What's it like to be an Extra with the Royal Shakespeare Company?

Eight ordinary residents of Stratford found out in the summer of 2004. They played Switzers - Swiss mercenaries - in Mr Michael Boyd's production of Hamlet starring Toby Stephens in the title role.

"The Switzer's Guide to Hamlet" is a comic account of their experience and it tells the story of ordinary people in what was an extraordinary production. It gives a scene-by-scene insight in to the thrill of standing on the Royal Shakespeare Company stage in Stratford and watching close-up as the performance develops.

It has been featured on BBC radio and Mr Boyd said of the Guide that "it is great to see it all from your point-of-view."