Drawing: Mackenzie Crook in Jerusalem

Mackenzie Crook

Mackenzie Crook is probably best known from TV’s The Office and Game of Thrones, or as Ragetti in the Pirates of the Caribbean Films.

A fellow illustrator and cartoonist, but it was his comedy sketches that dictated his career more. He wanted to be a graphic artist, but after being turned down three times by the Kent Institute of Art & Design he became a comedian alongside Iain Lee as ‘the cheeky, chirpy, chappy Charlie Cheese from Chorley’.

It was his stage work that gave me the opportunity to meet him. He received rave reviews as Ginger in Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem which transferred from London’s Royal Court Theatre in August 2009 to the Apollo in the West End before a stint on Broadway where he was nominated for the Tony award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

I drew this minimal line sketch of Mackenizie and met him at the Apollo stage door, where his sketches illustrated the Jerusalem programme. I gave him a copy of this sketch, which he then asked me to sign – a first for a sig-seeking-sketching-stalker.

As a teenager he inherited a rare breeding pair of Mediterranean spur-thighed tortoises, leading to a hobby of breeding chelonians (the scientific name for turtles and the such like). I used to have a turtle called Algernon or ‘Algae’ for short cos he was green! Another conversation point, but that’s another story. He did uses his turtles in the play!

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Drawing: The Recruiting Officer, signed by Josie Rourke, Nicholas Burns, Nancy Carroll, Mackenzie Crook, Kathryn Drysdale, Mark Gatiss, Gawn Grainger, Tobias Menzies and Rachael Stirling

The recruiting officer001

George Farquhars 1706 Restoration comedy The Recruiting Officer was Josie Rourke’s first play as the new artistic director at the Donmar Warehouse in 2012. She assembled an impressive cast for this pacy and complicated piece in which big themes (love and war) are presented amid a riot of bed-hopping, social blockades, meddling servants and enticing legacies. Described as an unashamed celebration of love, lustiness and victory in battle and in the bedroom, it was a critical success, ensuring Josie’s tenure at the Donmar got off to a bright start.

On the 12th of April 2012, I managed to get all the cast on my sketch (Nicholas Burns, Nancy Carroll, Mackenzie Crook, Kathryn Drysdale, Mark Gatiss, Gawn Grainger, Tobias Menzies and Rachael Stirling) to sign it – not an easy feat given that there were eight of them leaving through various exits and often at the same time.

recruiting officer

Drawing: Jerusalem, starring Mark Rylance and Mackenzie Crook

Rylance+Crook001

Thoroughly enjoyed watching “Jerusalem” on stage in the Westend a couple of years ago. So here’s my drawing – signed by Mark Rylance and Mackenzie Crook