Born in Maidstone in 1971, Paul James Crook goes by the performing alias of Mackenzie Crook. The television and stage actor is best known for roles in The Office, Worzel Gummidge and Jerusalem.
Crook made his West End debut in 2004, starring in a stage adaptation of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at the Gielgud Theatre. He played Billy Bibbit in the production, opposite Christian Slater. Read a review of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest starring Mackenzie Crook here. Two years later, he starred in the London premiere of The Exonerated at Riverside Studios, a legal play which tells of six inmates that are wrongfully convicted.
It wasn’t until 2007 that Crook would get his stand-out role on stage. Crook played Konstantin in the Olivier-nominated revival of The Seagull at the Royal Court, opposite Kristin Scott Thomas. After the London run, Crook then transferred with the show for the Broadway production, starring in the show for a further three months.
The Royal Court and Mackenzie Crook’s acting success seemingly go hand in hand. In 2009, Crook was cast as Ginger in Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem, originally scheduled to run for a month. Widely praised by critics and audiences alike, Jerusalem then transferred to the Apollo Theatre in 2010, winning two Oliviers out of its six nominations. For Jerusalem, Crook was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, but was pipped by Eddie Redmayne in Red. Crook returned to Broadway for Jerusalem’s transfer, and for its subsequent London transfer.
Crook has enjoyed a stellar career across film and television too. On the silver screen, he’s been in films such as Finding Neverland and played Ragetti in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. On television, he played Gareth Keenan in the original UK series of The Office alongside Ricky Gervais. He also played Orell in Game of Thrones and the title role in Worzel Gummidge.
Mackenzie Crook returns to the West End to play Ginger in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is at the Apollo Theatre in 2022.