The original feel-good musical Oklahoma! is riding into town next week.

The classic American musical tells the story of two sets of star-crossed lovers. Cowboy Curly loves Laurey, Aunt Eller’s niece, but Curly’s rival is the mysterious and dangerous hired hand Jud Fry.

Meanwhile, Ado Annie is torn between cowboy Will and peddler Ali Hakim.

Their stories are told with the help of some of the best loved songs in musical theatre history, including Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’, I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No and Surrey With a Fringe on Top.

Music and Lyrics Limited and Royal and Derngate Northampton present a new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Oklahoma!, directed by Rachel Kavanaugh and with new choreography by Drew McOnie

Actress Charlotte Wakefield has taken on another lead role with Laurey and believes the audience are in for a treat when the show finishes at the Wycombe Swan next week.

She said: “The audience are coming to see an absolute classic. It’s a really wonderful production. It’s an old but classic musical with a beautiful orchestra. It tells two big love stories but there are undercurrents of darkness, with one character who is obsessed with Laurey. There is also some comic relief, so it’s a really great story with some wonderful songs.

 “I think I play Laurey a bit differently than how it’s been played before. People think of lots of gingham and denim, but I think I play her much ballsier.”

The 24-year-old actress has previously played Maria in The Sound of Music at Regent's Park Theatre, where she was nominated for an Olivier Award, and toured in the international production of Mamma Mia.

Having worked with Rodgers and Hammerstein before, Charlotte was delighted to be able to take on a lead role in Oklahoma!

She said: “I'm a huge fan of Rodgers and Hammerstein and I have worked with the director, Rachel Kavanaugh, before so I knew how well we would work together. I knew I would do anything to work with them again so I jumped at the chance.

“It is very important to have a cast that gets on well with each other and Rachel is very good at pulling together a cast that work well as a team. It’s a really lovely place to work, we don’t get stressed, we’re all happy and produce a great show because of it.”  

Charlotte admits there are some incredible scenes in the show, but her favourite is the dream ballet.

She said: “I love the dream ballet; it is one of the first shows to have one. Ashley [Day] and I dance the ballet for nine and a half minutes and it is supposed to be Laurey’s dream. It’s really fun and it’s nice to be able to show off my dancing skills and do some singing.”

Charlotte has toured internationally with Mamma Mia, but Oklahoma! marks her first tour of the UK.

She said: “I really enjoy being on tour. It’s really interesting feeling the difference between all the different venues and audiences. It’s amazing to be able to tell such a wonderful story to so many people.

“It is a really important piece of theatre. I haven’t been to the Wycombe Swan before so I'm very excited to perform there.”

With the run at the Wycombe Swan set to be the last of the tour, Charlotte believes this show will be their best yet.

She said: “I really hope people enjoy the show. It is our last one of this tour so emotions will be running high and it will be amazing. We will definitely go out with a bang, it will be a great show.”

Oklahoma! comes to the Wycombe Swan from 4 to 8 August. Tickets are available online at or by calling the ticket office on 01494 512 000.