Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma broke new ground when it was first produced in 1943. This, the first piece they wrote together, is arguably the first musical play, set at the turn of the 20th century in the Indian Territory with a violent love triangle at its centre. Director Rachel Kavanaugh and choreographer Drew McOnie's production for co-producers Music & Lyrics Ltd and the Royal & Derngate Northampton is a beautiful combination of drama and song, often told through movement and dance that progress a moment in the action forward. It proves that it was well worth reviving the piece and looking at it afresh.

The score is just stunningly melodious, with classic number after classic number, especially in the first half. Can there be a better opener than 'Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'', sung sublimely here by Ashley Day? It's swiftly followed by 'The Surrey With the Fringe on Top', Lucy May Barker's cooky and fickle Ado Annie's 'I Cain't Say No' and 'People Will Say We're In Love'. By the time the title number is heard towards the end of the show, some of the best of the Rodgers and Hammerstein canon has been sung in true style.

Ashley Day's endearing and charming Curly is a true triple threat, with a crisp and clear vocal line, while Charlotte Wakefield's Laurey makes her own transition to a determined young woman in the second half. Day and Wakefield also dance the ballet sequence in this production, which is all too often danced by ballet dancer doubles. It's a delightfully choreographed sequence with Day and the male chorus leaping over bales of hay. Nic Greenshields as eerie Jud Fry does a good job at eliciting some sympathy in the darker side of the story too.

There's not a weak link in the cast, and the supporting characters also clearly make their mark. Belinda Lang is a spirited Aunt Eller, at the centre of community life, and Gary Wilmot does a hilarious bit of business as a scoundrel of a travelling salesman. Kavanaugh's production has clear and succinct storytelling throughout, and Frances O'Connor's set allows for plenty of movement. With a month to go until the end of the tour, this is one production that shows no sign of slowing down.