- A dispute that occurred in 1879 over rival productions of Gilbertand Sullivan's HMS Pinafore. Richard D'Oyly Cartehad financed his comedy Opera Company by luring wealthy backers, makingthem directors, and then failing to renew their contracts. Since theex-directors had been making £500 a week each from the productionof HMS Pinafore that opened at the Opera Comique in 1878, theyhired a team of hooligans to steal the play's scenery from the theaterin order to stage their own version. The cast and stage staff chasedthem off, however, and the rival production proved a failure. D'OylyCarte sued the ex-directors and won his case.