Press and media interest in the apparently peripheral social elements at the Diana Inquest often centred on lack of public interest in the daily proceedings and on the activities of the small band of members of the public who were regular attendees. The focus in much press commentary on the ‘oddity’ and isolation of this group tended to identify them as the misguided spectators of a charade, and their small number became an index of the pointlessness of the proceedings. Using elements of performance analysis derived from theatre and performance studies, this essay argues that such media focus on these figures and their behaviour highlights the interpretation of social performance as a significant component in the narration of legal proceedings. Media commentators tended to cast their own journalistic readings of the social interactions and performances they witnessed around the courtroom as authoritative and objective while deriding private spectators’ own readings of such encounters as delusional. This article considers how such interpretation of social performance in the courtroom is employed in the range of conspiratorial narratives circulating around the Inquest – both those propounded by members of the public audience (which, for them, expose deep-lying manipulations by the powerful) and those examined by media commentators, (decrying such theories as the product of a group of deluded and inadequate fantasists).