Amongst the major London openings, in the West End and further afield, this week are:

OPENING TUESDAY, 12 July 2011 (previews from 11 July), Irish singer, writer, director and actor Billy Roche brings Lay Me Down Softly to Kilburn's Tricycle Theatre. Set in rural Ireland in the early 60s, The Wexford Trilogy author's latest play takes place inside the shady world of Delaney’s Travelling Roadshow, exploring the darkly comic and colourful world of the old travelling carnival. It continues until 6 August as part of the Tricycle's season of Irish theatre.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington hosts Owen Lewis' and ROAR Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream, with a family production which re-imagines the Shakespeare comedy. New company ROAR mount the Bard's Dream after a number of smaller-scale productions. It plays until 31 July.


OPENING THURSDAY, 14 July (previews from 11 July), director Amir Nizar Zuabi and his Palestinian company ShiberHur return to the Young Vic following last year's I Am Yusuf And This Is My Brother. Their retelling of Kafta's In the Penal Colony comes to London direct from a tour of Palestine and is a fable of violence, alienation and injustice. Performed in Arabic, with English surtitles, it plays the Young Vic until 23 July.


OPENING FRIDAY, 15 July (previews from 8 July), Howard Brenton's Whatsonstage.com Award-winning play Anne Boleyn returns to Shakespeare's Globe for just 22 performances, with Miranda Raison reprises her acclaimed performance as one of England’s most notorious queens. John Dove directs the drama, which tells the story of King James’ feat in uniting England’s religious factions with a common Bible. Part of the Globe’s ongoing commitment to new writing, it plays in rep until 21 August at the South Bank venue.