There are a whole heap of emotions wrapped up in watching War Horse. It's a beautiful, warm, touching and moving play, one which always has a few people sniffing audibly by the end. But it isn't just that for me.
I've seen it three times now, most recently last week which proved a stark reminder of its power and resonance in my life.
The second time I saw it, the opening sequence when Joey is a foal, had me welling up and last week was no different. I cry because it makes me think of my mum. She never saw War Horse but she would have loved it. When I watch that opening scene I see her face and the expression she would have had, had she been watching it too. I wish I'd taken her to see it.
Having revisited the play I was curious about my initial thoughts when I saw it at the National Theatre, so I had a dig around on my old blog and found my early attempt at review writing.
But what hits me, re-reading it, is the last line 'Perhaps I'll take my mum'. About a month after I wrote that she got very sick and was in intensive care for a long time. She eventually recovered enough to move into a nursing home but was never going to manage more than a trip to the shops or church after that.
Putting the personal memories aside War Horse is still a wonderful play made extraordinary by the skill of the puppetry. I may not have had the chance to take my mum but friends I have seen it with have been completely bowled over. You can catch it at the New London Theatre and it is currently booking until February 2016.