Although he has spent four months rehearsing, the star of Nayland College's new botanical nightmare still has no idea what the musical looks like.
This week the school will present Little Shop of Horrors, a classic musical based on a 1960s film and performed around the world.
The musical tells the story of a 1950s flower shop in Skid Row that falls victim to a murderous plant with a taste for human flesh and blood, and the efforts of those around it to keep it from eating them all.
The show features 21 songs, each performed by a full band, as well as an ensemble cast of students.
Patrick Savill, 16, volunteered to act as the killer plant for the show, a job that involves him being enclosed in full costume and fixed in uncomfortable positions for extended periods of time.
His arms are used to open the plant's mouth, with his legs forming its roots, but the costume has no eye holes and limited ventilation, so he has to memorise the timing of his movements.
"It's very challenging. It's all closed off, with no air flow, and I can't see.
"I'm going to have to ask people how I did. I'm assuming I'm going OK, because no-one's said anything, but I don't know."
Nicky Marshall, 15, who plays lead character Seymour Krelborn, a nerdy flower-shop assistant, said the show was an upbeat and light-hearted bit of escapism.
Robin McCrae, 17, who plays Orin Scrivello, the abusive boyfriend of Seymour's love interest Audrey, said the show was about success coming with strings attached.
"It's humorous entertainment," he said.
This is the final production for the school's head of music Chris Lukies, who has headed 19 shows since the 1979 showing of Oklahoma. He is the show's musical director.
The production was a long way from the days when the school had only six lights and a bare stage, he said.
The students were sounding really good, and he was looking forward to showing the community.
"The audience will definitely get a shock from the plant," he said.
Director Keran Brady said the show was fun and featured lots of enjoyable songs, funny flower arranging and a lifelike plant that was very scary.
- Little Shop of Horrors, Nayland College, June 22-27, 7.30pm, book at Nayland College.
- © Fairfax NZ News