It’s one of those confessions I need to make, that despite living down and around the road from The Newsagency in Marrickville, I had only heard, not seen of the venue that seems to be carving out a place for itself as a space for live performance. Sporting an obedient row of tiny green chairs and stools, and an impressive flock of LED lights The Newsagency is one of the Inner West’s one room wonders.

What I love about this style of venue is that it is a space which is about resourcefulness. It is about creative vision and adaptation and daring. The space is daring and the artists making their work in these spaces also have to be – dare to tell a story they care about, to invest in themselves and their talent and their own audience development, dare to source people/props/set/money, dare to carve out a space amongst the TV/iPad culture of free and instant entertainment gratification to say something or do something.

So often there are a million deterrents for an artist. Money the obvious one artists often overcome through cheeky smiles and passionate stubbornness. The biggest problem being space. The Newsagency answers that problems and allows a platform for daring.

There is so much to like about Michelle Pastor. She’s naturally beautiful, unpretentious, sweet and goofy. And she’s also brave and practical.

Like so many actors Michelle has trained, waited and worked and now has created a cabaret offering for audiences “Spoil Your Love life” currently playing at The Newsagency in Marrickville. The premise clear and uncluttered: “In a toilet, in her house, a mother/wife dreams of an alternative fairytale ending to her current living arrangement. She is inspired by Hugh Jackman.” Aided by the very talented Alison Avron as musical director, the show is a flight of fancy involving some DIY wedding frock suggestions and confetti of cotton buds.

Set inside a toilet – with the piercing whine of children always huffing against the door, Hanna (Pastor) dreams of another life. Clumsy (even in her fantasies) Hanna dreams of marrying Hugh Jackman and escaping the daily grind of her teeth as she determines between pizza and pasta for dinner. Somehow its fairly inconceivable that Hanna could be worn out by her life – she’s just too young and attractive – and Pastor is at her best when the hopeful and the idealistic shines through.

What wins out in the show is not the premise, nor the song choice, nor the gleaming throne – but Michelle’s sweet determination. As a performer she is the girl next door everyone can rely upon and we want her to succeed.

As it is the show is a portrait of suburban yearning which is in need of something more than the doldrums of the domestic to drive Hanna into the fantasy. There’s an opportunity to heighten the stakes and colour in the hopelessness of the situation for example the showing of Hanna’s clumsy and awkward instead of the narration may assist this depiction. Additionally the story may be best served if through the act of telling the story – and singing the songs Hanna emerges a new invigorated and determined woman ready to face the challenges of life with a new perspective or strategy to living.

All in all, a show which reminds us that the need for romance can occur in even the smallest room.

MORE DETAILS: The Newsagency, 375 Enmore Road, Marrickville

TICKETS: $27/$20