Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats, for those unversed in the Maltese physician’s guide to lateral thinking and problem solving, is a self-help book from 1985 that teaches the reader how to deliberately challenge and operate six distinct aspects of the brain in a planned and orderly fashion. Each of these mental facets are represented by a different colour hat and Australian comic Asher Treleaven applies the system to measure the worth of his existence and decide whether or not his life story can fill a whole hour. In answer to his plight, it can, but the hats aren’t really necessary.
Through the course of the hour Treleaven chronologically explores his anecdote filled backstory and uses the hats to underline the events of his life. From pre-pubescent Daddy issues (the red hat – emotional thinking) to newfound optimism after a health scare involving the most intimate part of his anatomy (the yellow hat – positive thinking), Treleaven’s storytelling is confident and varied, containing moments of both poignancy and amusement. At the high point of the show he also performs his ‘sexy Diablo’ routine, his graduation piece at Circus University which prompted gasps of amazement from the audience.
However, Treleaven relies too heavily on the headwear crux and many times the action is either cut short, or drawn out as he tries to desperately fit his life into a hat. By hat four one has grown tiresome of the parallel thinking method and, ironically, it is not Treleaven’s past that struggles to be stretched to an hour, it is De Bono’s bowlers. Although the concept of utilising headgears’ apparent prowess to bring order to the chaos of actuality may sound full of comedic potential, there are surprisingly few laughs to be had at its expense.