Touch (‘Dawn’)

DRAMA; 1hr 30min

STARRING: Leeanna Walsman, Matt Day, Onor Nottle

No hiding place: Nottle (front) and Walsman

Pursued by an ex-policeman (Day) after an unexplained and shocking act of violence, a woman (Walsman) has gone to ground with her ethereal little girl (Nottle as Steph) in an isolated South Australian motel. Other than being circumstantially burdened, sexually self-punishing and sometimes volatile, the woman is otherwise hard to read — a factual vacuum that gives the insightful Walsman plenty of emotive opportunities to play off.

For much of the proceedings, Steph is no more enlightened about her heightened circumstances than the audience. “What are we doing here?” she understandably demands. “I’m keeping us together, Steph,” her mother replies. But how long can she persevere in her fractured and depressive state?


Ominous yet never obvious, writer-director Christopher Houghton casts a web of secrets that deepen as the reckoning closes in and the sad truth of the situation hits home. Straddling a dangerous ground between guilt and insanity, Touch is about the power of self delusion as an anguished, last-ditch defence.