Bratuša, Maja Cerar, Andrej Koležnik in Sašo Dragaš.

Elements from the ship provided by

Splošna plovba.

Special thanks to

Peter Ivanež, Boris Vidmar and Jadran Vouk.

What is a young man thinking when staring death in the eye?

It would take at least two hours before the crew would notice his absence. The ship will be dozens of miles away by then. And even if she turned back, who could possibly spot a tiny dot, a human face in the glittering shimmer and white foam of the waves? Lotos knew this was the end. Death was no longer a mere supposition or a riddle. He was there, with him. The only certainty in a sea of uncertainty. The hours passed ...

What is a young man thinking when staring death in the eye? How does he say goodbye when his goodbye is not heard by anyone? What happens to his mind and body?

But Lotos did survive. The captain of the ship decided to turn the helm. The ship sailed back, and the "Man Overboard” alarm was sounded. His shipmates used binoculars to scan the surface of the sea and suddenly spotted him. He was pounding the water violently with his yellow T-shirt.

They pulled Lotos aboard, and he was saved. It was, and still is, a miracle. But Lotos never talked about it, even though we kept poking at him, secretly observing him and wondering silently how this experience had affected him.

Now he has decided to talk about it openly, without embellishment or pretence, to answer for himself and us who was the man who fell into the sea and what kind of man came back.

Lotos Vincenc Šparovec, a member of the Ljubljana City Theatre ensemble, is a trained actor by profession. He has appeared in dozens of roles in our theatre and in other theatres, also in films. In 2003 Lotos suspended his position at the Ljubljana City Theatre to train as an army officer. Lotos Vincenc Šparovec is a man of his word who has now put into words the most elemental human ordeal.

Music by Terry Jacks Seasons in the Sun (Jacques Brel, Rod McKuen, Terry Jack in Clive Davis).