Jay Laurier was a popular Music Hall comedian and actor.
He was born James Alexander Chapman on 31st May 1879 in Birmingham.
His first stage appearance in 1896 was at the Public Hall, Abertillery in "Arabian Nights" but it was not until 1907 that he made his London debut playing Gregory in "Tom Jones" at the Hippodrome.
A big favourite in Variety for many years, featuring a "simple" style of characterisation, red wig and a pair of trousers made from a sugar sack. At one time he worked with Fred Karno's company.
He was best known on the music halls for his songs "I'm Always Doing Something Silly," "Ring O' Roses" and "S'What's S'Nicer Than a S'Nice, S'Ice, S'ice."
Jay Laurier also had experience in straight plays as early as 1907 and in the early 1920s he left the Variety stage to concentrate upon the legitimate stage, although he continued to appear in Pantomime, playing various roles, during the Christmas season.
He appeared in many musical shows including "Phi Phi", "Cleopatra" and "Oh Kay" and played the part of Nisch in the 1932 revival of "The Merry Widow" and during 1936 he played Popoff in the same show.
Jay Laurier joined the Old Vic in 1937 to play Alfred Dolittle and the following year at Stratford upon Avon he played the Porter in "Macbeth" as well as several other Shakespearean roles including Bottom, Touchstone, Dogberry, Sir Toby Belch and the First Gravedigger. He gave an very impressive cameo performance as the jailer Frosch in "Gay Rosalinda" at the Palace Theatre in 1945.
Jay Laurier married Elizabeth Mary Smith, other wise known as the actress Sybil Viney in 1901 and together they had three children, two daughters and one son, the actor Leslie Laurier.
Jay Laurier died on 8th April 1969.
THE SONGS OF JAY LAURIER
BREAD1 BREAD! BREAD!
CUT ME OFF A LITTLE BIT OF ROLY POLY
EVERY FELLOW'S GOT TO TAKE HIS SWEETHEART
FAT AND ARTFUL
GET AWAY - YOUR'RE KIDDING!
GIVE ME A LITTLE BLANC-MANGE
HE CATS AND SHE CATS
I DO LIKE A S'NICE S'MINCE S'PIE
I SAW SIX SHORT SOLDIERS
IT QUITE UPSET OI FOR THE DAY
I WANT SOMETHING TO PRACTICE ON
NOBODY LOVES ME
PLAY ME A TRICKLEY-TICKLEY TUNE
RING O ROSES
SHALL US? LETS!
SILLY BILLY BROWN
SOLDIERS OF THE QUEEN
STEIN! STEIN! EVERYWHERE WE GO!
STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES
STOP YER TICKLING JOCK
S'WHATS S'NICE THAN A S'NICE S'ICE S'ICE?
SWIM, SAM! SWIM!
THEY ALL THING THE WORLD OF ME
TREACLY EACLY PUDDEN
WAIT TILL I'VE FINISHED MY ORANGE
WHAT ARE LITTLE GIRLS MADE OF?
WHY IS CECIL SELLING SEA SHELLS?