Gob Squad: Room Service (help me make it through the night) (2003)

Fully on-site
Wildly experimental
Dive in deep
Pretty sophisticated
You had to be there

Four performers spend a sleepless night alone in their hotel rooms. Watched on video monitors by the audience in a conference room, they all need each other to help them make it through the night.

“In the year 2003, 17 Years BCV (Before Corona Virus), people would fly around the world in planes to sample different ways of life as a leisure activity.  They would stay in things called “hotels” which would cater to all their needs. At this time, smartphones did not exist, so the conditions of “loneliness” and “boredom” were very common.  We’ve been thinking a lot about that performance in these days of lockdown.”

Gob Squad
Room Service trailer

Room Service is a live interactive film. In the conference room of a hotel, the audience watch four performers on four huge TV monitors set side by side. Each performer is in a separate hotel room, unable to see and hear the audience or each other. Its late at night, and none of them are sleeping. Instead they kill time, sharing moments of hope, fear and boredom. Their only contact to the outside world is a phone line that puts them directly in contact with the audience.

The apparent privacy of the performers is occasionally broken by their conscious gaze into the camera – showing that they are very aware of the audience’s presence. Most of the time, the performers refused to entertain the audience and instead lay the burden of action on the spectators – to “help them!”. As the night progresses, they call their voyeurs with increasingly absurd and desperate demands in a plea to remain with them and “help them make it through the night”.

Gob Squad

First Performance: January 24th 2003 (InterCity Hotel Hamburg in cooperation with Kampnagel, Hamburg)

Room Service has been performed over 50 times in 20 different hotels in 11 countries, from a Beach Hotel at the Black Sea in Bulgaria to a 5 star Hotel in London, UK.

The British/German artist collective Gob Squad have been devising, directing and performing together since 1994, searching for new ways to combine media and performance. The use of audio and video technology plays a prominent role in their work and make alienated forms of intimacy a central theme.

Motivated by a desire to elevate the everyday and empower audience members to step beyond their traditional role as passive spectators, Gob Squad set up often absurdly utopian scenarios where meaningful collective experience and genuine encounters involving passers-by and audience members are suddenly possible.


  • Concept by: Gob Squad
  • Produced by: Gob Squad, Kampnagel Hamburg and Podewil Berlin.