Theatre Heritage Australia


We regret to inform you that due to a family emergency An Afternoon with Gideon Haigh at The Channel, Arts Centre Melbourne on Saturday 16 March 2024 has been cancelled. The Arts Centre Melbourne will also be sending out information to affected patrons. We hope to reschedule Gideon's talk for later in the year.


An Afternoon with Gideon Haigh

Ever wondered how someone could simply vanish? Be there one minute and gone the next...

Last year I was reading a memoir by the late Michael Cannon. He described a young woman called "Gwenda", whom he tried unsuccessfully to seduce, in 1949. Not long after, he picked up Melbourne's Herald and there was her picture on the front page – she had disappeared whilst aboard the liner Orcades. The mystery, he said, had never been solved.

Interesting, eh? But the only way I was going to find out more was, you guessed it, to write a book.

The result is one of the most fascinating and flavoursome stories I've ever delved into. The characters include not only beautiful and benighted Gwenda, but a brilliant young actor, an incorrigible bigamist, a daring aviator, a Fascist sympathiser, and a woman with a wooden hand. Plus, of course, the backdrop of a magnificent ocean liner. This is why I love non-fiction: never in a thousand years would you have made this story up. The Girl in Cabin 350, which is how Gwenda was described on the front page of London's Evening Standard, also explores the harrowing consequences of the disappearance for her family, and reflects on the place of the missing person in our culture. 

Gideon Haigh has been a journalist for 40 years, has contributed to more than a hundred newspapers and magazines, and published fifty-two books, on subjects from cricket and crime to asbestos and abortion. 

All are welcome. Entry is free, however bookings are required.


Theatre Heritage Australia in association with Arts Centre Melbourne presents

An Afternoon with Gideon Haigh