John Martin Harvey was one of the most-well known actors in Britain and Ireland in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He performed several times at the Theatre Royal, which stood opposite Mulligan’s. Harvey is mentioned in the novel Ulysses by James Joyce who frequented Mulligan’s.
In 1906, Harvey performed in the Corsican Brothers to great acclaim. The Freeman’s Journal, 8 November, 1906, gave it a favourable review telling readers that ‘Martin Harvey still reigns a chief favourite with the playgoers of Dublin’.
However, a reviewer, writing under the pseudonym, Jacques, for the Irish Independent, was not so kind:
The drama resembles the law – it can take no account of intentions, however good.
To expect the public to put down their money for butter and accept margarine without complaint would be both irrational and inequitable.
The ghost that appeared at the close of the first act came near to precipitating disaster on the entire play. This spook didn’t walk, it crept, and bravely strove to get under the limelight, and the limelight dodged, and the falling curtain saved the situation.