The Rule of Six restriction meant that only outdoor rehearsals with five actors at a time and the director were possible until recently, with Zoom rehearsals added in.
The very first chance to get the whole cast together coincided with torrential rain, but the intrepid group danced and acted through a morning's outdoor rehearsal.
Meanwhile, limited groups went indoors to try on costumes, and a select few continued into the afternoon inside, and the famous bear that ends the first half ('Exit, pursued by a bear') had its first tryout.
Director Gill Morrell said: 'It's been a really challenging start to rehearsals but a huge amount of character and textual work has been done, even if key characters have only just been allowed to participate in some big scenes."
In 18th century Sicily, King Leontes is overcome with violent and disastrous jealousy when he believes his Queen has betrayed him.
The consequences of this searing emotion lead to heart-rending events, but 18 years later, everything changes as a new generation look for forgiveness, redemption and love.
Throw in a wild sheep-shearing party, glorioushandmade costumes, fantastic original music, professional sound and lighting, and a group of highly-skilled and experienced actors, together with, with any luck, perfect English summer weather, and the scene is set for a triumphant return after last year's disappointments.
To provide covered Covid-secure seating for the audience, Shakespeare Live is installing a pair of 15-metre long marquees facing a raised stage.
These will provide comfortable numbered seating and good sight lines but the ability to follow whatever government regulations are in place in early July.
Audience members will be able to picnic in the Cleeve House gardens and to use their bar facilities. The Saturday Gala Night will, as usual, include extra live entertainment.
Parking is on site and everything possible will be done to keep the audience safe and happy.
Tickets are available from www.shakespearelive.com or 07780 938107.