SPALDING’S new Flower Queen Daisy Ivatt was delighted to win the role of the smiling, pretty girl in a frock after years of playing cheeky tomboys in amateur dramatics.
Not because sitting on top of a float giving a regal wave to the Flower Parade crowds represents the pinnacle of her ambition.
But because of what it can help her achieve in bringing all members of the local community together to build a “people’s parade.”
Redhead Daisy, who won the judges’ vote a fortnight ago in a gorgeous blue-green dress, approaches her first job as a new teacher at Gleed Boys’ School, Spalding, with just the same positive attack.
For just one and a half terms she’s been head of her own department of one, teaching drama across the school.
Brought up by her dad Jonathan and grandparents in Donington, she was a pupil at Spalding High School.
Now 23, she’s back living at home with Dad after three years studying for a Drama degree at UEA and a year’s PGCE course at Warwick, where she impressed her teaching practice school so much that she was given a job there for the summer term.
Daisy said: “I hate the view some people have that the Gleed boys are badly behaved – it couldn’t be further from the truth.
“I’m privileged to work with them every day. The enthusiasm they bring to the subject is amazing and there is real talent among them.”
Daisy came into the job determined to make studies for BTEC Performing Arts – the equivalent of two GCSE passes – more academically rigorous.
At the same time she’s introduced an enticing glimpse of Hollywood glamour by putting a “red carpet” on the wall of her drama studio in a mobile classroom.
Best performances of the day win a star on it.
She also set up a Gleed X Factor, the school’s first talent contest in many years, coaching hopefuls in breaktimes to set the ball rolling.
It created a huge buzz up to the final, performed in front of the whole school just before Christmas.
Next step for the X Factor team of Daisy, school communications head Jamie Cowper and trainee drama teacher Amber Sinclair, was to write a new school play for the boys to perform. Auditions are under way at the moment.
Daisy herself started acting in local drama groups when she was nine and went on to write and direct with Philip Bosworth the 20th anniversary panto at the Elizabethan Centre in Whaplode Drove.
At 17 she left theatre behind to sing with a local band called The Fortunes for a year, and though she auditioned for a couple of stage schools she’d realised that being an actress wasn’t her thing.
It wasn’t the limelight she loved about drama, it was the working with others to achieve a common goal.
At university Daisy decided to become a drama teacher and the very first day she stood in front of a class she knew that was what she was born to do.
All the same she has wasted no time plunging right back into the local amateur drama scene.
You can see her from March 23 to 26 in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the South Holland South Holland Centre in Spalding. It’s a St Nicolas Players production and she’s joining her old friend Philip Bosworth in the cast.
Daisy said: “I wanted to be one of the lovers when I auditioned – I always do hope to be a pretty girl in a dress but somehow I end up getting the cheeky, boyish roles.
“I’m playing Puck this time. I am loving every minute of it, even though my costume doesn’t have a skirt.”
Daisy was too busy to go shopping for a dress when she finally gave in to her granddad’s nagging to enter the Flower Queen contest.
She said: “Ever since I was 15 he’s been saying: ‘I want to see you up there on that float’.
“I wanted to do it anyway, I think it’s a brilliant opportunity and I’m excited. The contest was half-term week and I was in a whirlwind, going to London with my boyfriend and too busy even to make a hair appointment.
“In the end my sister Amy did my hair and I found this dress at the back of the wardrobe. I have no idea where it came from.”