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In his discussion-piece for NTQ 28 (1991), Graham Ley raised questions about the self-determination of the avant-garde, drawing on analogies from dance and design to explore the problem of the post-modern in the theatre. He also outlined a critique of what he called an ‘alternative establishment in theatrical endeavour’: here, he extends that critique into an analysis of the techniques of persuasion to be found in one of the most influential texts in post-war theatrical theory, Peter Brook's The Empty Space, arguing for an enhanced attention to be given to the language and textuality of theory. Graham Ley is a writer and researcher who has taught in the Universities of London and Auckland. As Australian Studies Fellow in Theatre at the University of New South Wales in 1984, he compiled jointly with Peter Fitzpatrick of Monash University the survey of new developments in Australian theatre published in NTQ5 (1986). Among his numerous publications on ancient performance, A Short Introduction to the Ancient Greek Theater appeared from the University of Chicago Press in 1991. He is currently working on a book on theatrical theory.